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What To Do If I Spot Skunks Around My McAllen Property

June 24, 2022 - Skunk

Skunks can be a boon to your garden because they feed on tons of garden pests like snails, gophers, slugs, caterpillars, and more! At the same time, these mammals can be one of the worst wildlife infestations you can get on your McAllen property. Not only do they spread rabies and rip up garbage just like raccoons and opossums. They also can spray a stinky liquid that can linger on skin and hair for weeks. The strong defensive odor has very few remedies for removal – and skunks can make as much of it as they want, so they have little compunction about using it. Despite their positive impacts on your garden, skunks need to be part of your McAllen Pest Control plan. 


Where Do Skunks Like To Hide?

Skunks like to live anywhere from woodland areas to open prairies to urban areas, but they prefer to live close to a water source. That means if your home is located within a couple of miles of your house, you’re more likely to come into contact with skunks. 

Skunks are relatives of badgers, and they burrow into the ground year-round just like badgers do. They can dig their burrows, but they also love to take advantage of existing dens abandoned by other animals. Skunks like to position their burrows under rock piles or tree roots so that you might find a skunk on your property living in sheltered places like inside crawlspaces or underneath stairs or porches. 

Skunks taking up residence on your property can become a significant problem not just because they can spray but also because they can introduce fleas and ticks onto your property. Infestations of skunk-borne parasites can spread disease to both pets and people. And that’s not even because skunks can carry rabies. Uninfected skunks are typically not aggressive and rarely bite, but rabid skunks are different. Skunks are one of the primary carriers of rabies in the US, so a bite from any skunk means potential exposure to the world’s deadliest virus and necessitates a round of shots that can cost thousands. 

What To Do If You Have Been Sprayed By A Skunk

Skunks have anal glands that produce a caustic, stinky liquid that they can spray at a shocking distance. They can get you up to 20 feet, and they have sniper-like accuracy up to 10 feet away. Despite their disgusting defense mechanism, skunks are not aggressive. They’re often shy and prefer to avoid conflict instead of defending themselves. However, if threatened, they won’t hesitate to spray. 

Most animals – including humans – know to give skunks a wide berth because of the distinct black and white markings they display. However, sometimes even these warning signs are not enough to keep animals away. Domesticated dogs often find themselves at the business end of a skunk because of simple curiosity. If this happens, there are a couple of things you can do:

  • Shower right away to remove as much liquid as possible.
  • Use tomato juice on hair or fur – the acids in the juices can help break down some of the odorous compounds in skunk spray. 
  • Plain old white cooking vinegar can work as well. Just make sure to avoid the eyes. 
  • Bathe the dog (or human) in a solution of a quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, half a cup of baking soda, and a teaspoon of dish soap. 

If you or your pets do get skunked, don’t panic. Skunk stink is just that – stink. It smells sickening, but it cannot seriously injure. 

Ways To Deter Skunks In McAllen

The best way to avoid getting skunked in McAllen is to take a few easy pest control measures to keep them off your property: 

Keep garbage covered with tight-fitting lids.

  • Seal up potential denning sites like crawlspaces or holes under decks. 
  • Remove potential water sources like kiddie pools or coy ponds.
  • Prevent common skunk prey – think small rodents like mice, gophers, and voles.
  • Use barriers like privacy fencing to exclude them.

Making your property less attractive to skunks can encourage them to move on and save you the cost and inconvenience of hiring wildlife control services

Keeping Skunks Away From Your House For Good

If you already have a skunk problem, do not deal with it yourself. That can get you sprayed or bitten. Instead, contact the wildlife experts here at Bugworks Termite & Pest Control Co! We’re the premier service for wildlife removal in McAllen, and we can handle whatever skunks can throw at us!

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