Do you know skunks?Skunk, also called polecat, is primarily found in the Western Hemisphere. They would use extremely well-developed scent glands to release a noxious odour in defense. The skunks are usually active at night. They are diverse carnivores that live in a wide variety of habitats, including deserts, forests, and mountains. Most are about the size of a housecat, but some are significantly smaller.
The common striped skunk is found from central Canada southward throughout the United States to northern Mexico. Its fur is typically black with a white “V” down the back, and it has a white bar between the eyes, so is the rare hooded skunk (M. macroura) of the southwestern United States. For the hooded skunk, stripes are not always present, and white areas on the back are interspersed with black fur, which gives it a gray appearance. The “hood” is the result of long hairs at the back of the neck.
This article will help you know more about them and how to get rid of bees and wasps:
ScentSkunk scent comes from anal glands located inside the rectum at the base of the tail. All carnivores have anal scent glands, but they are extremely well-developed in skunks. Each of the two glands has a nipple associated with it, and skunks can aim the spray with highly coordinated muscle control. When a skunk is being chased by a predator but cannot see it, the spray is emitted as an atomized cloud that the pursuer must run through. This usually is enough to deter most predators. When the skunk has a target to focus on, the spray is emitted as a stream directed at the predator’s face. Although accurate to about two meters (more than six feet), its total range is considerably farther.
A skunk will go through a series of threat behaviors before it sprays. Striped and hooded skunks will face an adversary head-on and stamp their front paws, sometimes charging forward a few paces or edging backward while dragging their front paws. When they actually spray, they can simultaneously face their head and tail at the antagonist. Hog-nosed skunks stand up on their hind paws and slam their front paws to the ground while hissing loudly. Spotted skunks perform a handstand and approaching predators. Stink badgers snarl, show their teeth and stamp their forefeet. They also have been observed to feign death, with the anal area directed at the observer. The chemical composition of skunk spray differs among species, but sulfur compounds (thiols and thioacetates) are primarily responsible for its strength.
Natural habitSkunks acts alone except during breeding season. But in colder climates, females may stay together. After mating, the male is driven off, and the female raises 2 to 12 kids alone. Kids are born from about the end of April to the early of June. Breeding normally happens in the spring, except in the Western spotted skunk, which breeds in the autumn but the birth would delay about 150 days.
Striped skunks are common in their family. Even they have a unique system of defense, they might be eaten by great horned owls but also by eagles, crows, vultures, coyotes, foxes, dogs, bobcats, mountain lions, American badgers, and even humans. Civets, cats, and humans would prey stink badgers. Cars are a major cause of death for skunks in the United States.
The Problem With SkunksSkunks are not the biggest size wildlife that will break into your garden, as they’re no bigger than house cats. However, they might be the most troublesome animals to deal with. When skunks emit a spray from their ass. This pungent odor will remain on your clothes and skin even after many times washings.
Fortunately, most predators get scared off by the black and white clothing of the skunks, which is why they seldom use their spray. However, if you bother a skunk in your yard, your chances of getting sprayed would be high. Along with an intense smell, this spray can cause serious harm for humans, even lead to death when close contact is involved. Skunks are also carriers of rabies, other dangerous diseases, and parasitic insects.
Would the best strategy is to not bother with them?
Well, not exactly. If left unattended, skunks can do a lot of damage to your garden and yard. If you’re a gardener, skunks may be your worst nightmare. They will dig large holes in the lawn or flower beds, to search their food like grubs or other insects. Putting all of your hard work to waste. Also, if you have pets that venture too close to a skunk, they might spray the pets and the pets might bring this repugnant odor into the house.
1. As with most wildlife, citrus scents can repel skunks. Place orange peels and lemon peels around the yard would be helpful.
2. If you’re wondering: “What do skunks eat?” the answer is simple: anything. They will go through your garbage and find anything they could eat. They will eat fallen fruit; they will scavenge your bird feeder, they will gobble up whatever you leave out for your pets. Take a walk around your house and see if food is easily found. Remove all food sources, and they would have no reason to come in.
3. With the excellent sense of smell – much more so than humans. Making your own skunk deterrent with ammonia is very easy. Leaving a bowl of the mixture of ammonia and water in areas the animals normally appear. Or soaking rags in the liquid and hanging them in such locations.
4. Another good option for a homemade skunk deterrent is to use mothballs. Mothballs repel skunks because they are made of para-dichlorobenzene, a chemical that causes nausea and dizziness. You can drop a few mothballs into an old stocking and hanging it up in your garden. Give it a few days and you’ll see for yourself that mothballs and skunks are like oil and water.
5. The best ingredients for a natural skunk repellent are spices. Make your homemade skunk repellent by mixing chopped onions, a couple of jalapeno peppers, and a tablespoon of cayenne pepper in a bowl of water. Allow it to boil for at least 20 minutes. Strain the concoction to remove the solids and place them in a spray bottle. Use this skunk repellent spray on anything from your fence to your plants. It’s all-natural and non-toxic, so it’s safe for the environment. Just make sure to reapply this every 3-5 days, or after it rains, or after you hose down your garden or fence. This natural skunk deterrent relies on its irritating aroma, and if the smell dissipates or is washed away, it won’t work anymore. Note: If you searched for how to get rid of skunks with chocolate, it is not recommended! Because chocolate can kill skunks. It contains theobromine that is extremely toxic to skunks - just like dogs. There are more humane methods.
6. Since skunks are normally active at night, bright lights in the yard can scare them off. Obviously, lighting up the yard for the whole night is unrealistic, but you can use a solar sensor light scarer to scare them.
7. Skunk repellent granules would be a good choice for burrowing skunks. They’re in solid form and blend in with the soil, so skunks can not easily remove them. Just put a handful into the existing skunk holes every few days, you’ll be able to keep skunks away from your garden. You might ask what repels skunks in the granules. They work because using a scent that makes skunks feel bad.
8. Set a trap up during the day, making sure to cover up all other possible entry points. Place it somewhere you’re sure the skunk hangs out. Use a bait that smells irresistible to the creature like sardines, bacon, canned tuna, or chicken innards. The skunk will go out at night but will not be able to go back. Once you’ve set your trap, check it frequently. A trapped animal left alone in the trap may get sick from the weather or even die. This is not what the point of the trap is. Before releasing skunks into the wild, please contact your local wildlife control center for guidelines. And follow the regulations or laws in your place.
9. Piles of wood or old, unused materials, overgrown bushes, old animal burrows, compost heaps, and rotting, hollow trees, and sheds that have holes as entry points are considered prime real estate for skunks. Remove piles of junk, trim the bushes, and regularly remove compost. Fill up any holes left by other animals. Pile up your wood properly, so there are no little spaces for skunks to crawl into. Repair cracks and openings to your shed or house foundation. Make sure that all drain pipes are covered. A clutter-free and bright yard give skunks no place to hide.
10. A motion detection sprinkler could be the solution to your prayers. The shuffling of the animal sets off the sensor and a jet of water suddenly erupts with a whirring noise. The combination of water and noise is a non-toxic, harmless, and natural way to get rid of skunks.
11. Build a fence around your property. Use a strong PVC garden mesh with small holes to secure your home. You can install this on an existing wood post fencing to be able to keep out smaller animals.
12. Sonic skunk repellent would help. Because the eyesight of skunks is lack, but they have an excellent sense of hearing. They use this to listen to mating calls and to detect danger. So if you’re wondering how to scare away a skunk, one easy way is by taking advantage of their sensitive ears. The best way to get rid of skunks is to make your garden an unlivable habitat. If a skunk hears this annoying sound whenever it enters your property, he’s less likely to return. This is where a sonic skunk repellent comes in. Simply install it on the ground and turn it on.
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