The team at Pest Detective is extremely disheartened by the skunk problem Bowen Island is facing and much more so with the rumours that pest control companies are responsible for adding to the population. We want to assure residents in the area that we have had no involvement in this development and continue to work closely with the BC Conversation Office to have this resolved. On the contrary, we seek only to support communities throughout British Columbia in maintaining a balanced relationship with local pests, rodents and wildlife. Our team is committed to following pest control protocols and best practices that preserve the safety of residents, the animals and the environment. Though our experience with other infestations is more common, we have often dealt with skunks in the past and would like to help residents face this issue.
10 Tips for Dealing with Skunks
With nearly 30 years of experience in pest control, we are here to offer advice and help Bowen Islanders deal with this problem. Here are some tips for preventing and encountering these smelly creatures:
- Skunks can reproduce at a rapid rate. A female who has a steady source of food may be able to give birth to up to ten babies in a single year. Limiting their supply of food will help deter the population from growing further. Ensure your garbage cans are secure and pet food is always kept indoors.
- Keep your pets on a leash or maintain a close eye on them when letting them out around dusk or dawn, when skunks are most active. Most dogs ignore the skunk’s warning signs, so they should be pulled away for their own protection.
- Double check that garage and shed doors are closed so that no skunks can wander inside to seek shelter. Cover window wells which skunks may become trapped in.
- If you encounter a skunk, move away slowly and quietly. Warning signs they are about to spray include: stomping their feet, growling, turning their backside toward the perceived threat, or doing a handstand.
- Eliminate welcoming habitats for skunks by removing wood and rock piles, securing sheds and crawl spaces, and filling any openings under porches or concrete slabs. Add lights to your yard since these critters prefer the dark and avoid well-lit areas.
- Fencing will deter skunks from entering your yard since they are not good at climbing.
- Avoid overwatering your lawns. This encourages grubs to move toward the surface, inviting skunks to come looking for a snack.
- If you find a den on your property, try adding light and noise to their habitat around dusk. Be sure the skunk is not present when you set up the disturbance. You may also try repellants, such as used cat litter, capsaicin or castor oil. Capsaicin repellents should be used with caution since they can harm people or other animals that come in contact with them.
- If your yard continues to attract skunks, you may want to install a skunk trap. Peanut butter, ripened bananas and marshmallows are effective baits and will not attract neighbours’ cats.
- Note and avoid any signs of rabies: circling, disorientation, unusually tame behaviour, unprovoked aggression or limb paralysis.
How to Help Your Skunked Pets
The most common problem skunks pose is spraying pets, as many Bowen Island dogs have unfortunately learned. If your dog or cat is unlucky enough to be sprayed, follow these steps to ease their discomfort and get rid of the odour quickly.
- Keep the animal outside. If they have been hit directly, their eyes and face will be irritated and they are likely to try to find relief by rubbing their face on surfaces in your home.
- Wrap your pet in a towel and use an eyewash solution to soothe their eyes. Try to calm your pet as much as possible.
- Bathe your animal while wearing latex or rubber gloves, ideally outside. Shampoo your pet before soaking them in a homemade solution.
- Use a mixture of baking soda (1/4 cup), liquid soap (1 tsp), and hydrogen peroxide (1 quart) to soak your pet’s fur and remove the odour. This mixture will explode over time, so do not store it in advance. Tomato juice and vinegar may also work but need time to soak and break down the odour. You can also bring your pet to a professional to have them cleaned.
Let’s Solve the Skunk Problem Together
The team at Pest Detective is here to help residents in dealing with the growing skunk population through prevention, education and wildlife control services.
Contact us today to learn more about pest control and pest prevention or to receive assistance.