striped skunk


Controlling Skunks In Cleveland, OH

Skunks are not much of an issue to people until they release their fumes on your property. Skunk odor can linger. The smell can penetrate cloth material, like curtains, inside the home where it does not dissipate quickly. Most work requests for skunk removal are based on this sort of situation.

There are other reasons, besides controlling skunk odor, that skunk removal is necessary:

  • Skunks damage landscapes while foraging for food. Cone-shaped holes turn up in beds and lawns. If skunks are systematically disecting your lawn, section by section, give us a call.
  • Other feeding habits become a nuisance when they disturb trash left outside. Skunks also get stuck inside trash receptacles, which is not a pleasant surprise.
  • Dogs have strong territorial instincts, while skunks like to be left alone. Dogs are common targets of skunks. Dogs should be left outside and washed before being allowed back into the home. If your pet has been sprayed by a skunk, consider this to be a potential exposure to rabies. Consult your Veterinarian about further treatment for their pet. If possible, the skunk should be tested for rabies. Please let us know if you would like assistance trapping the offending skunk.
  • Health and safety concerns arise when bites occur or people come into contact with a skunk’s bodily fluids. Seek medical attention if this occurs. Since skunks are the primary carrier of the rabies virus, report abnormal skunk behavior to your local Animal Control Department. Skunk spray is not known to carry the rabies virus; although certain individuals may experience an asthmatic reaction when exposed to skunk spray.
  • Burrowing habits can also become a concern. They may burrow underneath buildings by entering foundation openings. Porches, sheds and decks are common urban areas that skunks inhabit.
skunk den

This is a skunk den located underneath a front porch in the Edgewater neighborhood of Cleveland, OH.

Lakewood Exterminating provides service for the trapping and removal of skunks. What sets us apart from other wildlife control companies in Cleveland, OH is that we provide our customers with the option so they won’t have to pay to remove another skunk living on their property again. While very few people have interest to invest money into the underside of their porch; absolutely no one wants to hand wash skunk odor off of their dog more than once. Whether it is through educating our clients, or by providing additional services, habitat modification is the very best way to control skunks long term. To promptly resolve the immediate needs of our customers, we provide three types of control:

  • Positive-set traps secured over den entrances.
  • Traps set on the ground in areas that skunks are visiting.
  • Exclusion in conjunction with one-way doors (when dens are located underneath structures).

The first step in controlling skunks on your property is to determine if they are domicile (living on the premises), or transient (visiting the premises). This determines your control options.

Domicile Skunk Control:

If you have burrows underneath your porch or deck, we recommend installing exclusion fencing. Decks and porches are highly attractive to skunks, opossums, raccoons, and groundhogs. Block their entry with our exclusion service. Get the peace of mind that there is nothing living in the shadows of your home. If rodents are also an issue, quarter-inch hardware cloth can be installed as a “rat wall”. This will block anything from a hefty groundhog, down to a tiny mouse. Rat walls are dug down and laid over in an “L” pattern along the perimeter of the structure. This prevents wildlife from burrowing underneath it. Another option is to install the Dig Defence system around the structure. This leaves a clean professional appearance. A row of evenly-spaced, welded rods are inserted into the ground along the base of the structure. The solid construction of Dig Defence keeps intruders out like bars in a jail cell.
In conjunction with the exclusion fence, one-way doors are used to remove any wildlife that would otherwise become trapped inside. Skunks can remain in their den longer than other nuisance wildlife. During cold spells, we leave the one way door on for approximately 2.5 weeks. After this time period, the one-way door is removed, and the remaining area is sealed. You are left with a worry-free, wildlife-free zone. All repairs that Lakewood Exterminating makes comes with a minimum 2 year guarantee against wildlife entry.

Transient Skunk Control:

If nuisance skunks are coming into your yard and causing damage, yet are not living on the premises, there are a lot of control options available. The most common solution would be to set traps. This may be the only solution other wildlife control companies in Cleveland, OH will offer you. The problem is that the skunks are just dropping by to look for food, shelter, or maybe a breeding partner. You might set traps for an critter that does not plan to come back anytime soon. It is not always easy to catch the problem animal(s) when it does not live on site. You very well may pay to catch 5 skunks that never got into your trash, while the varmint that did, is still roaming free. The downside with trying to catch transient wildlife is that the traps have to be placed on the ground, often in accessible areas to children, pets, and off-target wildlife. The neighbors cat fits nicely in a skunk size trap.
For this reason we encourage that people having issues with transient varmints apply habitat modification techniques instead of concentrating on removal through trapping. What are some of your options?

Habitat Modification:

Grub Control

The most common recommendation you will hear is to apply grub control products to lawn areas. Since the damage to your lawn is a result of skunks digging for grubs, this only makes sense right? Controlling grubs will deter skunks from digging up your lawn. Keep in mind though that grubs are only near ground level feeding for a small window throughout the year. So as a general rule of thumb, applying grub control products for skunks is not very effective. Did you know that the majority of time that a skunk digs up your lawn, they are actually feeding on earthworms? Good luck stopping that from happening!

Debris and Cover

Focus on removing garbage and containing it in ways that wildlife cannot access it. Do not leave out pet food or water dishes. Eliminate sources of water, like bird baths. Consider that any bird food beside thistle seed, is likely feeding as many rodents, as it is birds. Keep debris to a minimum. This means removing lumber piles, piles of sticks and even mulch. Many people have too much mulch piled around their home. Mulch that is much deeper than 2-3 inches is providing shelter for rodents, and insect pests. In other words you are farming skunk food. Concentrate on removing debris, and rodents. Work with your neighbors on it. A lot of streets have a neighborhood skunk family. Work together on a few things and you won’t have such a problem with skunks roaming the streets at night.

Rodent Control

Skunks are attracted to cover, and debris-filled areas. This provides protection for their burrows. It also provides a prime hunting ground. Skunks depend highly on mice to satisfy their diet. Where there is debris, there are mice. Where there is mice there are skunks. Removing debris and controlling mice should be the basis for managing skunks in your area. Even if there is not any of these pungent smelling critters living under your porch, they may very well go underneath it looking for their next meal. Lets say they come across a frightening creature under your porch. They end up spraying and stinking up your house for a week. No one wants that.

Skunk Control In Lakewood, OH

Let’s use Lakewood, OH homes as an example. Most homes have porches than span the length of the home. Most homes are close to 30 feet wide. An 8 foot length of lattice usually extends out from the front door to the front steps. There is a pretty large void under porches in Lakewood, OH. In this example there is about 250 square feet of space under one porch. Then factor in the fact that under the majority of these porches are old construction lumber, and debris. Multiply 250 square feet by the number of porches on your block and that is a huge area that does nothing but provide shelter for rodents and larger wildlife. It is rare to find a porch that is properly sealed against mice, let alone a larger skunk. A skunk can squeeze through a 3 inch hole roughly. A mouse can squeeze through no smaller than a quarter inch hole. If you want to reduce the skunk population, concentrate on exclusion and rodent control.

Skunk Control In Rocky River, OH

Another example is the neighborhood between Hilliard Blvd. and Center Ridge Rd., and between Wagar Rd. and Wooster Road. This neighborhood in Rocky River gets a lot of skunks. These homes do not have the front porches that you find on older homes in Cleveland, OH. Why do they struggle with nuisance skunks? Well these homes are set on plots of turf where skunks can grub. Many of the homes in Rocky River are friendly to mice. Most homes in this area have attached garages, which mice love! They squeak under the garage door and hide away for winter. If its not the garage door, it is the corners of homes with vinyl or aluminum siding. You see these are hollow tubes that run vertically right into the soffits and right into the attic. With so many protected places for a mouse to over winter in this area of Rocky River, it is only fair to say that mice populations are high. Skunks eat well in this environment. Lots of neighborhoods in the Cleveland area are the same way.

Plugging Burrows

A dead skunk can release odors for years after it dies. While many homeowners simply block off any burrow entrance that they find, this could come back to bite them if there are skunks inside. Before blocking any hole or sealing a structure from wildlife, you should at least check the entry points to see if there is activity. This can be done by placing small sticks vertically over the entrance. If there is activity, the sticks will get knocked down.

Lakewood Exterminating

Phone: (216) 466-2486

Call us for your skunk control needs!