Skunks are nocturnal. So, they are rarely seen in the daytime. You may smell a skunk and never see it. They mate in late February or March. The female looks for a dark place to den and have her litter of four to six young, which are born in late May or June. Their home range is about one and one half miles.
Skunks are omnivorous, feeding on insects, berries, nuts, small rodents and bird eggs. They are very adaptable and have found a comfortable existence in urban neighborhoods. Pet food bowls offer plentiful and tasty meals. Decks, garages, basements, and woodpiles provide adequate housing. This often causes a conflict with homeowners.
Preventing a problem
Warm dry spaces found under houses and decks can make a perfect den. To avoid skunks as tenants, secure vent screens to your house and close off raised decks. If you suspect you already have a skunk in residence, make your repairs in the evening when the skunk has left to forage. Skunks are good diggers, so put any barrier well below the surface and bend outward so the skunk will be unable to dig back in. Always make sure no babies are left behind.
Solving a problem
How can I get a skunk out of my garage?
Open the door and allow the animal to leave quietly. This should prevent him from spraying, if he hasn't already. Close the door when he is gone. If you are leaving pet food down at night, this may be attracting skunks. Remove the pet food before dark and feed your pets during the daylight hours.
How do I keep skunks from entering the yard?
Skunks dig for insects, grubs and termites. They leave small cone-shaped holes. Install floodlights and keep them on at night if you find evidence of skunks digging on your lawn or garden. They do not like bright lights and should go elsewhere.
Check with your garden supply store for the best product to use to get rid of your particular insect problem. Then the skunk will have no reason to dig. Skunks will also eat fruit, so pick up fallen fruit so they are not attracted to that area of your yard.
How can I help a trapped skunk?
Carefully and quietly put a board or large pipe into the area so he can climb out. RETREAT! He may not come out until dark. Cover such areas to prevent animals from being trapped in the future.
How can I protect my small pets from skunks?
Keep chickens and small animals secured at night. Remember, skunks can dig, so ensure proper housing for your pets.
What can be done about skunk odor?
There are commercial products on the market that claim to remove skunk odor. Tomato juice or vinegar is helpful in neutralizing the scent. A mixture of 1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1/4-c. baking soda, 1tsp liquid soap has also proven effective in eliminating the odor. If a skunk has passed through your yard, but not sprayed, the odor will dissipate on its own after a time.