Michigan Skunks

Damage Concerns

Skunks raid garbage cans, damage bee hives, eat bird eggs, and dig holes in lawns for worms, grubs, and insects. These odiferous creatures often live under dwellings (e.g. porches, crawl spaces, sheds) and cause objectionable odors.
 

Biology and Habits

Striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) are nocturnal (active at night), approximately 2' long, and weight 6-8 lbs. They are slow, deliberate, and confident they can defend themselves. Skunks discharge musk from the anal gland, are capable of firing several shots, and can spray 10 - 15 feet with accuracy. Prior to spraying they usually give a warning by stomping their feet. 

Skunks are omnivorous - eating both plant and animal foods. They prefer insects in the summer, and mice in the winter. The main predator of the skunk is the Great Horned Owl, which obviously has a poor sense of smell!  They breed in February/March with a 7 - 10 week gestation, and usually have one litter per year. There are 4 - 6 young that stay with the female until fall. Skunks nest in ground burrows and crawl spaces. Skunks in the northern U.S. are inactive for 4 - 8 weeks during the coldest part of the winter.
 

Management

Critter Control recommends installing hardware-clothe for rat-walls and sealing skunk entry holes entry holes. Electric fence may be used for site specific skunk exclusion around decks and porches. Cleaning up wood piles, brush and food sources will limit skunk habitat and reduce the attraction of skunks to the property.


Control

Skunk trapping techniques include cage traps (covered with canvas or a blanket) for live skunk trapping, using cat-food, fish, or chicken, for bait.  Live skunk trapping is the preferred method for skunk control because lethal control will usually result in release of scent. While skunks are generally mild-tempered, loud noises or quick and aggressive actions should be avoided.  Keep pets and children from exciting or tormenting the caged skunk.  Skunk traps are set over or near the entrance to the den.  Typical entries are under porches, sheds, and crawl spaces.


Skunk Spray Remedy

Here is a recipe you can make at home, which is very effective against skunk odors.  Apply the mixture directly to the sprayed surface.  DO NOT store the mixture in plastic bottles.

  • A hydrogen peroxide/baking soda recipe:
  • 1-quart of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 1/4 cup of Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon of Liquid Soap
  • Wash while it is bubbling...rinse off with tap water.
Our local Michigan offices offer Skunks services in the following cities: Acme, Ada, Akron, Alger, Allen Park, Allendale, Alma, Ann Arbor, Armada, Auburn Hills, Bad Axe, Barton Hills, Battle Creek, Bay City, Bellaire, Belleville, Bellevue, Benzonia, Berkley, Beulah, Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms, Birmingham, Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Twp., Brighton, Brighton, Brooklyn, Caledonia, Canadian Lakes, Canton, Carleton, Caro, Carrollton, Cascade, Casnovia, Cedar, Cedar Springs, Center Line, Central Lake, Charlotte, Chelsea, Clare, Clarkston, Clawson, Commerce Twp., Comstock Park, Concord, Coopersville, Dansville, Davison, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Detroit, Dewitt, Dexter, Dimondale, Drayton Plains, Dundee, East Grand Rapids, East Lansing, East Tawas, Eastpointe, Eaton Rapids, Ecorse, Edenville, Edmore, Elberta, Elk Rapids, Elkton, Ellsworth, Empire, Erie, Estral Beach, Evart, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Farwell, Ferndale, Ferrysburg, Fife Lake, Flat Rock, Flint, Fowler, Fowlerville, Frankenmuth, Frankfort, Franklin, Fraser, Galesburg, Garden City, Genesee, Gibraltar, Gladwin, Grand Haven, Grand Ledge, Grand Rapids, Grandville, Grass Lake, Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe Park, Grosse Pointe Shores, Grosse Pointe Woods, Hamtramck, Hanover, Harbor Beach, Harper Woods, Harrison, Harrison Township, Haslett, Hazel Park, Higgins Lake, Highland Park, Holland, Holly, Holt, Honor, Howell, Howell, Hudsonville, Huntington Woods, Ida, Inkster, Interlochen, Jackson, Jamestown, Kalamazoo, Kalkaska, Kawkawlin, Keego Harbor, Kent City, Kentwood, Kinde, Kingsley, La Salle, Laingsburg, Lake Ann, Lake Orion, Lansing, Lathrup Village, Leonard, Leslie, Lincoln Park, Linwood, Livonia, Lowell, Luna Pier, Macomb, Madison Heights, Mancelona, Manchester, Marlette, Mason, Mattawan, Maybee, Melvindale, Memphis, Midland, Milan, Milford, Monroe, Mount Clemens, Mt. Pleasant, National City, New Baltimore, New Boston, New Haven, New Lothrop, Northport, Northville, Novi, Oak Park, Oakland, Okemos, Old Mission, Olivet, Onondaga, Orchard Lake, Ortonville, Oscoda, Otsego, Ottawa Lake, Ovid, Owosso, Oxford, Parma, Paw Paw, Perry, Petersburg, Pinckney, Pinconning, Plainwell, Pleasant Ridge, Plymouth, Plymouth Township, Pontiac, Portage, Potterville, Rapid City, Redford, Reese, Remus, Richland, Richmond, River Rouge, River Rouge, Riverview, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Rockford, Rockwood, Romeo, Romulus, Roscommon, Rosebush, Roseville, Royal Oak, Saginaw, Saint Clair Shores, Saint Johns, Saint Louis, Saline, Samaria, Sand Lake, Schoolcraft, Shepherd, South Boardman, South Branch, South Lyon, South Rockwood, Southfield, Southgate, Sparta, Spring Lake, Springport, Stanwood, Sterling Heights, Stockbridge, Suttons Bay, Swartz Creek, Sylvan Lake, Tawas City, Taylor, Thompsonville, Traverse City, Trenton, Troy, Tuscola, Ubly, Union Lake, University Center, Utica, Vassar, Vicksburg, Walker, Walled Lake, Warren, Waterford, Wayne, Weidman, West Bloomfield, West Branch, West Olive, Westland, White Lake, Whitmore Lake, Williamsburg, Williamston, Wixom, Wolverine Lake, Woodhaven, Wyandotte, Wyoming, Ypsilanti, Zeeland

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Michigan Wildlife Services

For your local Wildlife Control Expert, call 1-800-CRITTER.