Skunks are shy, gentle and slow-moving animals. They are nocturnal animals with poor eyesight and limited climbing skills. Their main defense is to spray, which they use only as a last resort or when startled, cornered or attacked. Back away slowly and quietly to avoid a spray. Learn how to remove skunk smell.
Got skunks? Read our best practice sheet (PDF) on how to handle skunk problems or removal from your home.
Skunks have large feet and claws designed for digging up bugs. They are valuable because they eat insects, rodents and even garbage. They generally stay quietly away, but they may try to den in backyard porches, sheds, crawl spaces, culverts or wood piles.
Thankfully, skunks are not carriers of rabies in B.C. (like in Ontario) and can be cared for by professional wildlife rehabilitators if sick or injured. There are no skunks on Vancouver Island or the Gulf Islands.
Prevent skunk problems
- Never feed skunks – this causes them to lose their fear of humans
- Secure garbage bins and compost
- Pick up fruit fallen on the ground
- Don’t let bird feeders overflow with seeds
- Feed pets inside, don’t leave pet food outside
- Maintain your home – maintain sheds, garages and access to crawl spaces and attics to prevent skunks from moving in
Once a skunk has moved in, trapping is not the solution. Read our best practice sheet (PDF) on how to handle skunk problems or removal from your home.
If you have to remove a skunk, call an AnimalKind company that uses exclusion techniques instead of trapping/relocating or killing.
Subscribe to AnimalKind to receive news and updates!