Despite their reputation, skunks are rarely aggressive. In the wild, they do not pose problems for people. However, issues can occur when they take up residence on your property.
Skunks only spray their foul-smelling musk when they feel threatened or if they think their offspring are in danger. If they are living in a garage, under a porch or deck, or in a crawlspace, there is a chance you, your children, or your pets could unwittingly scare them.
Skunk spray isn’t poison, but it could cause irritation to the skin and the smell can be difficult to wash off.
Here are steps you can take for skunk control at home in Northern Virginia.
Don’t Provide Easy Food Sources
Skunk prevention strategies start with limiting food sources. Skunks prefer to eat grubs and other small animals. However, they are also scavengers, so they will pick through garbage if it’s easily accessible and eat food that’s left out overnight.
Also, they may be attracted to patios or garages if the food is available there. You should always secure garbage cans and never leave food, especially pet food, outside overnight.
Don’t Provide Attractive Habitats
Skunks often select protected spaces to make dens. Porches and crawlspaces provide ready-made protection, which makes them attractive to skunks looking for a den site. The same could be true for other buildings on your property, such as gazebos or sheds. Wood piles can also serve as cover for a den.
You can plug holes and add fencing or wire around crawlspaces or raised floors to keep skunks out. Also, don’t create sheltered areas on your patio yard that skunks could mistake for a possible denning site.
What to Do if You Find Skunks
You will typically smell skunks before you see them. If they move into a crawl space or set up a den elsewhere on your property, you may notice a distinct musky smell (though not as strong as their actual spray).
You can plug potential holes with wire or other construction materials. However, you do not want to block the animals inside. It is best to call a professional like Pest Proof Pest Management to help see if animals are in the den, handle removal, and make repairs or upgrades to ensure the skunks do not return and make the same space their home in the future.
At Pest Proof, we have licenses for handling wildlife, so we can help with removal and remediation. We also carry a contractor’s license, so we can help erect wire or other barriers to keep the skunks away.
Contact us today if you need skunk help in Manassas or have other nuisance wildlife on your property.