It’s a smell we are all too familiar with in the suburbs of southern Ontario: the musky lingering smell of a skunk in your neighbourhood. As humans continue encroaching on animals’ natural habitats, several species of nuisance wildlife have learned to prosper in our man-made environments. Fewer have adapted, as well as the skunk. Often unfairly branded as nuisances—they have proven to be one of nature’s most adaptable creatures. They find the changing landscapes of human habitation more advantageous than we ever anticipated.
At Home Free Wildlife and Pest Removal, we understand the delicate balance between human and wildlife habitation. We’ve been in the business long enough to see firsthand how skunks easily carve out a life amidst our homes and gardens with their adaptable lifestyles and diets. Here’s what we’ve learned about these creatures and how we can live together with a smile, not a wrinkle on our noses.
Omnivore: Skunk Feeding Habits
When it’s time for sustenance, skunks aren’t picky eaters. These cute critters don’t limit themselves to a strict diet—they’re more than happy to indulge in a smorgasbord of insects, scavenged fruits, nuts, and tiny rodents. Their versatile palate helps them thrive just about anywhere food can be found.
While we admire their adaptability, it also makes our backyards a veritable buffet for these critters. Overturned bins and raided vegetable patches are often the first signs of a skunk’s presence. And, while Fido’s food bowl might be meant for your pet, a skunk doesn’t see signs claiming “Dog Food Only.” Understanding these feeding habits opens pathways to simple preventative measures. Secure your trash bins with locks, keep pet food indoors, and protect your vegetable patches with fencing—small steps to ensure a big detour sign for your local skunks.
Moving on to survival, skunks have a toolbox of strategies that make your backyard their haven. Their preference for setting up shop under our decks or sheds isn’t just a cuteness factor—it’s a calculated move for warmth, protection, and proximity to food sources. The man made stuctures we have build our neighbourhoods out of are ideal spots for skunks to burrow under to find shelter from the elemnents.
As for their first line of defence, we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about that smell. A skunk’s spray is a masterclass in chemical warfare, with a scent that sticks and repels. But before you worry, remember that skunks are not out to get us—they’d much rather save their potent perfume for life-threatening situations than spray humans who mean them no harm.
How to Tell if You Have Skunks
Not sure if you’re hosting these black-and-white guests? Let’s take a closer look. The evidence comes in varying forms—a whiff of that legendary scent, paw prints in soft soil or snow, and perhaps holes dug with clear intention under your shed. You might also find piles of dirt or damage to the lower siding panels. If you encounter skunk droppings—a telltale sign—you’ll notice they’re typically filled with remnants of insects and plant matter.
Prevention and Removal: The Home Free Approach
Perhaps you’ve noticed the signs and are now wondering what’s next. Here’s where professional expertise comes to the rescue. Contacting wildlife removal specialists is an action not only for your comfort but also for the well-being of the skunks.
At Home Free Wildlife and Pest Removal, we employ humane and effective methods, like installing a snug barrier of corrugated steel mesh to prevent re-entry. This approach respects our stinky friends while ensuring they can’t wander back in, keeping them safe and sound and utterly untouched throughout the entire process.
We know these encounters can be disconcerting, but rest assured, with our knowledge and dedication to safety, you and your family can sleep tight knowing that your home is in professional and caring hands. We work diligently to ensure that your environment and the local wildlife can continue their dance, each taking care not to step on the other’s toes.
Our friendly, reliable team is always here, armed with the expertise to transition our furry friends back to the wild where they can flourish. Trust us regarding wildlife and pest removal in Southern Ontario; we’re your knowledgeable neighbours with decades of experience and the best track record; we are just a call away.