P.U.! Do you smell that? Smells like a skunk problem.
These pests need no introduction, with their infamous spray liquid causing the noses of countless Canadians to scrunch up in fear of that potent, unpleasant odor.
Skunks have elongated bodies with contrasting short, strong legs, and long front claws ideal for digging.
While most skunks are the common white and black combo, some skunks are brown or grey, and a few are cream-coloured. Having said that, all skunks are striped, right from birth.
The smelly rodents are omnivorous, eating any plant or animal material available to them in the season. In residential areas, skunks aren’t shy scavenging through human garbage. They’ll also dig holes in the yards of homes in search of grubs and worms.
They are perhaps best known for their anal scent glands, their primary defensive weapon. You’re probably well aware of this skunk trait – many of our wildlife control inquiries revolve around getting rid of that skunk smell!
Skunks are solitary and crepuscular, only gathering in communal dens in frigid climates. In the daytime, skunks shelter in burrows made from their potent front claws.
Although they have supreme senses of smell and hearing, skunks have poor vision, unable to see things more than three metres away. This often results in them becoming road kill. A skunk’s life expectancy isn’t long to begin with; lifespans can last up to seven years in the wild, though most live up to one year.
Exclusion is the best form of wildlife control to keep skunks away. This can be accomplished by ensuring there are no holes near your home in which they can create a den. That means installing physical barriers to prevent entry.
To further discourage your skunk problem, remove any cover they may find suitable: brush, woodpiles, shady vegetation, vehicles on your property, etc.