Skunks
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How lucky for you to have me in your yard!

... unless you have a dog!
Skunks do more good than harm and most people consider them beneficial for their yard. Their diet consists of scorpions, black widows, rodents, carion, grubs, fallen fruit and garbage. Skunks peacefully coexist with domestic cats but there might be problems when you have a dog. Even when a skunk gives the warning signs of stomping or standing up on its front legs, most dogs just can't resist trying to grab this sweet gentle animal. Their only defense mechanism is the strong smelly odor that is sprayed only when they are truly cornered and attacked.
If your dog gets sprayed, the remedy is a cleansing solution .is 1 quart hydrogen peroxide , 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 tablespoon of dish soap. Make sure you mix in an open space and rinse well....
 

If a skunk mother has taken up residence in your yard, make the area uncomfortable for her and she will move her young to another location. Eviction methods can include:

bright light

strong smell

loud noise

Place a bright light where the mother has her burrow. She will not like being in the spot light and will move her young.

Ammonia soaked rags or moth balls can create an unpleasant smell for the mother prompting her to relocate.

A radio placed near her burrow will cause her to believe that the area is no longer a safe place for a nursery.

These methods should only be used when you are sure that there is a mother present caring for her young!

To keep skunks out of your yard, consider these options:

Check crawl spaces and decking for small openings. Seal them in the fall before a female skunk claims it for its nursery.

A wood pile makes another nice home for skunks while also providing a home for mice and rats, a skunk favorite. Keep wood in a shed.

Open compost heaps and pet food left outside attract a wide variety of wildlife, including skunks.

Secure trash cans and garbage, pick up rotting fruit - another welcome food source for skunks and rodents.

Skunks generally do not c limb so a low fence around the perimeter of your property should keep them out.

Orphaned baby skunks

Baby skunks stay in their burrow until they are about 4 weeks old. Eventually they will begin to follow their mother for nightly excursions learning how to grub. At dawn, they should be safely tucked away, back in their burrow. If babies are seen alone out in the open during daylight hours, they have most likely become orphans. They will be typically huddled in a corner somewhere not knowing where to go. If you encounter babies at night, watch from a distance. The mother could be close by and will usually make her presence known as they are very tenative mothers. Back up slowly and vacate the area.
Skunk rompingJPG02Once you have determined that the babies are truly orphaned, care must be taken when placing them into a box or carrier for transportation to a rehabilitator. While they can not spray like an adult skunk, their odor glands will emit a small amount of secretion which can be quite strong in odor. This can be avoided by moving very slowly whilst placing a towel over each baby and gently lifting it into the carrier. There should be a towel in the container providing them with a soft place to hide. An additional towel should be placed over any openings. The darkness gives them privacy and security making them less likely to secrete any offensive odor.

Copyright © 2004 Nicky Thole/Karin Beer-Koller
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. For viewing purposes only. Downloading for commercial use will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.