Professional Skunk Control, Skunk Trapper & Skunk Removal in North Alabama and Southern Middle Tennessee
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Skunks are among the most widely distributed mammals in North America. The striped skunk is found throughout the United States and parts of Canada. Skunks are readily recognized by their black and white pelage pattern and their unique, odorous musk which they use for defense against predators. Skunks are omnivores and feed on a wide variety of plant and animal material. Their diet includes berries, fruits, vegetables, insects, small rodents, reptiles, eggs and young birds.
The striped skunk has short, stocky legs and is about the size of a house cat. They have two broad white stripes running the length of their jet black body from the nape of the neck to the base of the tail. A single white stripe separates the eyes and the long bushy tail is tipped in white. Adult striped skunks can weigh up to 10 pounds.
Here at Tennessee Valley Wildlife Control we specialize in odorless skunk removal and skunk control. We will come out to your home and do a complete inspection. In the inspection we look to see where the skunks are entering, if any damage is done, how many droppings are under the home, and look for the animals. A lot of times I find that skunks tear into the air duct system in the crawl space to get the heat coming out of the ducts. We then set up traps and trap the skunks out. At this time we seal up the holes where the skunks were entering. Here at Tennessee Valley Wildlife Control we respond to skunks under the home, skunks under decks, skunks coming in through the cat door, skunks in the air ducts and skunks digging up your yard and landscaping. .
SKUNK BIOLOGY AND BEHAVIOR
Skunks like to take up residency under concrete stoops, decks, porches, sheds, and more. Once they do, you will probably smell them. Skunks discharge an obnoxious scent when provoked. This scent or musk is secreted by two internal glands located at the base of the tail. The glands are exposed when it raises it's tail. A skunk has voluntary control over the glands and can control the direction in which the musk is discharged. The glands contain about one tablespoon of thick, volatile, yellowish, oily liquid. This musk (the chemical name is butylmercaptan) has been detected at distances of up to 20 miles away from where it was discharged. The compound is painful to the eyes, but does not cause permanent blindness.
Skunks mate in late February to early March. Average gestation period is 62 to 66 days. Skunk kits are born from early May to early June. Litter sizes can range from 2 to 10.
Kits are born blind and thinly furred. Their eyes open in 17 to 21 days, and by 2 to 4 weeks of age, the kits are available to expel musk from their glands. They begin to hunt with their mother at about 2 months of age. Until then, they are left alone in the den when the mother goes out hunting. The kits remain with their mother until autumn.
Skunks are solitary animals. They come together only during breeding season and during winter when several may be found denning together. Although skunks do not hibernate, they may become inactive for extended periods during the winter.
Skunks are slow-moving and docile. Their senses of sight, hearing, and smell are poor compared to many predators. Because of this, skunks may spray their awful smelling "defense" at the slightest threat or annoyance.
They are more likely to spray during mating season (when they are fighting for a mate), and if the property owner has dogs or cats that the skunk(s) may see as a threat. Mother skunks are also more easily provoked to spray (to protect young), and invasion of the skunk's territory by other wild animals (opossums, raccoons, etc), will surely cause them to discharge their awful odor.
The odor has a tendency to linger, so the sooner the animals are removed, the better. Skunks can also do extensive damage to lawns and turf while searching for insect foods, especially in the fall when grubs are plentiful. Skunk lawn damage can be recognized as many small holes the size of a quarter to a half dollar, which look unsightly on golf courses and residential lawns.
Skunks are highly adaptable. They frequently live in close association with humans. Although skunks are commonly considered a nuisance, their tendency to consume insects and rodent harmful to agriculture crops may benefit farmers. Unfortunately, these same activities can also create additional damage situations.
Skunks eat the eggs and young of ground nesting birds. Skunks may also damage vegetable gardens, kill and eat domestic poultry and their eggs. Occasionally they may damage beehives whiles trying to feed on the bees.
Skunks disrupt unsecured garbage cans and consume pet food that is left outdoors. They may also damage lawns, athletic fields, and golf courses by digging up turf as they search for food.
Skunk denning activities can also result in damage. Dens located under buildings can be a nuisance to building occupants should the skunk release its musk.
Skunks can carry rabies. When a skunk becomes infected with the virus, it may not be apparent for many days. Any skunk showing abnormal behavior, such as daytime activity, may be rabid and should be treated with caution. In addition, avoid overly aggressive skunks that approach without hesitation. Skunks can also be infected with tularemia, distemper, Aleutians disease and several parasites including fleas, lice, mites, ticks, roundworms, tapeworms, and flatworms.
Skunks left living under stoops, etc, can make bio hazardous conditions with their urine, feces, illnesses, and habits of eating other dead animals.
Skunk Odor Removal
People often find the smell of skunk musk nauseating. Skunk odor can be effectively reduced by using a variety of commercial and home remedies. The chemical neutroleum-alpha is one of the most useful neutralizers for removing the unpleasant skunk scent on furniture or in buildings, but this material and products containing it are not readily available. There are also other commercial products sold for neutralizing or masking skunk odor. If you cannot find such products easily, contact Tennessee Valley Wildlife Control we may be able to provide neutroleum-alpha or can tell you where it can be purchased. Do not use neutroleum-alpha on pets or people. If your dog or cat has confronted a skunk, call your veterinarian to determine current recommendations for washing the animal to get rid of skunk odor.
A home remedy formulation:
1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup baking soda
1 teaspoon liquid soap.
Once the hydrogen peroxide is mixed with the baking soda, the mixture is unstable and generates oxygen, and thus cannot be bottled or stored. Apparently, oxidation changes the chemical composition of skunk scent so that it no longer smells. When the fresh mixture is applied to items contaminated by skunk odor, the smell diminishes quickly. Any leftover mixture should be diluted several fold with water and poured down the drain. Hydrogen peroxide mixtures can be used safely on pets and people as well as on clothing and furniture. Rinse pets thoroughly with water after treatment.
Professional Skunk Catchers