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4 Things Homeowners Need To Know About Skunk Infestations

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Skunks are found throughout the United States and are often seen in suburban or urban areas. Few homeowners like seeing these smelly creatures around the neighborhood, but that's not the worst thing that can happen. Sometimes, skunks decide to move into your house. Here's what you need to know about skunk infestations.

Why do skunks infest houses?

Skunks are very adaptable creatures. They are equally at home in the woods, in open prairies, and in suburban neighborhoods. They also aren't very picky about shelter, and will live anywhere as long as there is both food and water nearby. Skunks will live in underground burrows, in hollow logs, or inside your garage. If skunks are infesting your home, they're doing it because your home seemed as good a place as any.

What are the signs of a skunk infestation?

Skunks are nocturnal, so it may take you a while to actually see your new houseguests. If you pay close attention, you may notice signs of their presence. During the day, you may notice a faint skunk smell inside your house. You may also wake up to suspicious holes in the middle of your nice lawn. During the night, skunks forage for food, and dig into the soil looking for tasty meals such as worms, bugs, or mice. 

Are skunks dangerous?

Skunks are shy, gentle creatures who would prefer to be left alone. If you get too close, they will spray you with the odor they're famous for, and if you don't go away, they may bite. A skunk bite is potentially very serious, not due to the damage its teeth can cause, but due to the diseases the bite can give you.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, skunks are one of the animals most likely to be infected with the rabies virus, along with raccoons, foxes, and coyotes. Rabies is spread through the saliva of an infected animal, and if this saliva gets into a break in your skin, you need to go to the hospital right away for a rabies shot.

How do you get rid of them?

If you have skunks living in your home, you need to contact an animal control company. Trying to remove the skunks by yourself is dangerous due to the risk of rabies. Animal controllers will remove the skunks and relocate them. To prevent the skunks from moving back in, you'll need to take steps to seal entry points on the outside of your home.

Skunks are smelly creatures that can carry rabies, so you don't want to share your house with them. If you think you have skunks living in your house, call an animal control company like Accurate Termite & Pest Control right away.