Skunk Removal




Skunks are very prevalent to the South Bay, they are quite prolific and unstoppable as they have no natural enemies that will challenge them except for maybe a dog that makes the mistake of looking for a playmate...a mistake they soon regret!

There are two strains of skunks in Southern California:

  • The Striped Skunk is most common and found just about everywhere from downtown Los Angeles to the Port at Terminal Island and everywhere in between!
  • The smaller Spotted Skunk ,,which does a little dance on its front legs,,these are found on the Palos Verdes Peninsula coastline on the south side near Yacht Harbor,, only a couple of colonies left ,,haven’t seen any in a few years.

Skunks will stay together for most of the year so it is not uncommon to find 20, 30 or more skunks colonized together. Males may go off on their own from time to time but are always close to the family. 

Other than injury or disease, skunks under the home is the worst animal problem one can have. The worst time to have skunks underneath the house is winter when it’s cold so your house is all closed up. Along comes a skunk and a raccoon or possum looking looking for shelter. They meet and the skunk sprays. or a male and a female skunk mating under the house spray. Either way, the house, the carpets, your clothing all reek like skunk!  It pays to get them out from under your house, deck, or shed as soon as you notice them. Never put a trap under a house where skunks are present.  The skunk may spray 20 times before it is removed.

If you leave door or garage door open at the wrong time, a skunk may enter.  A skunk walking into your home or business is another horrible situation.  I got a skunk out of a bedroom in Rancho Palos Verdes once which had hidden under the bed and unfortunately, upon moving the bed, it sprayed.  

The only way they will leave is when one dies in the nest, I can only guess that the rest of the family doesn’t like the smell of a dead rotting skunk either! With that said, most people will sometimes confuse a live skunk smell with that of a dead skunk smell because they're very similar but the dead skunk is more putrid than a fresh skunk smell. It can also take upwards of 18 months for the smell to go away, or until the carcass is removed, sensitive noses can smell it for much longer periods of time. We do our best to find and remove the dead ones also, sometimes in softer dirt under a house the skunk will dig a tunnel under the house around the foundation walls and eventually die in the nest. Unfortunately those situations are tough to solve. Sometimes it's best to collapse the tunnel and cover it with dirt to keep the smell down. Probably the worst situations are when the skunk has burrowed under a slab foundation and died. This was real tough to solve! Sometimes it will involve jack hammering a floor. This is an extreme situation but we've done it!

Skunks will dig in the grass the same way Raccoons do looking for worms and grubs, the only difference is the size of the damage. Raccoons make a big mess! Skunks, like all city wildlife, especially like the cat dish or dog bowl, so remember to remove the food bowls at night.

In the old days when I worked for the Southern California Humane Society, which is still in Hawthorne, there were skunks but not like it is now. Today, skunks are everywhere and are out of control. Skunks are scavengers, eating the leftovers and trash of humans so the more people that are crammed into cities, the more skunks that will adapt and survive...which explains why there is so much animal encroachment today.

Skunks are great diggers but poor climbers. We have removed skunks which have fallen into plumbing/construction trenches, basements, mechanic pits, huge post holes for light poles at athletic fields and a trash can at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank.

The best prevention is to cover holes and trenches at night,  make sure your house has good screens on the vents, good footings on the foundation and block walls to keep them out, keep doggy doors locked at night, screening or flashing  around decks (but you will need it a minimum of 12 inches under ground or they’ll burrow right under it).  Skunks only need about an inch and a half to get in.

The only sure and reliable method of control is good old mother nature. Occasionally, every few years, a disease will work its way through the skunk population and reduce the numbers, but they always come back stronger so it's best to take an ounce of prevention. Call us today!

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