Smelly Situations Home Guide

Even though you might be small, and even furry and cute, nature has given you, the skunk, a very powerful and potent weapon. Creatures give you a wide berth for a very good reason– your ability to spray is your best protection against predators like wolves, coyotes, and even overly-excited dogs. You might be tempted to using this stinky superpower to your advantage and move into a place where food and shelter are free and easy: the human habitat.

The first step to elevate yourself from harmless, odorous woodland creature to first-rate pest is to make your new burrow as close to a human dwelling as possible. Prime locations include:

  • underneath porches. These porches are great for skunk-friendly habitats because they are shaded from the sun and protect the home from discovery. It can also be easy to conceal the entrance behind a post or lattice.
  • behind sheds. Burrowing under a shed makes a den much harder to locate and destroy.
    beside compost piles or garbage bins. Humans are naturally wasteful, and are sure to leave plenty of food for you and your young to forage.
  • the garage. Humans usually keep pet food, bird seeds, and comfortable nest fodder, like boxes and newspapers, in the garage. Garages are also great protection from the elements.
  • It will also be better for you to move close to a human house that has pets, like dogs or cats. Pet food makes a great midnight snack for hungry skunks, and it replenishes itself daily. Pets can become a bit of nuisance, but that’s why nature gave you such an advantage in the first place.

Inevitably, the humans will soon spot you–or smell you– and try to take action against you. However, you don’t need to break out the big guns yet. They may communicate their desire to have you move by:

  • passive-aggressively filling up your hole with leaves and dirt, making it hard to re-enter the burrow. They should usually only do this while you are away from home. If they do try to do anything with you (or your children) still in the hole, they have declared war, and it is then okay to use every stinky weapon in your arsenal.
  • sending their dogs after you. Dogs are pesky, curious, and loyal. If they notice that you have moved in, it’s better to get the worst over with and send them a quick message by spraying the secretion oils under your tail. It will usually send a clear message for the dog to stay away, and best yet, the humans will be so distracted helping the canine that they might leave you alone for a few days, giving you plenty of time to make a new burrow somewhere else.
  • discontinuing the food supply. Once they have noticed you’re there, humans many stop leaving pet food outside, cover up the compost pile, and store trash bags inside plastic containers that you can’t get into.
  • leaving the door open. Even though there might be a lot of food in the garage, you still like to go out at night. Humans know this, and should leave the door open for you. If you do leave at night, you can bet that the garage will be shut by the time you return, so make sure the excursion is worth it.
  • In some cases, if you are stubborn about getting the “you’re not wanted” hint, humans will need to call in a special pest control service to find your burrow and get rid of your stinky presence for good. Also, these special forces must be called when you are sick; even though you might be clean, some skunks carry rabies, which is a deadly disease for humans.

Moving close to human houses means plenty of free food, and even some great living arrangements, but in the end, you need to decide if it is really worth it. In most cases, you might be safer living out your days in peace far away from human habitats.