Your Wildlife Habitat

Living With Skunks

Because of their repulsive odour, skunks are rarely welcome on anyone’s property. People would really prefer to avoid the nasty job of deodorizing their pets, cars, or basements.

Skunks actually serve a very useful purpose. Most of their diet includes insect pests which are harmful to crops, lawns and gardens. They are not aggressive animals and will only spray when cornered or when they think their young are threatened. However, because skunks can be a vector for the spread of rabies, if there has been human contact with a skunk, such as a bite, you should contact the nearest office of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as well as your local public health unit.

Skunks typically get into conflicts with humans because they like to burrow in underground dens so it’s not unusual to find one under your porch or woodpile. If your garbage or compost is easily accessible, they will leave a mess when rummaging there for food. Skunks will also dig small holes in lawns looking for white grubs, the larval stage of the June Bug Beetle.

If you or your pet has had an unfortunate encounter with a skunk, here is a recipe for a deodorizing solution. Mix the following ingredients together, wash thoroughly, and then rinse. Repeat if necessary.

  • 1litre (1 qt.) hydrogen peroxide
  • 50 ml (1/4 c.) baking soda
  • 5 ml (1 tsp.) dish detergent

The Canadian Association for Humane Trapping has printed a flyer which describes how to make your property unattractive to skunks and what to do if you have a skunk problem. They provide excellent information on how to choose professionals to remove skunks from your property.