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
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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