Tag Archives: skunk removal Chicago

Common Skunk Myths

SkunkNow that we’re well into summer, you’ve probably smelled that familiar musky odor that can only be a skunk more than a few times. While skunks are a commonly known critter, there are still many myths about them. Since this is the time of year for increased skunk activity, it’s a perfect opportunity to dispel some myths about our smelly friends.

Common Skunk Myths

  1. Tomato juice will remove the smell of skunk spray.

We’ve all heard this one. In fact, you probably know someone who has bathed themselves or their pet in tomato after an unintended encounter with a skunk. Unfortunately, bathing in tomato juice will only make you smell like, well, tomato juice. And once the tomato juice smell goes away, you’ll be back to smelling like a skunk. See, a skunk smell is so strong your nose actually gets used to it by binding your smell receptors. This phenomenon is called olfactory fatigue.

  1. Skunks will spray you if you get too close.

Skunks only spray when they feel threatened or are frightened. It is their natural defense against predators and that’s what they use it for. If you find yourself close to a skunk avoid making rapid or quick movements or shouting. Dogs usually only get sprayed when they start jumping toward the skunk and/or bark. Simply walk away slowly and you should be just fine.

  1. Since skunks are nocturnal, they only come out at night.

Skunks are indeed nocturnal, but that does not mean they only come out at night. Some come out during the day to search for food if a predator has been preventing them from venturing out at night or a mother has been tending to her young.

  1. Fox urine is a skunk repellant.

Sorry to disappoint, but fox urine will not repel a skunk. The conventional wisdom was, if you spread fox urine the skunk would smell it and be frightened away since the fox is a natural predator. If skunks always ran away from fox urine, they wouldn’t have too many places to go in the wild.

As soon as you suspect you may have a skunk infestation, call us immediately at 847-464-1861 for removal. We are trained professionals and equipped to deal with wild animals.

Protecting Your Yard From Skunks

Skunk in a yardSkunks may not look very threatening, and they are not, but they can be a nuisance for your yard. In fact, they are capable of doing quite a bit of damage to property if you do not properly protect your yard. Follow these techniques to protect your yard against skunks.

Did A Skunk Move In?

First, be sure a skunk moved in. You will most likely smell its strong, musky odor before you see it! Another clue is 3-4 inch holes in your yard and around the exterior of your home.

Prevent Denning

If you see any holes around your yard, fill them loosely with leaves, straw, soil, crumpled up paper, and other similar materials. Filling it loosely with these types of things allows for an animal who may be in there to safely escape. After a few nights, if you see the material is undisturbed, you can permanently fill in the hole.

Make Your Yard Unattractive To Skunks

Now that the warm summer months are here, it is not unheard of to feed our pets outside. The only problem is skunks (and other creatures) love pet food as much as our pets. If you have to feed your pet outdoors, it is best to remove the food and dishes as soon as your pet is finished. Additionally, skunks are attracted to garbage. Try to limit the time your garbage is out and if you leave it in a place like a garage, keep that area secure so skunks can not get in. Another way to make your yard unattractive to skunks is to avoid over watering your lawn. Skunks dig for grubs and when the soil is drier, the grubs are further down and more difficult for skunks to reach. If finding food in your yard is challenging, a skunk will move on somewhere else.
If you suspect you have a skunk infestation, call Attic Solutions immediately at 847-464-1861 for removal. We are trained professionals and equipped to deal with wild animals.

Spring is the Mating Season for Skunks

The spring season is the beginning of new life and also the mating season for many animals around the Chicago area, including the skunk.

As the weather starts to warm up, skunks increase their activity and begin their mating rituals in which female skunks will spray rejected male skunks and put their smell into the air.

Homeowners should keep an eye out for skunks around their property because they become more active during mating season.

If a skunk has become a problem around your home, it is best to call an animal control professional to remove it. For skunk removal in Chicagoland call 847-464-1861.

 

When is skunk mating season?

Skunk mating habits - Image © Michael Jastremski

© Michael Jastremski for openphoto.net

Mating season for skunks will usually begin as early as February, slightly earlier than other types of wildlife.

The mating season may begin later in March if the weather and snow have created a more severe winter.

Older female skunks will seek out mates earlier than females born the previous year.

Related post: Skunks in winter – do they hibernate?

 

Skunk Mating Season and Habits

Males will begin searching for females mates in February or March. Usually, they will search within a mile or two of their den but they may travel up to 5 or six miles if they need to.

You will often become aware of the start of skunk mating season because, after a few months of skunk odor having disappeared, it comes back again, sometimes even when snow is still on the ground.

The increase in skunk smell is because they have become active again after resting in a state of torpor. It is also because female skunks that have rejected potential mates will spray and release aroma to send their rejected suitors away.

Related: Skunk smell removal recipe

Male skunks can seek out and mate with more than one female in a season. After mating, they will have little contact with the mother or her litter.

 

Baby skunks

Once a female has successfully mated, she will seek out a new den for her litter. She will give birth to 4-8 babies (called kits) but sometimes more or as few as one.

Related: Skunk nest identification and removal

The baby skunks have a gestation period of a little over 60 days. The skunk kits skunk kits are born blind and deaf, appearing pink colored with only a light layer of fur.

It will take three weeks before their eyes open. They will nurse for the first two months but still remain with the mother until they are a year old and ready to mate. The mother will protect the babies with your spray. The father will not take part in raising them.

 

Types of Skunks

There are four species of skunk that are found in the United States: the striped skunk, the spotted skunk, the hog-nosed skunk, and the hooded skunk.

The striped skunk is the most common type found in the Chicago area.

It is easy to identify by the narrow white stripe that extends from the top of the nose to the forehead. It has a white patch on the back of the neck which tapers into a single large white stripe extending to the shoulders before splitting into two stripes down the top or sides of the back.

If you’ve seen a skunk in Illinois, it was probably a striped skunk. It’s what most people think of when they visualize what a skunk looks like.

The spotted skunk is rare in Illinois and usually seen in the eastern United States.  Hooded skunks are found in southwestern deserts and the hog-nosed skunk is also found mostly in the southwestern regions of the U.S.

Each skunk type has stocky legs and large feet with claws that are excellent for digging. They will all be approximately the size of a typical housecat and all will defend themselves with that famously stinky skunk spray.

 

Damage from Skunks

Skunks can be a nuisance to homeowners with their burrowing, odor secretions, and their potential to spread diseases.  The burrowing causes the most problems as skunks may dig under porches, sheds, and decks and may even enter buildings through the foundation.

They also dig up lawns in search of grubs and have been known to dig through unsecured garbage.  Their secretions are another potential nuisance as skunks are very defensive and may spray when they feel threatened by people or pets.

Related: What animal is digging in my garden?

If a skunk bites a human or another animal, they could spread diseases such as rabies and Leptospirosis among others.

 

Professional skunk removal

Skunk Removal Service Chicago AreaFor professional skunk removal services in the Chicago suburban area, contact Attic Solutions for humane removal of skunks and other pests.

Attic Solutions specializes in locating and sealing burrows, trapping and removing skunks, and fixing damage to your home.

Contact us online or call 847-464-1861

Skunk mural image © Michael Jastremski for openphoto.net