Skunks are unwanted pests that can hide in our homes, under the house, or in the yard. They are usually great at hiding and nocturnal, so many people don’t realize they have skunks until they notice an unpleasant odor. Despite their non-aggressive nature, skunks are still dangerous because they can spray our family or us. They can also contract and transfer rabies to humans and pets.
Many factors influence a removal company’s pricing. As a whole, the national average for skunk removal is about $450, but this can vary depending on numerous factors, which we will cover in this guide.
In this guide, you will learn:
- What Influences Cost?
- Signs and Causes of Infestation
- Health Risks
- DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
- What is the Standard Skunk Extermination Process?
- Final Thoughts
If trying to exterminate skunks on your own becomes too challenging, we recommend Orkin, Terminix, and Aptive. These exterminators have some of the best-trained professionals that are able to use traps, baits, and other chemically treated solutions that are often more effective than standard DIY methods.
For quotes from Orkin, call 866-701-4556, or fill out this form.
For Terminix quotes, you can reach them at 866-577-5051 or with this form.
Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management. He manages Pest Strategies now helping homeowners around the world!
Table Of Contents
What Influences Cost?
|National Average Cost||Cost Range||Minimum Cost||Maximum Cost|
|$450||$400 – $500||$300||$600|
The severity of the skunk infestation will significantly affect skunk removal costs. If you have many skunks living underneath your home, this will cost more than having a lone skunk taken care of. Other factors that may increase the cost include how long it takes the professional to locate the skunk or skunks on your property, the time it takes to set up the cage trap, and the size of your property, as this will affect inspection time.
Skunks are nocturnal, shy animals typically looking for a place to stay warm and find food. As a result, they will generally inhabit basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, chicken coops, or your backyard. Depending on how difficult it is to get to the skunk, the location can affect how much a professional service may charge to get rid of your skunk problems.
Locations that are difficult to get to, such as under the deck or porch, may increase the animal removal cost as it will be more challenging to reach the skunk, clean up any nests, and set up cage traps that will lure the skunk away from its safe haven.
Skunks are most often removed from a property via live traps. Once a wildlife control technician has assessed your property, they will set up cage traps and skunk bait to lure the skunks into the trap. Then, they will return to remove the skunk from the trap and relocate it to a safe location.
Skunk trapping is considered an effective and humane way of dealing with skunks as it does not harm the skunk in the process, nor does it create a mess on your property. Live traps are effective because they quickly and safely allow skunks to be removed from your property.
In an emergency situation, such as a skunk being trapped, rabid, or defensive on your property, an exterminator or animal control officer may catch and remove it immediately as it’s presenting a threat to you and your family. After-hours animal removal emergency calls will likely cost more but are worth the peace of mind and safety they give you and your family.
Overall, skunks are not hugely destructive pests. The most damage you may note from a skunk is digging in your yard as they look for grubs, which may cause damage to your sod. You may also need to spend time and money getting the smell of skunk out of your home, clothing, or off your pets if they are sprayed.
As a whole, skunk infestations do not typically require large amounts of repairs.
Signs & Causes of Infestation
Oftentimes, skunks are looking for shelter when they infest our homes and yards. Skunks also look for easy sources of food when choosing a place to invade. Since skunks are nocturnal, they will typically make their home in a dark, warm area such as a burrow, basement, or underneath a deck, porch, or crawl space.
Here are some typical signs of skunk infestation:
- Skunk prints, which are very unique when compared to similar-sized animals
- Skunk droppings, which typically resemble the look and size of a cat’s droppings. Skunks may also have undigested food, like insects, seeds, or berries, in their droppings.
- Smell. Skunks are known for their unpleasant odor, and their spray can reach a considerable distance. However, if you only smell this odor occasionally, this is likely not a reason to be concerned. If you notice a skunk smell several times within a short period of time, then you may want to consider preventative measures.
- Digging marks and ground depressions. A common sign of a skunk is damaged sod on your lawn and small, shallow pits that have been dug into the ground. Skunks search for food by digging, so these marks are a sign that a skunk may have been looking for food on your property.
- Skunk sightings. Keep in mind that skunks are nocturnal animals, so it’s uncommon to see them during the day. If you see skunks during the day, be warned that they may have rabies, and you should steer clear of them.
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Like many nuisance wildlife pests, such as raccoons and opossums, the biggest health concern associated with skunks is the possibility that they are carrying rabies. Rabies is a hazardous virus that can be spread to people from infected animals’ bites and saliva. Rabies can also be transmitted to humans and pets through ingesting or touching skunk droppings, so you should never handle skunk droppings without proper protection. Dogs can be vaccinated against rabies to help protect them should they become infected with the virus.
Skunks are typically non-aggressive animals that steer clear of humans. They are even known to be easily frightened, which may result in them emitting a stinky, oily substance from their tails. Skunk spray is not harmful but can be uncomfortable and cause temporary blindness in humans and dogs if it makes contact with the eyes. They are more likely to spray a human or animal that makes them feel threatened and may bite or scratch if provoked. If a human or animal is bitten or sprayed by a skunk, it’s recommended that they are checked out for any possible disease or pests, such as ticks, fleas, or lice, that skunks may spread.
It is important to note that a skunk may kill smaller animals, such as small dogs or chickens, especially if they are provoked or trying to break into a structure, such as a chicken coop, for shelter. Skunks are dangerous wildlife and should never be approached by a nonprofessional because of the risk of disease and injury. Even skunks that appear dead should never be approached without proper protection because the “dead animal” may still be alive or carry dangerous diseases or pests, such as ticks or fleas, which can spread to you or your loved ones.
DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Skunks are dangerous wildlife that may scare easily but fight back, spray, and bite if provoked. As a result, it’s strongly recommended that homeowners reach out to a removal service for help with a skunk infestation. If you choose to DIY skunk extermination, please make sure you are adequately protected as skunks may carry rabies and other dangerous diseases they can transmit to you.
In most cases, a skunk will be underneath your home or in your backyard rather than inside your home. If you notice skunks underneath your home, you can choose to block all openings except for one and then place kitchen flour or sand down to see if skunk tracks are made. If you find skunk tracks, you probably have at least one skunk living underneath your home. If this is the case, you can keep the other openings sealed off and wait for them to abandon the den. Most skunks give birth between May and June but will eventually abandon the den by mid-August. If you choose to wait it out, keep all children and pets far away from the skunk den.
If you are looking to DIY it, you may also consider setting skunk traps. However, skunk traps can be dangerous to your health because you may be sprayed, bitten, or scratched in the process of moving the trapped skunk. Common baits for skunks include overripe bananas, jelly, and peanut butter. Once the skunk is trapped, move quietly and quickly to cover the trap with a burlap bag to minimize your chances of being sprayed. The tricky part about trapping the skunks is that you don’t know exactly how many skunks you may have, which can make catching all of them difficult. For the most part, skunks are solitary animals, but you could have several skunks if it’s mating season or if you have a mother skunk and her litter of baby skunks, otherwise known as kits.
Professional Skunk Extermination
Hiring a professional helps you avoid the hassle of hunting down and trapping the skunks. More importantly, it helps you to avoid the many health dangers involved with the skunk extermination process. A professional exterminator will have plenty of experience dealing with wildlife removal and allows you to rid yourself of the animal problem while avoiding contact with the skunk. While skunks may be cute, they are a pain to be sprayed by and can cause physical harm to you, your family, and your pets. A professional negates this risk.
A few pest control companies that offer skunk extermination:
- Terminix offers experienced technicians who are specially trained to remove wildlife, like skunks.
- Orkin provides a wildlife management service, which focuses on the removal of any present wildlife. Afterward, Orkin will place wildlife repellents around your property to prevent certain animals from returning. They will also look for any entry points and seal those off to prevent reinfestation.
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What is the Standard Skunk Extermination Process?
If you choose to hire a professional, they will start by examining your property for skunks. This will likely include a thorough search of your home, including any basements or attics you may have, the outside, and any crawl spaces or areas that skunks favor, such as underneath a deck or porch. Once they’ve determined the severity of your infestation and where the skunk or skunks are located, they will discuss options with you.
Skunks are solitary animals most of the year, so frequently, you will only have a lone skunk on your property. In the summertime, you may have a mother skunk and her kits make a home on your property, but otherwise, skunks tend to be alone. In most cases, an exterminator will set a live trap and bait for the skunk near their den. When the exterminator returns, they will remove the skunk and relocate them far from your home to make sure the skunk is unable to remember its way back to your home. Your exterminator may also recommend different ways that you can prevent skunks from making your home their own home.
Some recommendations that a professional may make are about any entry points around your property. Skunks are known for finding ways to live underneath your home and deck or inside a crawl space. Sealing off the entryway into those spaces can help you to prevent skunks and other wildlife pests from making a home underneath your home. Some skunks will even use vents, holes, and pipes to enter your home, which is why a professional exclusion service can be so valuable in preventing future pest problems.
In addition, a professional can place wildlife repellents around your property to help prevent skunks and other wildlife from returning to your home or garden.
Other ways you can skunk-proof your home include:
- Sealing off a skunk’s burrow once the skunk is removed
- Keeping your chicken coop or poultry pens clean and protected (skunks are attracted to eggs and baby chickens)
- Cleaning up fallen fruits, nuts, and keeping pet food or birdseed off the ground
- Using a skunk repellent product (there are many available, including natural peppermint essential oils and even ultrasonic animal repellers)
- Keeping all trash cans sealed and emptied frequently to prevent skunks and other wildlife from having an easy food source
- Making a homemade skunk repellent from ammonia or bleach-soaked rags and placing them inside old skunk dens to make them less habitable for future skunks