Tag Archives: skunk removal

Skunk Nest Identification and Removal

skunk nest identification and removal

Do you think you might have a skunk burrow in your yard, under your porch, or shed?

That is the kind of unwanted guest nobody wants on their property!

Skunks are not usually aggressive or dangerous, but if you cross paths at the wrong time, they sure can be stinky.

A skunk might not spray you, but you might still end up wondering what to do when your dog gets sprayed.

In this post, we discuss how to identify a skunk nest and what you can do to remove a skunk from your yard.

 

Skunk habitats

Skunk prepared to spraySkunks are native to the Chicagoland area and to much of North America. Many estimates say that there are more skunks in the Chicago area than ever before because of a series of mild winters and early springs.

Stripes skunks originally were most often found in rural, wooded areas, but skunks are fairly tolerant of humans and can be found in suburban and urban areas.

They will live anywhere there is a shelter with access to food and water. Skunks rarely travel farther than 1-2 miles from their den, so they will be found nesting near food and water sources.

 

Where do skunks nest?

Skunks will often move into the abandoned den of another animal such as into a hole dug by a woodchuck or fox. If an existing burrow or shelter is not available, skunks are capable of digging their own.

They will also build a nest in hollow logs, under brushes, woodpiles, culverts, and even open prairies and lands.

Skunks will also move into human areas, especially under porches and sheds, but also garages or abandoned buildings.

Related: What animal is digging in my garden?

 

Skunk burrows

Skunk Removal ServicesThe entrance to a skunk burrow will usually be around eight inches in diameter. Usually, there will be more than one entrance, sometimes as many as four or five.

The burrow will often have more than one chamber, sometimes up to three or four. Skunks will use grass and leaves to line the den.

Sometimes the skunk burrow is identifiable because of that unmistakable skunk odor. However, that is not always the case, which can sometimes make finding the den a challenge.

Related: Skunk Spray FAQ

 

How to locate the skunk nest

First of all, use caution when seeking out the skunk nest! You don’t want to startle the skunk at close range and find yourself the victim of its foul spray. A skunk can hit a target up to ten feet away.

Skunks are most active at dusk, so the best time to do your search is during the afternoon when it is likely to be asleep.

Sometimes the hole may be visible and identifiable by its smell. If you cannot find the burrow by following the skunk smell to its nest, you will have to use another way to search it out.

One trick that people use is to leave out a food source as bait, for example, peanut butter because of it’s strong smell, and then surround the bait with flour all around it. If the skunk comes for the food, you may be able to follow the tracks back to it’s home.

To confirm the den is occupied, you can lay or lightly tape a sheet of newspaper over the hole during daylight hours. If you come back the next day, you should be able to tell if the newspaper was disturbed by the skunk exiting the burrow.

Once you have confirmed the skunk residence, you can then plan how to have it removed.

Related: Protecting your yard from skunks

 

Skunk removal

Record number of skunks in ChicagolandOnce you have identified a skunk nest, your next step will be to try and figure out a way to remove them.

Keep in mind that skunks are a protected species in Illinois. They may only be removed with a permit from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. It is not legal to poison skunks.

Related: Permit to remove wildlife in Illinois

If you want to attempt to drive skunks away on your own, try to make their living environment unpleasant.  Skunks do not like loud sounds, bright lights or strong smells. Use these to your advantage.

Shine a bright light onto their den area. Find an old radio and set it to a talk radio station and place it by their entrance playing loud enough for them to hear it all day. Soak a rag in ammonia and place it near their nest entrance to irritate them with the odor. Ironically, skunks are irritated by strong odors.

After removal, take steps to deter skunks in the future: remove food and water sources, mow overgrown grass and brush, and remove wood piles that could be attractive dens. Fence or screen areas under porches, decks, and sheds.

Make sure after the skunks have left to fill in the den with rocks and soil. As we said earlier, skunks are fond of premade burrows, and if one skunk found it attractive, it’s very likely another one will.

 

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.

Contact us online or call 847-464-1861


 

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.

Preventing Wildlife From Entering Your Home

Summertime in the Chicagoland area usually means warm weather and longer days. It also means animals are out moving about and mothers are teaching their young how to forage. This time of the year you need to keep a lookout for animals who just might be trying to take up residence in your home. And they do not plan on paying rent!

Raccoons

Raccoons

We need some water!

Raccoons love food and there is an abundance of that this time of year, thanks to picnics and barbeques. Be sure to bring in your garbage cans as quickly as possible (try not to leave them out overnight), and keep any exterior porch or garage doors shut.

Opossums

I hope they don't see me!

Just hanging around!

Opossums are shy animals that only act scary to frighten away would-be predators. These meek creatures spend their nights in search of food, and now that it is warm out there is a tendency to have our pets and our pets’ food outdoors. If you leave pet food out, you can bet you will have an opossum taking up residency shortly. To keep them out, remove any food and do not feed your pets outside.

Birds

So what do we do now!

So what do we do now!

Now that is has warmed up, the birds are flying north again! Be on the lookout for any that may have nested in your chimney, attic vents or soffits, or vents. While all the birds have likely hatched by now, some may have decided to call your house their home. Permanently. If you are just looking to prevent any birds from moving in, consider a chimney cap and wire mesh around any exterior vent or soffit openings.

Small Rodents

Wood mouse

I sure hope no one sees me here!

These nocturnal creatures are out and about now that it is nice out. Window wells are an easy spot for these opportunistic animals to sneak in. To animal-proof your window wells, consider putting a plastic or metal grates over them.

Skunks

skunk-687964_640

Who can I tag next!

While we’re past full-blown skunk season in Chicago (it’s generally February through late March), there are still plenty of these smelly creatures around. Skunks aren’t much for foraging, so they go where the ground is soft and there are plenty of people. Skunks have been known to burrow under decks and porches, and an outdoor motion-activated floodlight might help scare them away before they move in.

And of course you have your deer, coyotes, squirrels, turtles, and foxes… Just hanging

What To Look For In An Animal Removal Company

Opossum RemovalDiscovering you have an uninvited animal living in your home can be both frightening and stressful. Wild animals can cause damages that are costly to fix and may even pose a health hazard. Not only can removing wild animals from your home be dangerous, there may also be laws and ordinances you aren’t even aware of governing the procedure. If you find yourself needing to hire a professional animal removal company, there are several factors you should take in to consideration.

Methodology

How does the animal removal company actually remove the animals? Attic Solutions believes in the providing the most humane animal removal service possible. Attic Solutions is also well versed in state wildlife law as well as local ordinances pertaining to animals and animal removal.

Services

Rat RemovalSome animal removal companies offer full services, like Attic Solutions, while others only do the basics. Attic Solutions is committed to not only catching the wild critter, but also repairing any damage they may have caused and repairing their point of entry. Attic Solutions believes it is important to offer a full range of services and make sure your home is fully restored.

Sometimes, you may not have a live animal causing the problems. If you are dealing with a carcass, many times local Animal Control agencies will not perform removal. A private animal removal company like Attic Solutions can do the dirty work for you.

What Animals?

You will want to look at what types of animals a company. Is it primarily pest control? Rodents only? Or, is it a full-service company that can assist with you a variety of creatures? Attic Solutions has trained animal-removal professionals who are qualified to assist with a wide range of animals.

Cost

Pricing is an important factor as well when choosing an animal removal company. Find out if the company charges by the hour, by the job, or even by the number of animals. Many times you might think you only have one little critter living rent-free in your home when really that one little critter has his entire extended family moved in!

Always err on the side of caution and do not try to wild animals on your own. Without realizing it, you could endanger yourself or the animal, or even be in violation of a law or ordinance. Call a trained professional like Attic Solutions who are familiar with humane and effective animal removal procedures.

Increased Skunk Activity Chicago

There has been a marked increase of skunk activity in the local area recently. Skunks may not look very menacing, but they can do a lot of damage to homes and property as well as our health. This can be a concern for homeowners because skunks typically go dormant for a month in winter and they be looking for a warm place to nest.

How Do You Know If A Skunk Moved In?

You will probably smell a skunk before you see one. Some clues a skunk has decided to move in on your property include that strong, musky odor in areas such as under the deck or porch, or near woodpiles. Skunks are not unknown to take up residence in an open garage or shed as well. Skunks dig and burrow, so be aware of any holes, typically 3-4 inches, in your yard, garden, and around your home exterior. Skunks are nocturnal animals, so if you hear noise at night under your porch, deck, or other buildings, this may also be a good indication they moved in.

Can Skunks Do Damage To My Property?

Yes! Unfortunately, skunks can be quite a nuisance. Your yard and garden may be damaged by a skunk searching for food or burrowing. Skunks often seek shelter under porches, decks, and crawlspaces. These animals are adept diggers and look for the easiest point of entry, including a hole or crack in your foundation, which can undermine it. Once they find a comfortable spot, especially as it gets colder out, they may make a den. Attic Solutions specializes in locating and sealing burrows, trapping and removing skunks, and fixing damage to your home.

Can Skunks Do Damage To My Health?

While a skunk’s biggest threat is its smell, they are primary carriers of rabies (along with bats, foxes, and raccoons). Skunks may also carry distemper, which can be lethal to dogs and cats. If you encounter a skunk, move away slowly to avoid a smelly confrontation!


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 skunk exclusion and removal, including humane live animal trapping (never poisons!). Learn more about our skunk removal services or fill out our contact form.

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

Skunk Removal ServicesOnce 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

Skunk FAQ FactsSkunks 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