Skunks over the years have become accustomed to humans, and thrive in semi-open agricultural areas, mixed woods, meadows and even urban areas where they can easily find food and shelter. Skunks readily adapt to the urban environment and their offensive odour and habit of digging holes in lawns in search of insect larvae, makes it a rather unwelcomed urban resident.
Skunks are burrowing animals found in almost all parts of Ontario. Skunks are omnivorous; they feed on grubs, insects, small rodents, carrion, fruits and vegetables. Local skunks breed from February to March; gestation is eight weeks – they produce four to seven young which are usually independent by mid-summer. Skunks are active all year but may be dormant during periods of extended cold. They are attracted to spaces under porches, sheds, woodpiles, rocks or debris, garbage, pet food and open compost containers or compost piles.
Skunks are usually attracted to lawns and gardens, especially after a rainfall when grubs and larvae are near the surface. Skunks dig small round holes, and in some cases, roll up large chunks of sod. The combination of grubs feeding on the grass root system and the skunks digging the grubs and larvae out of the soil to feed on them does a fair job of destroying a beautiful grass lawn.
The most notorious feature of skunks is their anal scent glands, which they can use as a defensive weapon. They are similar to, though much more developed than, the glands found in species of the Mustelidae family. Skunks have two glands, one on either side of the anus, that produce a mixture of sulfur-containing chemicals (methyl and butyl thiols (mercaptans)) that have a highly offensive smell that can be described as a combination of the odors of rotten eggs, garlic and burnt rubber. The odor of the fluid is strong enough to ward off bears and other potential attackers, and can be difficult to remove from clothing. Muscles located next to the scent glands allow them to spray with high accuracy as far as 2 to 5 metres (7 to 15 ft). The smell aside, the spray can cause irritation and even temporary blindness, and is sufficiently powerful to be detected by even an insensitive human nose anywhere up to a mile (1.5 km) downwind.
Our Humane Approach is best
Our focus on customer education and using the latest humane removal & prevention techniques makes us a front-runner in urban wildlife control. We provide expert repairs to keep animals out of the attic and home.
Hands-on Humane Removal and Exclusion with wire mesh screening are the methods which are the most effective, successful methods of skunk removal and control. Our professional staff have the necessary knowledge and experience to resolve your problem very quickly. We provide complete roof and siding repairs and can install or repair deterrents like chimney caps and vent covers which provide good skunk pest control prevention.
There are many other companies out there, but not all are licensed and insured professionals like the experts at GTA Wildlife Removal & Pest Control Ltd.
ABOUT THE SKUNK
Skunks (AKA polecats) are mammals best known for their ability to excrete a strong, foul-smelling odour. General appearance ranges from species to species from black and white to brown or cream colored. They belong to the family Mephitidae and to the order Carnivora. There are 11 species of skunks, which are divided into four genera: Mephitis (hooded and striped skunks), Spilogale (spotted skunks), Mydaus (stink badgers), and Conepatus (hog-nosed skunks). The two skunk species in the Mydaus genus inhabit Indonesia and the Philippines; all other skunks inhabit the Americas from Canada to central South America.
Skunks are about the size of a common house cat and vary in size from about 15.6 to 37 inches (40 to 70 cm) and in weight from about 1.1 pounds (0.5 kg) for spotted skunks to 18 pounds (8.2 kg) for hog-nosed skunks. They have a moderately elongated body with rather short, well-muscled legs, and long front claws for digging.
Although the most common fur color is black and white, some skunks are brown or gray, and a few types are cream-colored. All skunks are striped. They may have a single thick stripe across back and tail, two thinner stripes, or a series of white spots and broken stripes (in the case of the spotted skunk). Some also have stripes on their legs.
Skunks are one of the primary predators of the honeybee, relying on their thick fur to protect them from stings. The skunk scratches at the front of the beehive and then eats the guard bees that come out to investigate.
Skunks do not hibernate in the winter.but do remain generally inactive. They often overwinter in a huddle of one male and multiple females (as many as twelve) . The same den is often used repeatedly. Skunks typically mate in early spring and are a polygynous - males usually mate with more than one female. Before giving birth (usually in May), the female will excavate a den to house her litter of four to seven kits - gestation period is about 66 days.
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