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Pests/SKUNK FAMILY IN RESIDENCE

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Question
THERE IS A SKUNK WITH YOUNG WHICH IS LIVING IN A HOLE BENEATH MY FRONT PORCH. HOW CAN I GET RID OF THEM WITHOUT CAUSING HARM TO THE BABIES. MOM IS TOO SMART FOR A TRAP.

Answer
First, skunks are not smart. Her refusal to enter the trap could stem from a variety of reasons. Read the info below. Once that is read. You have to decide your course of action.

You could wait till she moves on once the young are larger and too big for the den. If you want to move sooner, then you should get more cage/box traps and barricade the opening with traps so that she and the young don't have a choice but to enter. Once the mother is caught the young will be easy to catch. Hopefully you will get all of them. Dispose of them in accordance with state law. Which means you need to have a PLAN BEFORE you begin trapping. Once the infestation is gone (use the paper or stick test) then trench screen the deck so others can't take residence in the future.

Skunks
Skunks under decks/porches

1. Learn the wildlife control laws in your state by contacting state wildlife officials. Links to their sites can be found here http://icwdm.org/VendorsService/Default1.aspx
2. If trapping is legal, then use 7x7x24 or larger cage traps. Cover all traps at least 50 % with a cloth or cardboard or something so the trapped skunks canít see you.
3. Follow instructions in our NebGuide on skunk control http://ianrpubs.unl.edu/epublic/pages/publicationD.jsp?publicationId=864  
If you make a mistake or the skunks are quite jumpy, follow the instructions on deodorizing at http://ianrpubs.unl.edu/epublic/pages/publicationD.jsp?publicationId=1427

Always wear protective gloves.
Use more than one cage trap. Check all traps daily, preferably in the morning. Donít set it if you canít check it. Every day means literally every day, including weekends, holidays, etc.

Dispose of the skunk according to state regulations. Remember, translocation makes people feel good but may be illegal as well as you may be transporting diseases into new areas to infect new animals. http://icwdm.org/ControlMethods/Relocation.aspx explains in more detail.

Euthanasia info can be found http://icwdm.org/wildlife/euthanasia/Default.aspx
We are always looking for images (if you can safely take them) of wildlife damage to help us in our educational mission. We prefer high resolution, (3 mg or higher). Send to svantassel2@unl.edu  

How do you know when you are done?
Follow the principles of the paper test. http://icwdm.org/Inspection/PaperStuffing.aspx

Once you are certain the skunks are gone. Then secure the deck so it doesnít happen again. http://icwdm.org/Prevention/Structures.aspx

Please include permission to use the images and where and when the photos were taken. Month/year is fine as is county or city and state.

Disclaimer: As with any activity, remember that animal damage control comes with its own risks and problems which can include but are not limited to legalities, health threats, and personal liabilities. Be sure to follow all state laws governing wildlife and make sure you have a thorough understanding on how to resolve the animal damage complaint. My advice is only as good as your understanding of me and my understanding of your situation. If you have any questions, be sure to write back.

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Stephen Vantassel

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I was a professional animal damage controller. If you are having problems with squirrels, raccoons, beavers, moles, voles, etc. damaging your property, I can help give you information to resolve that damage. I was an assistant editor for Wildlife Control Technology magazine and have published numerous articles as well as two books in this field.

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former Assistant Editor of Wildlife Control Technology magazine, the nation's only exclusive professional magazine for animal damage controllers. I have published two books, the Wildlife Removal Handbook and the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook.

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