Skunks

The meaning of the word “skunk” is very appropriate; the word is derived from an old Algonquian Indian word meaning “the one who squirts,” in reference to the skunk’s most famous characteristic. Skunk problems are definitely some of the simplest to diagnose: ripped up gardens, upturned sod and of course, their pungent, musky odor. Skunks are certainly not the region’s most dangerous wildlife, but their noxious scent and  ability to wreck yards make them a nuisance most people are not willing to tolerate.

Fortunately, Creature Control’s wildlife control technicians have the knowledge and expertise to safely remove skunks (without getting sprayed!) and save your yard from their destructive foraging. Call Creature Control’s wildlife experts today at 1-844-774-3284 to get rid of your skunk problem!

Skunk Characteristics

Skunks are common throughout the entire North American continent. Skunks are active year round – even in the bitter Wyoming winters. They will wander quite a distance from their dens when foraging, sometimes up to 5 miles. Their range decreases in the winter, as they are more lethargic and will not wander very far from their den if they can help it.

Skunks are omnivorous; they will eat everything from berries and fruit to bird seed, grubs, lawn insects and food dropped by humans. Yard grass is turned up by skunks searching for grubs. grass. If grubs are in the area, a skunk might turn up an entire lawn, often destroying thousands of dollars in landscaping. Flower beds, sod and mulch are very common targets, as are bird feeders (bird seed is like candy for a skunk).

Skunks are naturally gentle creatures, but they are easily frightened by humans, especially when people act panicked when encountering them. When a skunk feels threatened it will first approach and stomp its feet. Skunk bites are rare; their usual defense is their powerful spray. If a skunk is getting ready to spray, it will turn its rear towards you and lift its tail; if you see a skunk doing this, you’d better move away as fast as you can!

Contrary to popular belief, skunks to not emit their odor constantly, nor do they spray randomly. They make every attempt to target their sprays, which come out as a semi-misty spray. They can hit targets 10-12 feet away, but this range increases if the target is downwind. While most people are usually smart enough to keep away from skunks, household pets are not. Dogs and cats are frequent victims of skunk sprays; a sprayed pet is a huge hassle for the pet owner and may require a trip to the vet, especially if the pet was sprayed in the eyes. If a skunk happens to spray while they are underneath a structure (like a basement, porch, or deck), the spray can saturate the structure and permeate the house with its foul odor.

Many people falsely believe that most skunks carry rabies; it is true that skunks are a carrier of sarcoptic mange and animal distemperment. Neither of these diseases are transferable to humans, but they can be contracted by cats, dogs or other domesticated animals.

Skunks are very social creatures. Litters will forage together, and in Colorado more than one litter may den together. The average size of a litter is five to nine skunks.

Skunk Removal

Creature Control offers effective skunk removal using odorless trapping (trapping the skunk while restricting its ability to spray). Our technicians will evaluate the property identifying potential den locations; we also look for common areas of travel, (“runs” or “slicks”) to identify the most likely route the skunks are traveling.   Once the skunks are trapped we will pick them up and relocate them. While skunks can range for miles during mating season, a foraging skunk is typically not going to ranger further than 600-800 yards from its den; they will never return if relocated over a mile. We relocate all animals at least a minimum of 15 miles from their original location. Please call us at 1-844-774-3284 with any questions about our skunk removal process or to schedule an appointment.

Skunk Odor Removal

Many of the most frequent questions about skunks have to do with their pungent odor – and how to get rid of it. What makes skunk spray smell so bad? The distinctive musky “skunk smell” is actually combination of a sulfur-based chemical mixed with an oily pheromone. This mixture is produced from musk glands on either side of the skunk’s anus. Once this oil-based liquid gets on a surface it is extremely challenging to remove; attempts to remove the odor may actually spread the oils around if done improperly.

Does tomato juice work for skunk odor removal? People disagree on this question. The conventional wisdom is that the acids in the tomato juice will neutralize the skunk smell. Some people swear by this traditional remedy; others say it is ineffective. Because the case is still out, Creature Control does not recommend treating sprayed pets with tomato juice.

A much more dependable solution is a home-made remedy composed of common household products:

  • 1 liter (or quart) of white vinegar or 3% hydrogen peroxide (peroxide may cause bleaching)
  • 1/4 cup of baking soda
  • 1 tsp. dish detergent (this is a degreaser and will help break down the oils)

This solution can be used on fabrics or animals; it may also helpful to ask your veterinarian for revitalizing shampoos or moisturizers. Use straight bleach to remove smells on outdoor structures, such as foundations, decks, or even the ground.

Colorado-Wyoming Skunk Removal

Creature Control is a family owned and operated business based in northern Colorado and also service southern Wyoming. We service the Fort Collins, Cheyenne and Laramie metro areas, as well as part or all of Laramie County, Boulder County, Weld County, Larimer County, and Albany County. We have technicians skilled in skunk removal all over northern Colorado and southeast Wyoming. Find out more about our Animal Removal, Insect Pests Control, and Related Services in your area.