February 12, 2016 / Wildlife

Skunk Love - Valentine's Day

Skunk Love - Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is coming up soon, and you know what that means: It’s mating season for skunks!

What? You didn’t know that? Well why else would the smell of love be in the air?

Skunks would be way more adorable if it weren’t for their putrid, insufferable odor. But unfortunately, the fact remains that skunks emit a putrid, insufferable odor. Many homeowners -- particularly those with aversions to putrid, insufferable odors -- avoid skunks at all costs. But what’s the strategy for dealing with a skunk?

I Accidentally Crossed A Skunk’s Path. Quick! What Do I Do?

Skunks will spray you only when threatened, so try to appear as friendly and non-threatening as possible. Skunks are also very near-sighted, so they might spray if they can’t see what you’re doing. Speak softly and don’t make any sudden movements, and you will most likely be able to walk away. Skunks usually give a fair amount of warning before they spray; they will stomp their feet, hiss, and turn their spraying end at you. Spotted skunks will even do a handstand.

It’s important to note that skunk spray can cause temporary blindness and nausea. Therefore, it is in your best interest to stay away from skunks. But I probably didn't need to spell that one out for you.

How Do I Get Rid Of A Skunk On My Property?

If your property doesn’t make use of exclusion barriers, then it’s not unlikely that you might discover a skunk living under your deck or in your tool shed. If, for whatever reason, you decide to remove the skunk by yourself rather than enlisting the services of a pest control company, you will need a large trap (as well as the courage of a lion) to capture and relocate your odorous adversary.

Obviously, your skunk trap should have solid walls so that you won’t get sprayed while moving the trap. Furthermore, the trap should be large enough that when your smelly nemesis reaches for the bait, he can be trapped safely inside without being harmed -- the skunk may be your nemesis, but there’s no reason to cause harm to it. Most experts -- and yes, there are skunk trapping experts -- will recommend using canned cat food as bait. If there are numerous stray cats roaming your area, however, cat food might not be as effective as marshmallows, since cats don’t typically enjoy sweets.

Once you’ve trapped your rank rival, relocate the skunk in a safe environment at least ten miles away. Then, consider building an exclusion barrier (especially if the skunk was hiding under your deck) to keep skunks from taking residence under your home.

So I Tried Trapping The Skunk…

And you got sprayed? You don’t say.

Some will tell you that a tomato juice bath is the remedy for “getting skunked.” Tomato juice (and vinegar) might work well to wash off the oily film of skunk spray, but it does little to change the chemical makeup of skunk fluid, and will not eliminate the odor.

There are numerous products sold at veterinary offices and pet supply stores to get rid of skunk smell, but others recommend a simple home remedy to neutralize the odor. By mixing one quart of hydrogen peroxide (3 percent) with one quarter cup of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap, you can remove odors from certain clothing items, skin, and even your dog. Be sure to use this mixture outdoors as soon as it is ready. Do not store this mixture, since it may cause a sealed container to burst.

Have you spotted monochromatic mammals on your property? Is there an ominous odor coming from your yard? Has your dog started a turf war with a skunk? The experienced professionals at JP Pest Services can rid your property of unwanted pests quickly and completely. Contact JP Pest services to request a free residential estimate today!

Also, skunks don’t form long-lasting partnerships with their mates. I guess they just don’t want to be lonely on Valentine’s Day.