Skunk Under a Shed, or Under the House, Deck, or Porch
Why Do Skunks Like Living Around Domestic Properties?
Removing A Skunk From Under Your Deck, Porch Or Shed - The first signs that you will find that a skunk may be under your deck, porch or shed is that you will see the signs of digging around this area, or if they are left open you may just see the animal going in and out of the cavity. Try to verify the presence of the skunk without just sticking your head into the opening, as this is likely to get a startled response from any animals within, and the liquid that is squirted by skunks is not what you want all over you. Make sure you take the right precautions and try to avoid direct contact with the animal wherever possible, as they can transmit diseases through bites and scratches.
The cavities that are found beneath decks, porches and sheds are commonly areas that are used by skunks to make a den as they mimic the type of dens the animals having in the wild, usually being dark and compact. The attraction of these areas is that urban and suburban areas will often offer rich pickings in terms of scavenging for food in the area, with pet food and garbage all providing good material for the skunks. Urban and suburban areas also have fewer predators that might be a natural danger to the skunk, which is another reason why many of these animals do find it possible to live on the fringes of human habitations.
The Challenges Of Dealing With Skunks
One of the main things that you want to avoid when dealing with a skunk problem is a confrontation with the animal, because they can be unpredictable when threatened, and although a spray of the scent smells awful, a bite or scratch can be even more harmful. Because they can also transmit diseases to domestic pets, it is important to deal with the problem quickly, and trapping the animal and removing it is the best way to do this.
- 1. Skunks Under The Deck
If you find skunks beneath your deck, the first step is to try and identify the high traffic area that they are using to get in and out of the cavity. If you have previously had a layer of chicken wire protecting the cavity, finding the hole should be fairly straightforward, but if you deck is open you may find multiple entry points. Look to place cage traps around these areas, or if there is only one exit point then placing the trap over this exit point can make it very difficult for the skunk to avoid.
- 2. Skunks Under The Porch
Because the cavity under the porch is usually smaller, you'll need to be very careful when placing your traps here, as the skunks may quickly come out of the cavity. Protective clothing such as gardening gloves and thick clothing should be worn, and once you place the trap, it is worth weighting it down with stones or a brick to prevent the skunks from pushing the trap out of the way.
- 3. Skunks Under The Shed
Unless the shed is placed up against the side of the building, you will usually find that the cavities to get in and out can have up to three exit points to the sides and the rear of the shed. Because they are relatively small buildings, again there is the chance that the skunk will come dashing out of the cavity when you start work.
Once you have trapped the skunk, it is important to try and get a blanket over the cage trap, as this will not only calm the animal, but it will also stop the skunk from spraying you with its strong, foul smelling scent. Once this is done, look to relocate the skunk at least ten miles away from your home, and release the skunk in an area away from any domestic properties where possible.
Installing A Protective Barrier Around These Cavities
Once you have removed the skunk, you should consider installing a thick layer of mesh or chicken wire over the cavity to prevent other animals from getting in there in the future. If this was already in place, look to repair or replace any damaged wire to help keep those pesky skunks away. If you do regularly need to get in to the cavity, there are still wire panels that you can install that can be removed or opened to allow access too.
Driving Skunks Away From Your Property
Along with protecting the cavities beneath decks, porches and sheds, you can also help to reduce the attractiveness of the property around your home to skunks. Removing food sources is an important step, so make sure that you keep your garbage bags in a sealed container such as a metal or hard plastic bin with a bungee cord over the lid, and ensure any pet food is not kept in sacks that are easily sliced open. A good fence around the property that is well maintained can also help to thwart the attempts of any skunks to get in and around your property.
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page for more information about skunks living under the shed, or living under some part of the house, such as skunk under the porch or deck.