Skunks live in dens. They either create one themselves by digging, or they take over an existing den that they find. Porches provide an attractive denning area to skunks and other species of wildlife because they are safe, stable structures for them. Skunks will also choose a denning location based on food and water availability. For these reasons, a skunk may choose to use your porch or deck as a shelter!
|Skunks cannot be relocated—anywhere! For a skunk living under a structure, it is best to evict it outside of the breeding season (before March or after August). Then, install fencing that extends one to two feet below ground to seal openings.|
To evict a skunk, you can use hot pepper repellent sprayed carefully around the den entrance and a few inches into the den. Do not spray deeply into the den. Alternately, you can place ammonia-soaked rags inside the den. Tie the rags to a string so they can be pulled out in a few days. To make certain the animal has gone, sprinkle flour at the entrance, then check for tracks after dark.
More information on skunks in Broomfield can be found on this handy reference card.
Reasons to not relocate wildlife outside of designated relocation areas:
- The spread of wildlife diseases. Moving animals randomly around the landscape will increase the chances of introducing diseases into uninfected populations. You cannot tell if an animal is sick just by looking at it. An animal that may appear to be healthy may carry any number of diseases that can be transmitted to others of the same species, other susceptible species, or domestic animals. Traps and cages used to capture or transport animals can become contaminated by disease organisms creating potential exposure risks to humans and pets.
- It is likely that there are already individuals of the same species living in the area. A newly introduced animal must compete for resources such as food and shelter that the current residents are utilizing. Many wildlife species are territorial and will defend their territories against others. Animals without established territories are at a strong disadvantage and are unlikely to survive.
- Relocated animals will try to return. Faced with unfamiliar surroundings, competition for limited resources, and possibly having been separated from their families, relocated animals will often attempt to return to their former habitat. Most will not survive the journey as they attempt to cross roads or are taken by predators.
- Relocation alone does not solve your problem. Unless you take appropriate steps such as removing food sources or sealing off entryways into or under structures, it is only a matter of time before some other animal moves in to take the past occupants’ place. Pet food dishes left outside, garbage, compost piles, and bird feeders are all food sources. Sheds elevated on blocks, porches, and uncapped chimneys provide potential shelters.
The Wildlife Masters are here to help! The Broomfield Wildlife Masters are local residents that volunteer their time to answer questions about wildlife. You can reach them by calling 303.464.5554. Additionally, you can find information online.