If the mere thought of handling and removing a skunk is enough to make you anxious, you’re certainly not alone. Skunks are so notorious for their noxious fumes that even bears have been known to back off when they see those tell-tale black and white markings! Skunks can (accurately) spray their musk up to 10 feet, so people who try to stay as far away from these critters as possible are wise to do so.
Unfortunately, skunks love to burrow and make tunnels, so it’s not uncommon for them to “set up shop” underneath human houses, sheds, or patio decks. There, they can cause trouble by digging up your yard or garden, stealing food from outdoor pet bowls, and knocking over trash cans.
It’s also possible for skunks to pass rabies, leptospirosis, or intestinal roundworms on to humans. And, of course, there’s the obvious risk of a family member, houseguest, or pet getting sprayed during an encounter with the resident skunk.
No doubt about it: a skunk “squatter” should be sent packing immediately. But it’s definitely a job best left to a professional!
Signs and Symptoms
Even if you never actually see any skunks wandering around, these critters tend to leave ample evidence of their activities. The following clues all point to a skunk problem:
- An odor of skunk musk somewhere on your property—or even inside your home.
- Feces in your garage, shed, or yard. Droppings from a healthy skunk vary in color from dark brown to black and somewhat resemble cat feces. However, they’re often fairly loose and have a decidedly “mushy” appearance. The droppings may also contain visible fragments of insect shells, seeds, fur, or feathers.
- Damage to your home’s exterior walls or backyard deck.
- Household dogs (and sometimes cats) exhibiting agitated behavior. Be especially wary if food keeps disappearing from their outdoor bowls.
- Trash cans constantly being raided or knocked over.
- Holes in your lawn, peeled back sod, and/or damage to your garden.
Skunks are natural-born foragers, and their efforts to find food, water, and mates will often lead to them wandering into the yards of human homes. Though they’re not very good at climbing trees, and thus are very rarely found on roofs or in attics, their teeth and claws are usually all they need to infiltrate man-made structures—or simply burrow underneath them. Skunks have also been known to wiggle their way into crawl spaces or even fall into window wells.
“Is it true that tomato juice / beer/ vinegar will get rid of skunk smell?”
Not really, no. These substances are popular remedies for de-skunking, but they usually just mask the smell temporarily instead of removing it. If someone or something in your household has been sprayed by a skunk, your best bet for deodorizing is actually a solution made from baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and liquid dish soap. For more information, please read our blog post on the topic.
“Is it possible to encounter a skunk and not get sprayed, or do they just spray everything in sight?”
Actually, skunks use their musk primarily in self-defense, and they usually only spray as a last resort. Most skunks will give ample warning before spraying, so people who encounter these creatures can often escape completely unscathed if they just remain calm and back away slowly.
The average skunk only carries about five or six “shots” of musk in their body at a time, and it takes 10 to 14 days for them to “reload” once their supply is completely spent. Pair that with the fact that even skunks themselves don’t like the smell of skunk musk, and you’ll understand why they nearly always save spraying for (perceived) emergencies!
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Here are some tips for staying one step ahead of skunks:
- Regularly inspect the exterior of your home and other outdoor structures for holes. If you find one, either plug it with steel wool or patch it with proper building materials. Holes and recesses in the land should be filled in with dirt or concrete.
- Make sure that your outdoor trash cans have tight, secure lids.
- Bring bowls of pet food inside at night or stop leaving food outside altogether.
- Remove tall grass, piles of brush, and other debris from your yard. These kinds of hiding places are attractive to skunks, so having them around may encourage the animals to come inspect your house.
- If you have a window well somewhere on your property, keep it capped or covered.
Who We Are…
For skunk removal services in the Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston areas, look no further than Chimney and Wildlife Specialists. We’re a BBB-accredited, award-winning company that utilizes humane, safe, and cutting-edge techniques to help homeowners get rid of pests. All of our specialists are certified, insured, and well-trained, so even the toughest jobs can be done quickly, efficiently, and affordably. We’re locally owned and operated, and in many cases, we offer same-day, emergency animal control services.
…and What We Do
Chimney and Wildlife uses a multi-step process to root out pest animals that have taken refuge in human homes:
- Pre-treatment. The pests are removed from your property in a safe, humane manner. We use only the most cutting-edge techniques and technology in the industry, allowing us to be speedy and efficient while remaining eco-friendly.
- Seal up the site of the breach. We discourage animals from returning to your domicile after we evict them by blocking up any easy-access or weak points in the building’s structure.
Set traps. Humane traps catch any pests who try to take advantage of your newly vacated chimney, attic, or walls.
- Sanitation and Deodorization. Our professionals will remove unpleasant smells that linger after your unwelcome guests leave. We’ll also clean up any droppings they left behind, reducing your risk of illness from exposure to dander or fecal matter. Tough jobs may require removal and re-installation of attic insulation—which we can take care of in-house.
Schedule Skunk Removal Near Me
We offer tailor-made action plans for each client’s unique situation. Not only does Chimney and Wildlife want to help you with your current predicament, but we also want to make sure you don’t find yourself in the same situation a few months down the road.
If smelly skunks are making you sick to your stomach in North Texas or Houston, then don’t delay—contact Chimney and Wildlife Specialists today!