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  • USA Wildlife Removal Education Guide - How to Exclude Skunks without Trapping Them

How to Exclude Skunks without Trapping Them

Skunks are solitary creatures that prefer to stay out of sight, but they still have to eat, choosing to forage at night for their customary diet of bugs and slugs. So when they’ve got to be evicted from a crawl space or from under a building, an exclusion funnel will allow them to leave, but not allow them to return.

Exclusion funnels/tunnels can take different forms, with various size available. One popular example is a cage-like structure that is open on one end and equipped with a one-way door on the other, allowing the animal to exit, with the door snapping shut behind as it steps on a trigger plate. The devices normally have flanges on their building end that can be attached to the side of the structure, securing it and leaving the only outlet through the tunnel.

The other widely used type of excluder is a funnel-shaped tube of wire mesh that similarly attaches to the building, encircling the entry/exit portal and tapering as it extends away from the structure. As the animal leaves the building and enters the mesh tube, it is unable to turn around and must keep moving forward.

With the mesh restraining its body, the skunk is prevented it from turning around to reenter the building while remaining loose enough that the animal can proceed forward to freedom. Importantly, besides containing and directing the skunk’s progress, the close confines of the mesh tube also prevent it from raising its tail and issuing its barrage of scent.

For an exclusion tunnel to be effective it is important to conduct a thorough examination of the building and to patch any other potential exit/entry points with wood or with strong wire mesh. Once ensconced and nested, skunks usually don’t give up easily. They are powerful diggers and chewers and will make strong efforts to resume residence unless prevented from doing so.

In the exclusion process, it is important to determine whether there might be a litter of baby skunks inside. This can be done by observing the adult’s behavior for attempts to reenter the structure. If it suggest that there could be a litter inside, it’s best to let them mature until they leave with her at the age of about six weeks, then exclude them all at once.

And once you’re satisfied that you’ve evicted the skunk and her possible offspring, take measures to limit the supply and availability of the food that keeps them around.

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