Skunks are out and about this month, exploring, looking for dens, and gobbling up whatever snacks they come across. As a result of humans affecting their habitats, they can often get themselves into trouble, injured, or even killed.
The Fur-Bearers have four ways that you can help skunks in your neighbourhood that are as simple as 1, 2, 3… and 4!
- Dumpster drainage. A lot of dumpsters have drainage holes near the bottom to make sure liquids can ooze their way out rather than build up and give a garbage truck driver a really, really bad morning. But these holes are also an ideal target for small fur-bearers looking for food – and when they have a coned shaped skull like skunks, that spells trouble. By covering these holes safely (with a cap or a heavy, sodered mesh) you can save skunks a lot of discomfort, and even their lives.
- Cutting up lids after you drink. Many fast food or convenience stores sell drinks with plastic dome lids. These are a huge new threat to skunks for the same reason dumpster drainage holes are a problem – their conical heads. They can stick their head in to get at the sweet drink in the cup, but can’t get back out. Severe damage can be done, and ultimately, it can be lethal. Plastic six pack rings, which are for some reason still a thing, pose a similar concern for them. Simply cutting up the lids or rings can go a long way to helping skunks.
- Keeping them out – safely. While we do love skunks, it’s understandable that people may not want them setting up shop under their deck or behind a shed. There’s a few ways you can discourage them from accessing areas of your property, including the smelly container method (put some ammonia or bleach but not both into a small container with a rag, poke holes in the top of the container), or the “No One Really Likes Talk Radio” method (put a transistor/portable radio near a potentially entryway and leave it on).
- Getting them out – humanely. If you do have skunks denning under your deck, don’t use a hardware store trap, or try and manage it yourself – call a professional. There are multiple (truly) humane wildlife removal businesses out there, and we recommend AAA Wildlife Control in BC or AAA Gates’ Wildlife Control in Ontario. They’ll make the effort to make sure the animal and any offspring are safely removed and released, and help ensure they can’t get back in.
Skunks want the same things we do: a warm bed, a good meal, and a safe place to raise their families. By following these four steps, you can give them a good start on that as we move further into summer.