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Stink Outside the Box: Dealing with Striped Skunk Encounters

Stink Outside the Box: Dealing with Striped Skunk Encounters

Stink Outside the Box: Dealing with Striped Skunk Encounters

Encountering a striped skunk can be a smelly disaster. We’ve all heard skunk horror stories about their smelly spray. Many questions might run through your head. Will striped skunks chase you? How far can it spray? Are they dangerous? Will you have to spend the next several days bathing off the odor?

It’s understandable to have such a strong reaction to a striped skunk, but it’s also misguided. Skunks aren’t as angry or likely to spray as most people think. In fact, they’re naturally timid and gentle animals. However, understanding their behavior, how to prevent skunks, and what to do if you encounter them can build your confidence and help you keep calm.

Understand Your Striped Skunk

Despite their notorious reputation, striped skunks are generally non-aggressive creatures. They are omnivorous and play a crucial role in controlling pests, such as insects and rodents. However, their defense mechanism, which is spraying a strong, foul-smelling liquid can be unpleasant and difficult to remove. A better understanding of skunk behaviors, like their feeding habits and preferred habitats, can help you avoid accidental run-ins.

Skunks are common throughout all of North America. You might encounter a skunk everywhere from Canada down to Mexico. They prefer forested areas and often make their homes within a few miles of a water source, but can settle comfortably near humans.

A striped skunk is the most common type of skunk. It’s a small, black mammal with two distinct white stripes down its back and onto its fuzzy tail. While striped skunks might look cute from a distance, they’re also common nuisances. Striped skunks are tolerant of humans and don’t mind moving into backyards.

How to Prevent Striped Skunk Encounters

Striped skunks are attracted to environments that offer food, shelter, and security. Here are some tips to skunk-proof your property:

  • Identify and remove food sources
  • Secure potential entry points
  • Install skunk deterrents
  • Seek professional assistance for skunk control

How to Deal with a Skunk Encounter

If you do encounter a striped skunk, remember to stay calm. Skunks are more scared of you than you are of them. Here are some steps to take:

  • Keep your distance: Always stay as far away as possible. Striped skunks can spray up to 16 feet, but they prefer not to use this defense unless they feel threatened.
  • Move slowly: Rapid movements may scare the skunk and provoke an attack. Try to move slowly and predictably to avoid frightening the skunk.
  • Speak softly: Speak in a calm and soothing voice to reassure the skunk you are not a threat.
  • Stand still or back away slowly: If you’ve accidentally come too close, it’s often best to freeze and then slowly back away.
  • Avoid direct eye contact: Striped skunks may perceive direct eye contact as a threat. Look at the skunk peripherally, not directly.
  • Block the spray: If a skunk begins to show signs of spraying, such as raising its tail or stomping its feet, try to get behind something like a tree or your car to block the spray.
  • Don’t try to feed or pet striped skunks: They are wild animals and can carry diseases like rabies. Human food isn’t good for them, and trying to touch them may provoke an attack.

If you get sprayed, home remedies include bathing in a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap. Commercial products are also available specifically for skunk odor removal.

Contact Shumaker’s Animal Control for Humane Striped Skunk Removal

If you have a striped skunk problem in Maryland, it’s best to hire a professional wildlife removal service. Shumaker’s Animal Control has the expertise and experience to humanely remove striped skunks from your home or business. Visit our website to learn more about our services. You can also reach us through our convenient contact form or by calling our dedicated team at (443) 854-8072. 

This entry was posted on Monday, July 3rd, 2023 at 7:23 pm . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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