Why Is It Bad To Have Skunks Around The Home?

Image of skunk resting in backyard

Though allowing one or two skunks to visit your property should not be a major concern, you should exercise caution when dealing with skunk populations.

The smell of skunks is the most prominent problem. Most skunks will not spray unless they feel they’re being threatened. If you have skunks on your property, don’t let your dogs or cats loose, and don’t chase them down. Some skunks, however, spray to mark their territory. You don’t want this to happen because if a skunk sprays, he’ll believe it’s his territory.

Skunks can also destroy your vegetable gardens, fruit trees, lawns, and garbage cans. Though skunks aren’t as known for digging through trash as raccoons, some — particularly in urban areas — may look for a snack in your trash cans. Likewise, skunks in rural areas may help themselves to your homegrown fruits and vegetables, and skunks in rural and urban areas have a habit of digging up lawns while scavenging for food.

Learn More: Most Common Skunk Exclusion Questions

Do Skunks Carry Disease?

Skunk bites can spread contagious diseases, viruses, and parasites to humans and pets.

Skunks are the most common rabies carriers in the Midwest. If rabies is not treated promptly, it is usually fatal to humans and pets. If you suspect a skunk has rabies, don’t approach it; instead, call a wildlife control specialist right away. Skunks can contract rabies in two forms: the furious form, which causes them to become aggressive, and the dumb form, which causes them to become unaffected by human presence. Daytime activity, an unsteady or disoriented gait, drooling, or foaming at the mouth are other rabies symptoms to look for in skunks.

The following are some of the most severe skunk carried illnesses:

  • Rabies
  • Canine distemper
  • Leptospirosis
  • Canine hepatitis
  • Intestinal roundworm

Are Skunk Bites Common?

Skunks have a formidable set of teeth and can cause serious bite wounds. Skunks will frequently bite aggressors such as cats and dogs because they use their odiferous defensive spray sparingly. The rabies virus can be transmitted through these bites.

Although these animals will bite, they only do so when they feel threatened. People are often bitten when they attempt to remove skunk infestations. That’s why skunk removal should only be performed by wildlife control professionals with the proper safety equipment.

How To Safely Relocate Skunks From Your Home?

To keep skunks away, garbage cans need to be tightly sealed, pet food should be kept indoors, and most importantly, secure the perimeter of your shed, porch, deck, or house with a barrier. Steel mesh works well and keeps nuisance skunks from going under the building’s foundation. If you have no other choice but to trap and remove the skunk, please do so with the assistance of a local wildlife control company that knows how to do so humanely and legally.