If you’re like most people, you can easily identify a skunk at first glance (or at first smell!) Skunks are small to medium-sized black animals with a noticeable white strip of fur running down the middle of their bodies.
Even more famous than their coloring, however, is the intense odor that they give off when they feel threatened. In addition to being unpleasant, this odor can also cause damage and irritation when it comes into contact with a person’s skin or eyes â€“ plus, the smell can be hard to get rid of once it’s made contact!
Skunks Aren’t All Bad
Though you might be tempted to view skunks as disgusting pests, these little animals are actually quite beneficial to the environment. According to the Humane Society of the United States, skunks perform a valuable service by commonly eating small rodents and bugs that can cause a nuisance. Also, these animals are not known for purposefully bothering humans or common household pets. When an unpleasant interaction does occur, it is usually accidental and only happens because the skunk has been startled or disrupted.
Signs of a Skunk Problem
Generally, you’ll know if a skunk is lurking around your property by the tell-tale musky odor. Other common signs of a skunk infestation include unexplained holes in grassy areas on your property and damage to the lower parts of plants and/or crops.
An Ounce of Prevention
To avoid skunk infestation, make sure not to leave garbage, particularly garbage containing food waste, or pet food out during the night. Investing in a strong garbage can with a reliable lid is an easy way to keep skunks at bay. You should also clear your yard of wood piles, rock piles, easily accessible sheds and other structures, and porch, basement, or crawl space openings, all of which make attractive homes for skunks.
A Pound of Cure
If it’s too late to prevent a skunk problem, then all you can do is take care of the problem at hand. The best way to do this is to invest in a humane skunk trap. Once you catch the skunk, you can contact your local animal control center or humane society for further instructions as to what to do with the animal.
You should read and carefully follow all the directions included with your skunk trap. Most traps use bait to attract the skunk. While there are many different types of bait, your best options include chicken intestines, insect larvae, cat food, canned fish, bacon, and cracknels. After you catch the skunk, minimize contact with the animal and the trap until you speak with animal control or the humane society.
Adrienne is a blogger and aspiring writer. When she’s not blogging about tech and social media, you might find her practicing her French, whipping up some recipes she found on Pinterest, or obsessing over vintage postcards and stamps.