The primary nuisance concern with skunks is their spray they use as a defense mechanism, which has a noxious odor that can be difficult to remove from skin, hair, clothing and pet fur. They do, though, give off plenty of warnings before unleashing their spray, according to Wildlife Illinois. First, they will lift their tails, stamp their feet and hiss and growl. They may do this several times before going to their last resort: turning around, lifting their rear legs and letting rip with the noxious spray.
When it comes to removing the skunky odor, skip the tomato juice. The best solution for removing the spray is 1 quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap, Wildlife Illinois advises. Combine these three ingredients together (do not add water) and mix well, then apply to skin, hair, clothing or fur that have been sprayed, taking care not to get it in or near the eyes. One note: The solution may cause discoloration of cloth fabric and may lighten a pet’s fur.
Skunks can also pose problems because they are a disease vector. The main concern is rabies; signs of rabies in skunks include seizures, uncoordinated movements and loss of fear of people, Wildlife Illinois reports. If you think a skunk has rabies, contact your county animal control office.
Skunks also sometimes get into garbage cans and burrow under buildings and decks. You can help keep skunks at bay by tightly securing all garbage cans and sealing off any openings to your foundation or securing openings with mesh, concrete or sheet metal, Wildlife Illinois advises.
If animals on your property continue to cause damage after corrective measures have been taken, consider humanely removing and relocating them only as a last resort. Trapping a skunk to remove it from your property requires a permit from IDNR. If you do not want to remove it yourself, contact a licensed wildlife control operator to contract their services.
All wildlife in Illinois are under the jurisdiction of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The Forest Preserve District of Will County does not treat, rescue or remove wildlife from public or private property. Both the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Wildlife Illinois maintain lists of wildlife rehabilitators you can contact for assistance with injured wildlife.
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