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Pests & Wildlife

Pests & Wildlife

Skunks

Skunks are found throughout most areas of the United States. With their white-striped jet black fur they are easily recognizable to they eye, and even more so to the nose, with the powerful and pungent odor that they produce when alarmed.  While extremely valuable to our ecosystem, skunks can be extremely damaging to your property and also represent many health and safety risks.  They are a major pest problem in the Pacific Northwest. 

Prevention

  1. Inspect your property frequently for holes, loose concrete, or small openings where skunks can gain access to your structure.

  2. Remove foraging materials, such as leaf piles, that they can use as nesting materials.

  3. Reinforce access areas with steel mesh.

  4. Inspect your crawlspace frequently.

 

If you find yourself with a skunk problem, it is best to have them removed by trained professionals.

Behavior


While there are many species of skunk, the two most common are the striped and the spotted skunk, with an average size of 12-18 inches.

 

In their natural environment, skunks are an extremely valuable part of our ecosystem.  They are mostly carnivorous and eat small rodents like moles, rats, mice, and shrews.  They also eat crickets, beetles, insects, and insect larvae. On first thought, one might actually consider them a help with keeping away unwanted pests.

 

Unfortunately, skunks can be damaging and dangerous on many levels.

 

Skunks as a Pest

  • Like all mammals, Skunks will seek shelter inside your structures to build their nests and reproduce.  This can make them very destructive to areas like crawlspaces, attics, etc.  If a Skunk infestation goes undetected or unresolved for too long, it can lead to thousands of dollars in restoration costs to these areas.

  • Skunks can be aggressive and have been known to attack when threatened. They can be aggressive towards house pets, like dogs and cats, by spraying or resorting to more vicious attacks.

  • Health Hazards - Skunks are second only to Raccoons for incidents of rabies cases in the domestic United States.

  • Being sprayed by a skunk can be very traumatic for animals and humans alike.  Being sprayed in the eyes can cause pain and even temporary blindness.