Another highly recognizable animal that we deal with is the skunk. There are several species in North America, but in Ohio we are home to the striped skunk, Mephitis mephitis. Anyone who has lived in Ohio for any period of time has likely seen or smelled one of these guys. They are around the size of a cat, are black with white stripes running along their backs, and have short legs with clawed feet that are great for digging and foraging for insects. They possess a musk gland that they use for defense against predators, where they can spray a foul oily substance up to 15 feet.
Buckeye Wildlife Solutions – Skunk Blog
Call: 419-982-5502 OR 844-944-WILD
They are omnivores, eating a variety of fruits, seeds, insects and meat. Their diet is usually dependent on what is available seasonally. One type of damage they create to homeowners is “turfing” which is a digging behavior they engage in to search for grubs and earthworms in yards. People often wake up to sections of their yard that looks like someone took a golf club to it.
Skunks do not truly hibernate in the winter, but they will go dormant for several weeks to a month during severe weather periods. But regardless of the weather, like clock work, skunks will come out of dormancy in February for their breeding season. Every year around Valentines Day, you will start smelling skunks while driving in Ohio. The males are highly mobile during this time, making them more susceptible to being hit on the road. Spraying under decks and patios is often when homeowners become first aware they have a skunk problem on their property.
Skunks have become highly adapted to living around humans. They love to dig under decks, patios and sunrooms to create a den that is safe from predators and harsh weather. When they spray underneath these areas, it can cause your house to smell for weeks on end. The other common problem we have is when a dog is sprayed by a skunk. The first thing they want to do is run into the house and rub their face on everything. Contact your veterinarian for assistance, but Dawn dish soap and peroxide will help remove skunk odor from pets.
Buckeye Wildlife Solutions specializes in skunk removal and exclusion. After safely removing the animals with covered traps to avoid spraying, we offer to install deck screen barriers around the deck, patio or sunroom to prevent others from returning. This solution can prevent years of skunk issues. It is very common for other skunks to take up residence after a den is vacated.