A Wildlife
                        Exclusion Service
Helping People Solve Problems with Wild Animals
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Self help- Skunk

Skunks in your crawl space

Skunks may not see well but they sure dig well! If a skunk has taken up residence under your home, you will know it. Even when skunks don't spray, they carry with them a very musty odor and your house should smell "skunky" if you have one under your home.

Depending on how the skunk is getting in will depend on how difficult a task excluding them will be. If they are coming in through a vent screen, this can be an easy fix. Make sure all other vents are secure and in good condition before proceeding with your exclusion. Then on the most used access point attach a one way door to allow the skunk to get out but not back inside. This can be made with many different materials, but the goal is that once the animal is out it can not pry the door back open and get inside. You can achieve this using spring loaded hinges.

If the skunk is digging in, this is a much more daunting task. In order to keep a skunk from digging under you foundation or deck you must trench the area and lay wire down into the ground no less than a foot deep and in an L. Sometimes this can be done at the site of entry, but more often than not the whole deck or house will need to be secured. You must leave one opening, preferably the most used access point, and attach your one way door.

Once the door is shut, reset it to confirm the animal is out. Wait at least a week and then remove the one way door and seal up the last open hole.

How to remove skunk smell

You or your dog or even a part of your house has been sprayed by a skunk, and now you want to get rid of the smell. These tactics WILL NOT work very well: bathing in tomato juice, spray with lemon juice or orange citrus, or masking agents like perfume or Fabreze.

How do you eliminate the odor once you have been sprayed by a skunk? Well first of all, you or your dog should have known the warning signs ahead of time. A skunk will give many clear signals before it sprays. If threatened, it will stamp its front feet, arch its back, and shuffle away. If you don't leave right away, it will turn its posterior toward you, raise the tail, and release the smelly musk, a sulfur-alcohol compound, from special glands near the anus. This spray not only stinks, but burns and can cause temporary blindness if it is sprayed directly into the eyes. Since you didn't take heed and got sprayed, here is how to get rid of the smell:

The secret recipe that WORKS

Mix the following:

  • 1 quart 3 percent hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
  • 1 teaspoon liquid soap or dish detergent
  • Mix these together and bathe ("shampoo" in or rub down) the spray victim thoroughly.
  • Be sure to use this mixture immediately after it is created, as it is unstable.
  • Rinse with tap water afterward, and repeat if necessary.
  • For spray in the eyes, flush with water as soon as possible.

If you can't go to all of the trouble of buying hydrogen peroxide at your local drug store, then a 2% vinegar solution will help a bit. But please, don't bother with the old tomato juice tactic unless you want to smell like skunk + tomato.

Skunk trapped

Any trapped animal MUST be released where it was trapped by law. To release a skunk, approach the trap with the tarp held up in front of you to protect from spray. Usually the skunk will stamp and warn the approaching tarp until it is set down on the trap. The smell will be bad, but the tarp will be the recipient of it. Give the skunk some time to settle down, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Do not move the trap it is required by law to release it right at the site where caught unless it is caught under your house. It can be moved from under the house to the yard, but make sure all areas needing reinforcement are securely closed. The animal will move on if there are no attractants left (food or shelter). If areas are not secure, the animal will simply move back in. If you move the animal without taking away attractants such as food or shelter, someone else will move in.


Skunk out during the day

Skunks are often out during the day; they may have been awakened from their sleep by a predator, disturbance or hunger. In less populated areas, skunks are out hunting frequently during the day. As with most wildlife, they pose NO danger to humans. They are more afraid of you than you are of them. Most likely the animal is perfectly healthy but if you notice the animals is circling, falling over or having a hard time getting up, contact the Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue (707) 526-WILD

Click on Skunks to see more information about this animal.

A Wildlife Exclusion Service • 403 Mecham Rd, Petaluma 94952 • (707) 992-0276
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