Animals digging in your yard? Skunk odors? Skunks under your home or porch? These are oftentimes indicators that skunks are living on or near your property. Call your local Critter Control office today at 800 CRITTER for effective skunk removal and exclusion services. Description Skunks can be found across the continental United States and are known for their acrid, pungent odor and black and white stripes. Their musk, which is produced by a pair of anal scent glands, can be smelled over great distances. The bodily chemicals that produce the odor act as an irritant to multiple senses and may even lead to temporary blindness. Nocturnal and omnivorous, skunks eat many different foods, such as small insects, amphibians, rodents, and garbage. Appearance About the size of a domestic cat, skunks are easily recognizable for their black fur with white markings down their backs. Depending on the species, skunks may also appear black with white spots and striping. The animal has a small, triangular-shaped head with short ears and black eyes. Skunks have short, stout legs and five-toed feet used for digging. Habitat The mammal is found in wooded areas, open fields, pastures, and open lands bordering forested regions. Mostly active at night, skunks typically use burrows abandoned by other animals to build dens but will also use hollow logs, piles of brush, and culverts to avoid detection. They may also enter residential areas, where they den under porches, decks, or even buildings themselves. Entry Are skunks known to enter homes or yards? Skunks will enter yards in search of new food sources or to find suitable dens. The striped animals are omnivores that feed on insects, earthworms, small rodents, snakes, frogs, berries, and fruit. Once near human habitation, that may expand their diet to include garbage, unattended pet food, and garden plants. Damage Do skunks harm people or property? While skunks are an important source of insect control, most human and skunk interactions are negative. Skunks carry various diseases harmful to both humans and domesticated animals, such as rabies, tularemia, and distemper. Additionally, they can host disease-causing parasites such as fleas, mites, ticks, and tapeworms. Skunk digging habits damage lawns, gardens, and golf courses. When threatened or cornered, skunks can shoot their defensive spray up to twenty feet. This mode of defense has been known to cause nausea and even intense pain, especially when shot directly in the eyes. Control and Safety The best way to reduce the chances of incurring a skunk infestation is to modify your home and yard. Secure trash cans, remove pet food from outdoor areas, and carefully monitor the amount of moisture around the home, as skunks eat insects and grubs that thrive in moist settings. Homeowners should also attempt to close off possible denning sites, such as under porches or sheds. Keeping pets indoors at night helps prevent accidental spraying. Trapping and Removal Although skunk encounters occur on a fairly regular basis, the pests should never be handled without the help of a professional. When threatened, skunks discharge their spray, and the smell is difficult to remove and causes serious irritation to the skin and eyes. Calling in a wildlife specialist is imperative for proper skunk removal, as professional specialists possess the knowledge, tools, and training to resolve skunk problems humanely and effectively. We can help you get rid of skunk problems. Call today: 1.800.274.8837.