Skunks: A Blessing and a Curse
Skunks are frequently seen in the Capital Region and can be considered both a blessing and a curse. As a carnivore, skunks will feed on rodents considered harmful to humans such as moles, shrews, ground squirrels, rats, mics, and other small mammals. They also enjoy crickets, beetles, grasshoppers, and other types of insect larvae so they can be effective at keeping insect populations in check.
However, despite these good points, skunks can be a nuisance to homes and neighborhoods by causing property damage and doing harm to domestic animal populations. For example, skunks eat garden vegetables and fruit, damage lawns when foraging for insects, burrow under foundations and decks, and tear up golf courses. Skunks also carry serious health concerns such as rabies. The striped skunk has the second highest recorded rabies cases within the United States, beat only by raccoons. Also, the odorous fluid used to repel predators can cause pain and temporary blindness if it gets into the eyes of humans or pets. These reasons and more can lead locals to look into skunk removal services.
Signs of a Skunk Infestation
Often times the first sign of a skunk in your yard comes only after an unsuspecting child or pet is sprayed. Aside from the smell, the damaging caused by foraging is an indicator of skunk activity. You will notice furrows in the ground, rolled back sod, or trash bags torn open. Since skunks are nocturnal animals, you will most likely spot them roaming around at night.
How to Get Rid of Skunks
Skunk removal is not always an easy task. Skunks are shy, nocturnal creatures. One of the easiest ways to discourage skunks from taking up residence in your yard or garden is to add additional outside lighting to your property. Once a skunk has taken up residence, getting rid of them is not an easy task. Enlisting the help of a pest control professional who has experience in wildlife removal is a great first step. They can help you identify the best ways to repel skunks. They will also know the local laws in regards to trapping and relocating any skunks that have already taken up residence. For example, it is illegal in New York to live trap a skunk and release it in another area. Relocating a skunk that has become a nuisance must be done by a licensed professional.