A member of the weasel family, there are 4 species of skunks found throughout the US and Canada. The Striped Skunk, the Spotted Skunk, the Hooded Skunk, and the Hog nosed Skunk are the four species of skunks with the Striped Skunk being the most prevalent species. In some areas the Spotted Skunk may be a protected species.
Adult skunks begin breeding in late February and Yearling skunks (year old females) start breeding at the end of March. The gestation period lasts from 7-10 weeks. Litters from 4-6 are common, and the young stay with the female through the fall. A skunk can live to be about 10 years but it is more common for them to live 3 years in the wild. The great horned owl is the natural enemy of the skunk, but automobiles are a common cause of death of the skunk. The skunk’s territory can span 30-40 acres.
Skunks are considered beneficial for farmers, gardeners and land owners as they are known to eat insects that are dangerous for people. Black widow spiders, scorpions, moles, rats and mice are common staples in the diet. They become a nuisance when breeding and habitation areas overlay with people.
Why Use Home Remedies for Skunks?
Skunks rarely attack unless provoked. Before spraying the skunk will growl, stomp the ground, fluff its fur and shake its tail or spit. The chemical it sprays is a form of sulfur known as N- bulymercaptan.
Home Remedies for Deterring Skunks
Skunks chose an area for their den based upon safety and availability of food. Open pet food outside, easy access to garbage or even pet door access that allows them to feed from pet dishes in the house are encouraging aspects for skunks. Eliminating the food sources will discourage skunk populations.
Moth balls or moth flakes may also deter skunks. Fill a sock with moth balls and leave it outside the opening to the skunk den. The hole in the ground may have the tell tale scent of the skunk. Moth balls in a jar with holes in the lid may also discourage the skunks.
More Skunk Home Remedies
Dust the opening of the den with flour and cayenne pepper. The flour will allow you to see the tracks to know if the skunk has taken in the pepper. Cayenne is a natural deterrent.
Fill the opening to the den with dirt. The skunk will burrow out, moving the dirt. This will allow you to see if the den is active. Avoid doing anything to trap new born skunks in the den, so from April to June is the likely time frame for new born skunks to be in the den.
Use a one way door on the den. This allows the skunk to leave the den but not to return. Again, do not use this method if there are newborn skunks in the den.