The skunk is a nocturnal mammal that is a frequent concern for some home and business owners. There are two species across the front range of Colorado with the Striped Skunk being the most common followed by the elusive Western Spotted Skunk. The striped skunk has an average body length of 20 to 30 inches and weighs about 4 to 10 pounds. They have a black base with white stripe down their back and tail. They are best known for their scent glad that can produce a pungent defense odor when provoked. They breed once yearly with a gestation of 59 to 77 days and have litters of 2 to 12 kits. The Western Spotted Skunk is much smaller and inhabits the foothills. They are 14 to 18 inches long and weigh 12 to 26 ounces with males being slightly larger than females. They are black and creamy white with three longitudinal stripes on each side and three vertical stripes on their hind parts. Common problems associated with skunks include interactions with pets who get sprayed, denning during winter months, or breeding and digging up of turfgrass in search of food. Skunks prefer an insect diet but will eat whatever is available during the winter months when food is scarce.
Treatments for Skunks
There are two main methods regarding skunk mitigation: trapping and one-way doors. Time of year is the most important factor when choosing which approach to use. During spring months, we are cautious when they are denning because of babies. All efforts are made to determine whether there are kits present before we install a one-way door or set traps with the use of a snake camera that can be placed inside the den. If the skunk does have kits, it is common to wait until the kits are old enough to come out of the den on their own before work begins so we do not separate mother from young. Our first goal is to always set one-way doors so that the skunk is forced to find a new home without us having to handle the animal. Another major reason for this preference is that a trapped skunk is required to be euthanized by state law due to the possibility of disease transmission (Rabies). We strive to not euthanize and prefer to use one-way doors whenever possible. In other situations, we are forced to trap. In situations when skunks have created dens, we offer exclusion services to seal off those areas to prevent them or other skunks from returning in the future.
All NOCO Pest and Wildlife Control exclusion services come with a one-year warranty against the skunks getting back inside. When we use one-way doors to evict skunks, we fully guarantee that we will get all the skunks out of the structure. Trapping is very successful, but we cannot always guarantee that we capture all the skunks in the area, nor it that our plan. Our goal is to only trap the skunks causing the problems. If you are unfortunate enough to have a skunk spray on your property or underneath the structure in the crawlspace, you know all too well how unpleasant the odor is. It will take time for the smell to go away and another way to speed up that process is through an ozone machine. The machine will help break down the odor molecules and we have had great results with these machines. We do not offer these machines at this time, but they can be commonly found and rented at local equipment rental stores.