Profile on Pest: Skunks

If you see a skunk, odds are your mind jumps into the danger of being sprayed. Your first concern, however, should be Critter Control Orlando to get away to avoid a rabid bite. Your second thought should be to get off to avoid being sprayed, and then once you’re safely out of range, perhaps you should contemplating cleaning up your garbage to stop them from making a mess. Here is some of the inside scoop on skunks and the dangers they may pose.

Skunk 101
Skunks, most famous for their habit of spraying an extremely offensive smelling liquid when upset, are small, striped mammals, usually white and black. They have strong, short front legs adorned with a set of claws for digging (which hopefully will be put to uses aside from rummaging through your garbage bags). They are omnivorous, and have a very wide diet of insects, berries, berries, small reptiles, birds, grasses, and occasionally whatever they could scavenge from human trash.

Why They Are Pests
The main reason skunks are pests are the natural defense system; their anal scent glands secrete a strong, foul-smelling liquid whenever they feel threatened. They could usually spray this stuff about ten feet away, with a startling amount of accuracy. Even if we’re careful to not upset them, it’s not possible to always know if you’re walking with a hidden skunk just a little too near, or if a curious pet will cause you to get defensive.

Another reason they are considered pests is their habit of digging through our trash in the search for food. Due to this, and that their stink is so famously tricky to remove, skunks certainly get put to the pest category, without even adding their capability to carry rabies into the question.

Most skunks are not really dangerous to people. However, it’s difficult to tell when a skunk has rabies, and if it does, it may attack a human and bite with little if any provocation. Therefore, like the risks of getting raccoons hanging around your lawn, having skunks will improve your chances of suffering the attack of a rabid animal and contracting a horribly dangerous disease.

Can They Carry Disease?
As we’ve established, skunks are well known to sometimes carry rabies. In the year 2006 they were reported to have made up 21.5 percent of reported rabies cases, with a total of approximately 1,494 recorded rabid skunk cases. Along with rabies, skunks can also carry leptospirosis, canine distimper, canine hepatitis, listeriosis, and a host of parasites such as fleas, ticks, and intestinal worms.

Removal
Skunk removal is rather a delicate task for people who would not like to upset a skunk, which can make them defensively spray. To really take care of the issue safely, and to feel comfortable in your own backyard without the chance of a stinky surprise, it is important to call in a specialist wildlife removal staff to safely eliminate these smelly little guys. Your nose will be happy you did, and you’ll be able to rest easy that your family and pets are safer from both the stench and out of contracting rabies.

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