Will Animal Care Services trap skunks that are passing through my yard?
Skunks and other wildlife such as raccoons and opossums are nocturnal (nighttime) active animals.
They are looking for food, water and shelter.
Skunks are opportunistic eaters with a varied diet. They are nocturnal foragers who eat fruit and plants, insects, larvae, worms, eggs, reptiles, small mammals, and even fish.
First, Animal Care Services will suggest that you :
Remove food and water sources outside your home.
Put away unused pet food.
Put away water bowls and repair leaking outdoor faucets.
Secure your food garbage in closed containers.
Pick up and throw away any ripe and fallen fruit from trees, bushes and gardens.
Control grub worms and subsoil insects in your gardens and lawns
Use chemicals to control these insects, but remember the safety of your own pets when dealing with chemicals.
Second, Animal Care Services will suggest that you inspect the current condition of your fences and gates.
Construct or modify gates and fences to prevent animals from crawling or burrowing beneath them to gain access to rear yards.
Third, Animal Care Services will suggest that you remove heavy vegetation that would give skunks a place to burrow or hide.
Trim bush branches at the base level so that there are not places hidden to view and available for nesting or hiding.
Fourth, Animal Care Services will suggest that you may use the following methods to deter skunks on your property:
Predator Urine - available at home and garden centers and from the Internet
Cayenne pepper and water spray
Ammonia soaked rags - (use care not to affect your own animals)
How may I determine if a skunk or other animal is using the crawl space under my house or deck for shelter?
Sprinkle flour around the entrance holes to the suspected area.
Check for tracks each morning.
If there are not any tracks for three consecutive days, it is likely that they are not present.
Stuff rags, leaves or another soft obstruction into the entrance hole of the suspected area.
Observe whether the obstruction is moved or cleared each morning.
If the obstruction is not moved or removed for three consecutive days, it is likely that they are not present.
What should I do if I suspect that a skunk has had babies in some part of my house (under the floor, under a deck, etc.)?
Skunks mate in late winter and early spring with a gestation period of 60-75 days.
They usually have their babies around May or June.
If the skunk began staying consistently under your home between March and August, it may be a nesting mother.
The best approach may be to allow the mother to raise her babies until they leave on their own.
If they are creating extensive damage; if there are repeated discharges or odors in your home; or if waiting is otherwise not an option, you may contact a licensed pest control company to trap the entire family.
Can skunks carry the rabies virus?
Skunks are the second most probably carriers of rabies in California.
However, rabid skunks in Los Angeles County are relatively rare.
Bats, skunks and domestic animals with rabies account for the major number of instances in Los Angeles County.