Valentines Day marks the start of mating season for skunks. During this time they will awaken from their dens to mate. Their offspring will not make their presence known until June or July, but mating skunks will often burrow under homes or outbuildings to mate and birth their babies. This could lead to a stinky and dangerous situation for homeowners. The good news is that you can lead a burrowed skunk out from under a building with a few simple steps (don’t worry, you won’t be the victim of Peppy La Pew’s backlash.)
Stop the Problem Before it Happens:
Before February, secure chicken wire to the perimeter of your home or outbuildings. Skunks love to burrow under anything that offers cover from the weather, but they can not borrow through chicken wire. Place the chicken wire at least 12 inches vertically into the ground. If you suspect that you already have tenants under your home, leave a small opening so they can escape.
Skunks are excellent diggers, and a tell-tail sign that a skunk has moved in under your home or building is borrow holes leading down under a building. Also, check your yard and garden for upturned snow or grass. Skunks are scavengers, but they prefer to dine on clover when garbage is not present.
Place Moth Balls Around the Perimeter of Your Home:
This is a trick I used last spring when a few skunks decided to move in under our summer cottage. Skunks do not like the smell of moth balls and will move out upon the moment they detect this despised smell. As long as you left an opening with the chicken wire, skunks will be able to move out. Once it is determined that they have vacated the premises, close the chicken wire and refresh the moth balls once a month.
Trap the Skunk:
Place a trap cage in front of the opening of the chicken wire. In the morning, throw a blanket on top of the trap cage to prevent the skunk from spraying. A skunk will not spray if it can not see its target. Call a professional exterminator, he/she will move the trap cage very slowly to a non populated area and release the skunk.
Do not Leave Garbage or Food out in the Open:
Now that you have kicked your skunk problem, you will need to eradicate the food source (if any). Place lids on garbage cans, and do not leave dog food outside. My skunk problem started when my dog’s food was left in the garage. The skunk crawled into the garage, ate my dog’s food, and sprayed him all in one night! He came back every night to eat the dog food until we sealed the perimeter of our cottage, removed the dog food, and placed moth balls around the perimeter.