"Nuisance Wildlife Control Specialists" Since 1998
Wildlife Biologist on Staff

Striped Skunks Removal Control Services


Striped Skunks

The striped skunk can adapt to human environments easily, and usually by choice. In human environments, striped skunks can adapt easily due to the abundance of food and shelter. Humans provide food sources, such as bird feeders, trash cans, and pet food bowls that are replenished regularly. Urban landscapes provide attractive nuts, buds, and fruits from trees that striped skunk will favor. Once a striped skunk has found a prevalent food source, it will look for a den site that is relatively close to that food source. Your home is the den site due to increases in urbanization or land development in striped skunk inhabited areas, and the overpopulation of striped skunks in these areas does not help. Loose foundation vents, drainpipes, and low-lying decks or porches are the most common den locations around your home. Striped skunks are very mild mannered, nocturnal, or nighttime, animals and when they are around you will smell it. They will only spray when they feel threatened. Dogs and cats are the main reason that striped skunks spray in urban environments. A peak spray period may also be due to the breeding season, and when the young realize they have a defense mechanism. When a striped skunk sprays outside, the odor can be detected through every house in the neighborhood, unless of course they spray directly under yours. Their droppings and urine leave a lingering odor, not to mention a biohazard in crawl spaces. As long as we continue to urbanize and provide an abundance of food to the striped skunk, they will continue to adapt to human environments and pose a threat to homes and human health.

If you need striped skunk removal services, Blue Ridge Wildlife Management, LLC is here to help you. Please Contact Us to help solve your problem.

Identification Reproduction Other Information
Trapping Techniques Damage & Damage Areas  
Health Concerns FAQ's  

Top of Page

Trapping & Removal Techniques

Professional grade single-door live capture traps are used to trap striped skunks damaging landscapes. These traps are placed next to the damaged areas on your property. Like all of our traps for other animals, these traps are covered with a custom galvanized sheet metal cover. The striped skunk will not spray inside the trap unless threatened by a dog or cat. Striped skunks are mild tempered animals, and have to be really provoked to spray inside the trap.

Covered striped skunk traps

Top of Page

Damage and Damaged Areas

Urban environments offer the ideal place for striped skunks to thrive due to their biological habits and their ability to live in man made landscapes. Burrows around buildings or homes can cause settling in the foundation or sidewalks, erosion, and costly water drainage problems in the structure. In some cases, any wires in the path of the burrow can lead to fire. The burrows in yards can cave in and lead to bodily injury or costly damage to lawn equipment. Loose or missing foundation vents can lead to costly deodorizing services needed to rid the home of skunk essence. Striped skunks often fall into uncovered window wells, and cannot get out. Their foraging habits can eliminate thousands of dollars in ornamentals around your home and vegetable gardens.

Baby striped skunks in window well   Burrow under concrete slab
Baby striped skunks in window well   Burrow under concrete slab
Installed burial fencing to keep groundhogs from burrowing under a porch
Installed burial fencing to keep striped skunks from burrowing under a porch

Top of Page

Health Concerns

Health concerns related to the striped skunk include fleas, ticks, lice, rabies, distemper, and scabies. Individuals can only contract rabies or scabies if they come into direct contact with the animal or the container used to house the animal. The loss of life or limb can happen in the event that someone drives into a burrow while operating heavy equipment, or stepping in a hole. Striped skunks are one of the most commonly reported rabid animals in Virginia. See the Virginia Department of Health web site for information on rabies and distemper.

Top of Page

Identification

Skunk in a customer owned Live Trap   Skunk foraging around a trash can
Skunk in a customer owned Live Trap   Skunk foraging around a trash can

(Mephitis mephitis) Order Carnivora

Description:

"Pole Cat." They are often mistaken for a house cat.

Body Size:

  • Ave. Length (Adult): 20"-30"; Tail: 7"-15"
  • Ave. Weight (Adult): 3-10 lbs.
  • Young at Birth: ½ oz. In weight, 5 ½", slightly furred (markings visible), wrinkled. Eyes and ears closed.
  • 2 Weeks: Fully furred.
  • 3 Weeks: Eyes and ears open.
  • 7 Weeks: Leave den to hunt with mother.
  • 2 Months: Weaned completely from mother. Leave mother late fall.

Fur Color

It varies. They can be completely black to completely white. White stripes may not extend all the way to the tail.

Voice & Sounds:

Striped skunks can bark, growl, hiss, snort, squeal, spit, and chatter teeth.

Tracks:

Their tracks are similar to a bear track, but smaller. The front track is 1" long & 1" wide. The rear print is about ½" bigger. The heal pad, toe pads, and claws are separated in the print.

Scat:

1"-2" long and ½" diameter, and tapered at the ends, and can consist of insect skeletons, seeds, and small rodent bones and hair.

Top of Page

Reproduction

Time of Year: (Once) in February - March
Gestation Period: 60-65 days
Young Born: April - June
Ave. Repro. Age: 1 Year
Number of Young Born: 5-7
Weaning: 2 Months

Top of Page

Other Information

Habitat:

Their habitat consists of wooded borders of fields and wooded islands in fields near water.

Home:

Their home is a below ground den in their habitat. However, it may be above ground in a brush pile, cave, rock pile, or abandoned den created by another animal. The hole is usually 3"-4" in radius.

Home Range:

Male: 1-1 ½ square miles; Female: ½ square mile.

Food:

Grasshoppers, beetles, crickets, grubs, worms, eggs from ground-nesting birds, bees, and their larvae are part of their diet. They also eat moles, mice, voles, chipmunks, and occasional chickens.

Habits:

They are nocturnal, and can be seen year-round.

Hibernation:

They hibernate briefly during cold periods, approximately 7-10 days.

Defense:

Their defense is masking the intruder. The skunk will warn you before it sprays by stomping its feet, growling, or hissing. When the skunk is getting ready to spray, it will raise its tail and turn its body in a U shape facing the intruder, then kick up its rear end and spray. They have great aim and can reach the intruder in any direction. The spray smells like a rotten onion, and can reach up to 20 feet, penetrate any barrier, and be smelled over a mile away.

Average Life Span:

They can survive up to 2 years in the wild and up to 10 years in captivity.

Top of Page

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you charge for striped skunk services?
  • Yes. We are not funded by your local, state or federal government. We are a private business and must charge for our services.
  • See our Services page or Contact Us for pricing.
Do you guarantee your striped skunk service?
  • We guarantee that you will receive the most courteous, honest, and professional wildlife management service in southwest Virginia or it's FREE!
  • See Our Customer page for more details.
What does the striped skunk service fee cover?
  • The service fee covers us coming out, inspecting the damages, setting traps, if necessary, and keeping them baited as long as it takes to catch the striped skunks.
What does the price per striped skunk fee cover?
  • It is cost effective to the customer, knowing that we may not catch two or more striped skunks every trip.
  • The price per striped skunk fee covers us coming out, removing the contaminated trap and striped skunk from your property, resetting a clean trap with fresh bait, disposal of the striped skunk, and cleaning and disinfecting the contaminated trap for the next customer.
How do you prevent catching non-target animals?
  • Most urban nuisance animals have adapted to eating anything, except what they biologically should eat.
  • We use species-specific paste baits, but they do not always work the way they should.
  • We try our best to set the traps in the area where the striped skunks are traveling.
Do you charge for non-target animals?
  • Yes we do. We still have to come out, release the animal, if needed, or remove the contaminated trap and animal from your property, reset a clean trap with fresh bait, dispose of the animal, if needed, and clean and disinfect the contaminated trap for the next customer.
  • It is the customers' decision to have us remove or release non-target animals.
  • See our Per Animal Fee page for more details.
What if the trap is stolen?
  • The customer is responsible for the trap. If the trap is set in an area that you feel it will get stolen, please let us know so that we can move it or anchor it to the ground.
  • There is a replacement fee for stolen traps.
Can I release non-target animals myself?
  • No. There is a chance that the animal could turn and bite you.
  • See our Per Animal Fee page for more details.
Do I have to sign a contract agreement?
  • Yes. In order to protect you and our company, a contract must be signed.
  • Our contracts spell out the services to be provided, as well as our guarantee and warranties.
  • You should not do work with a company that is not willing to back up their work in writing.
  • See our Contract page for more details.
How many traps will you set?
  • We set a minimum of two professional grade single-door humane live capture traps.
Why are the traps covered?
  • We have rigid metal covers fabricated to cover the top, sides, and bottom of the trap for several reasons:
    • To prevent anybody from getting sprayed by the striped skunk.
    • The top and sides are to protect the striped skunk from the weather.
    • The bottom is covered to help reduce any urine or feces from being left on your property. It also reduces damage that the striped skunk can create by trying to dig its way out of the trap.
    • This cover also prevents curious people that may pass by from seeing the striped skunk in the trap.
    • It also reduces stress to the striped skunk while it is in the trap because it feels protected and unseen.
    • We do not use cloth material to cover our traps because the wind may blow it off, and the striped skunk will usually pull the cloth into the trap leaving it uncovered.
  • See our Animal Care section for more details.
Do you put enough food and water in the traps for the striped skunk in case you cannot get to it right a way?
  • Yes. There is plenty of food for the striped skunk.
  • Yes. In the warmer months, we will attach water bottles to the traps, if necessary. We like to place the traps in shaded areas to reduce heat and dehydration.
Will you inspect my crawl space?
  • Yes, we will need to inspect the crawl space to look for any biohazards (fecal matter) once the striped skunks have been removed.
  • See our Biohazards page for more details.
Can you remove the insulation from my crawl space?
  • Yes, we offer insulation cleanout and installation services.
  • See our Biohazards page for more details.
Can you deodorize my crawl space where the striped skunk sprayed?
  • Yes, we offer deodorizing services.
  • Sometimes it is necessary to remove the insulation that got the direct hit from the striped skunk.
  • See our Odor Control page for more details.
How long is the striped skunk service fee good for?
  • Your contract will specify the time period that it is good for, which is usually a minimum of 30 days.
  • If the striped skunks have not been caught in 30 days, which is rare, we will leave the traps out as long as it takes to catch them at no additional service fee cost.
How long does your standard striped skunk service last once you pull the traps?
  • Our standard service fee is usually a minimum of 30 days. If another skunk is seen within one week of pulling the traps, or after the striped skunks have been captured, then we will come back and reset them.
Why did you pull the traps before 30 days?
  • Once the striped skunks have been captured and we have not had any captures, or you have not seen any in a week, we will pull the traps. Leaving the traps set will only increase the chances of capturing non-target animals.
  • See our Per Animal Fee page for more details on non-target animals.
  • You also have the option of purchasing the optional service warranty.
  • See our Optional Service Warranty page for more details.
Will you repair the damaged areas to prevent future problems with striped skunks?
  • Yes. We will inspect the ground level area of the structure to find the current problem area(s), as well as any potential problems areas that should be repaired. We will give you an itemized estimate of these repairs and prices in your contract. You have the option to do what repairs you feel comfortable with. We will only recommend repairs that we feel are important to prevent future problems.
  • See our Repairs page for more details.
Do you warranty your striped skunk repairs?
  • All of our warranties have a one-year minimum.
  • See our Warranty page for more details.
How long does your optional service warranty last for striped skunks? What is covered in my optional service warranty fee for striped skunks?
  • Once the target animal(s) have been captured, or we pull the traps, the optional service warranty period will start.
  • This warranty will cover coming out, setting traps, re-baiting as long as it takes to catch the striped skunks, and the per striped skunk fee.
  • See our Optional Service Warranty page for more details.
Will you renew your optional service warranty?
  • No. January 1st of the next calendar year will require a discounted service fee, plus price per striped skunk service fee.
  • See our Warranty page for more details.
What does exclusion mean?
  • It is a technique where damaged areas or possible penetration points are made uninhabitable or penetrable to the striped skunk.
  • See our Repairs page for more details.
How often do you re-bait the traps?
  • We re-bait the traps every 1 to 5 days, depending on the time of year and weather.
  • We like to keep the bait as fresh, or not dried up, as possible. If you feel like the trap needs bait, or you do not see the bait in the trap, call us and we will send someone out to re-bait it as soon as possible.
How soon can you set the traps?
  • We will typically set the traps the day you call.
  • We always have traps available.
  • We carry the necessary traps needed in our trucks daily on a seasonal basis to better service the customer the day they call.
  • We do not like to put anything off until tomorrow.
How often do you check the traps?
  • State law requires that the traps be checked daily.
  • We ask you, the customer, to check the traps and notify us when we have an animal in the trap.
  • If the customer checks the traps, it will eliminate additional costs to the customer, and it will also speed up the removal process.
How do I get in touch with the technician once an animal is trapped?
  • Our contract and business cards have our office number on them.
  • Our secretary will notify the technician.
  • See the Contact Us section for more details.
We live out of town and cannot check the traps everyday.
  • We can provide a complete service to you.
  • If this is a rental property, we can contact the tenants and ask them to check the traps, if necessary.
We are going out of town next week and do not have anybody that can check the traps daily.
  • We will make arrangements to have our technicians check the traps for you.
  • An additional cost may be incurred.
Will you pick up trapped animals on the weekend and holidays?
  • Yes, we work on the weekends.
  • We typically shut the traps down for holidays, so that the customer does not have to be bothered with checking them.
How long does it take for a technician to pick up an animal once I have called it in?
  • We will make every effort we can to pick up the animal and reset a trap as soon as possible.
  • We often have two to three trucks out at a time, and the secretary will notify the closest technician to your property.
Where do you relocate the animals?
  • Our permit only allows us to relocate squirrels.
What do you do with the animal after you catch it?
  • Our permit allows us to transport the live animals to another location to be euthanized.
  • Striped skunks are one of the most reported animals with rabies in Virginia.
  • Relocating a striped skunk may risk the chance of spreading rabies or other disease to an uninfected area.
How do you euthanize the animals, or "put them to sleep?"
  • There are several ways to euthanize an animal. We use the most humane methods approved by the American Veterinary Association.
What if a striped skunk is trapped when you come out to re-bait?
  • We will call you or leave a note on your door that we picked up an animal.
What types of bait do you use?
  • We use specialty paste baits that are formulated for striped skunks. Professionals in our industry design them for professionals.
How many traps will you set?
  • We set a minimum of two traps, more if available.
  • See our Trapping page for more details.
Where do you set the traps?
  • As close to the damaged area as possible.
Can the striped skunk get out of the trap?
  • No. We use a professional grade trap with doors that lock once they close.
Can the striped skunk spray me while it is in the trap?
  • No, the traps are covered for your protection, and ours, too.
How much are the repairs?
  • We will inspect the ground level areas of the structure to find the current problem area(s), as well as any potential problem areas that should be repaired. We will give you an itemized estimate of these repairs and prices in your contract. You have the option to do what repairs you feel comfortable with. We will only recommend repairs that we feel are important to prevent future problems.
  • See our Repairs page for more details.


Bats Beavers Birds Bobcats
Cats (Feral) Chipmunks Coyotes Deer
Dogs Foxes Geese Groundhogs
Moles Muskrats Opossum Pigeons
Raccoons Rats River Otters Skunks
Snakes Flying Squirrels Gray Squirrels Voles
Woodchuck Woodpeckers