When skunks get under your deck, don’t delay getting rid of them…or else. Skunks are pretty widely known for the smell they can spread if threatened. But they’re actually quite the pest for more reasons than that! When you find a skunk making your yard it’s home, you want to act quickly to encourage it to move along. And the recommended actions might not be what you’d think!

Read on to see why you want to get them out, and how to post an eviction in the most humane way possible.

Skunks are pests!

Skunks are pests that you want to get rid of a soon as possible. Sure, they LOOK cute (maybe)… but we are all familiar with that less-than-cute smell they’re known for. However, they’re also very destructive and aggressive. They like to dig so will often dig holes in your yard and garden in order to get under your deck to build their den and have their babies.

What to do when there’s a skunk under your deck

There are really 3 options when it comes to dealing with a skunk under your deck.

  1. Be patient and wait them out

Most likely a skunk has entered your yard because it’s looking for a place to build a den to have babies. Skunks reproduce between April and September, so if you find one under your deck during that time you should assume it has babies under there with it. Skunk babies take about 8 weeks to be old enough to leave their den, so if you can handle waiting them out, they’ll likely be out of your yard within 2 months.

  1. Practice ‘humane harassment’

The skunk has chosen your deck because it is a safe, dark and quiet place to build their den. If you make the space feel like it’s NOT safe, dark or quiet, she’ll be encouraged to move along on her own to keep her babies safe. The Toronto Wildlife Center has great tips for how to do this without harming the skunk.

  1. Install a ‘one way’ door

This door allows the skunk to get out but prevents it from returning. Be careful installing this though. If you put it in while babies are still under your deck, they’ll be orphaned inside and be unable to get themselves out. As well, if this is installed in the winter, it may be too cold for the skunk to be able to dig into the ground to get into a new home somewhere else.

What NOT to do to get rid of skunks

The one thing you do NOT want to do is trap and relocate the skunk. Not only do you open yourself up to getting sprayed and possibly bit, but you’re also probably ensuring a death sentence for the skunk. Skunks tend to not survive when removed from their home environment and any babies left will not survive without their mother. Plus, in Ontario it’s illegal to move wildlife more than 1km from where it was found.

Prevention is key

Practices such as removing food sources, covering your trash bin, installing an underground wire mesh fence around your deck and shed and keeping your yard well lit are all ways to prevent a skunk from making its den under your deck.

If you have a skunk problem and need help in the Burlington, Oakville, Hamilton or Greater Toronto area, contact Regional Wildlife Services today!