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Skunk Removal in the South Bay

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Skunk Removal

Eric: All right. So we’re here with Travis from All City Animal Trapping. All city Animal Trapping is an animal trapping and animal removal company that specializes in the Los Angeles area. And Travis is the one that handles the South Bay part of Los Angeles. And so today wanted to talk about skunk removal in the South Bay.  South Bay area pretty much what is being covered is between El Segundo to Rancho Palos Verdes and back to Torrance and Long Beach. So Travis, give us some insight on the subject.

All City Animal Trapping:  Yeah, so right now as we’re entering in and kind of exiting baby season for skunks, they’re really, really, really active.

So for a reference point, I have three jobs on the same street in Manhattan beach that are all dealing with the same problem. So normally, and that’s skunks. Normally I would say it’s the same skunk to doing the same thing to every single house. But it’s a hundred percent not. Each house on this street and they’re not right together they’re stretched out over a couple of blocks. But they’re actually on the same street, which is unique to me a little bit. Each house has its own borough, its own independent dig site. You can tell it’s different families doing it. So to kind of give people some insight on what to look for if you think you might have a skunk problem, obviously the first one’s going to be smell.

If you’re getting that strong smell, then you probably maybe have skunks in your area. But there’s a distinct way to tell if they’re underneath your house or not. And that’s if you have to ask if it’s underneath my house when it sprays, it’s not underneath your house. It smells different when they spray underneath the house.

It smells like a gas or it’s hard to explain. It’s not what you drive past on the freeway. What you drive past on the freeway is a very dissipated kind of longer lasting style of the skunk smell usually caused by them getting hit by cars or something like that. When it sprays underneath your house, because everything that eats them is bigger than them, they spray up.

So when they spray up, it hits the floorboards in your house. There’s no real way to tell where it is. We can attempt to clean it and there’s a bunch of methods to do that. But the main thing is going to be ventilation. But when it happens, it’s like a bomb went off in your house it is absolutely horrendous.

You got to open up all the windows and you’re looking at anywhere from two to five days to get all of that smell out. Yeah it’s really, really, really bad when it sprays in a confined space because there’s nowhere for that smell to go and dissipate. It’s just coming up and permeating through the house.

So when stuff like that happens to you and it does it’s relatively common. The first thing you’re going to want to do is either call somebody like me or take a look around your property. When you’re looking around your property, you do not need to look at places, at least specifically with skunks, where they’re going to jump over the wall there, where they’re going to climb up trees.

They’re not climbing animals. 17 years of doing skunk removal in the South Bay I’ve never seen a skunk in an attic or on a roof. It doesn’t happen. They don’t have the upper body strength. What they do have is insanely good paw strength so they can tear stuff open and they can dig down to get underneath things very, very easily.

And the rule of thumb with these animals is if the head fits the body follows. So if those the size of the baseball or smaller, but you can see a dig out beneath it, they made it. They went through it and they’re down there.  So you look at your gates and we can start from the perimeter. As an example, you look at your gates and a lot of people’s gates are gapped.

If you’ve got a two or three inch gap underneath there, it jumped over it. So we offer yard proofing for skunks and things like that, where we can actually build fences out of anything from chicken wire to quarter gauge hardware mesh to prevent them from getting into the yard itself. Which can help in the long run.

It won’t help with any of the climbing animals, but it can definitely help if you’ve been bombarded by that skunk smell for a long time and at least keeping them out of the yard and therefore preventing them from getting underneath the house. That can sometimes be a little bit redundant because our main goal is usually to seal up the house itself.

So places where they get underneath the house are your crawlspace edge. The cable guy leaves it off the plumbers, leave it off for whatever reason or the skunk, just tears it down cause it’s all been rusted out. Same thing with vent work and things like that. Some strange styles of architecture I see on houses every now and then.

They can actually dig underneath the foundation lines and things like that, and actually really work their way down and below. But that’s a lot of older style houses. You see that in long beach sometimes in places where the houses are very old. But what you’re looking for is a softball sized hole and dirt coming out. Now, what I think is really, really, really smart about skunk removal is that they like to dig underneath cement. So if you have a cement slab, for whatever reason, you’ll see this in backyard, in sheds all the time, dealing with this all the time in sheds and backyards. They put a cement slab and then they put the shed on it.

What skunk do to prevent animals from digging them out to eat them is they dig underneath the cement line. So they actually follow the cement line and through the dirt and dig underneath it. And make the burrow underneath the cement itself. It’s really, really smart because it prevents me from easily digging them up.

Cause now I’ve got a dig on a diagonal to if I ever even want to get them out and no coyote in no fox is going to get to them very easily as well. So how do we remove starts take the Manhattan Beach jobs for an example is I’m going to first go underneath your property and look for tracks underneath left for burrows, the property. Determine if there’s babies or not, cause sometimes with babies down there. It can influence my decision on how I want to get them out. There is babies. I’m usually going to encourage people to use the pheromone. I’m going to spray the pheromone down there. It’s going to incite that protection instinct inside the mother.

And she’s going to want to take her babies at night specifically. She’s not just going to come running out during the day. But at night, when she feels more comfortable, she will take the babies one by one and move them to a new den site. That will not be underneath your house where that smell isn’t threatening her and she doesn’t feel in danger. If we don’t feel like that’s the case and I have a clear visual when I go underneath the house on the skunk. And I know where the burrow is, sometimes it makes sense to put a trapper right in front of the borough. They’re going to come out of the borough every single night to feed no animal is self-sustained underneath the house.

I hear, probably everyday from people, I think it’s stuck underneath the house. It’s not stuck, it’s never stuck. Animals are great survivors. It’s not stuck down there unless it’s a really, really weird situation. The reality is though that they have to come out at least on a bi-nightly basis to feed.

I say every night, maybe they can stretch it to every other night. But they’re coming out because they need food,they need water. And if we have a trout placed right there with the correct food, everything’s set up correctly, you’re going to get a catch pretty quick. So the responsibility of the customer would be to then call us.

We come out, we can pick it up. Determine if we need to send another trap. If we feel like there’s more skunks down there, or if we want to move ahead with doing cement work, which is my favorite way to close off skunk burrows. Because if you just piled dirt back onto a skunk burrow after you’ve removed the skunk, they leave set markers behind, like we’ve talked about in other videos with rodents. That set marker is a lot stronger with skunks. If they’ve sprayed down there, they can smell that spray for probably three to six months afterwards, even after we can’t. It’s an attractive to other skunks that are walking by because they use it to, to as a mating call as well.

So if another skunk is cruising by and smells that, it’s going to think I can get underneath that house. It’s going to attack the dirt the same way the one before did so my favorite method of preventing them is I like to drop chicken wire into the hole that they’ve created and then do quick creek, which is like a concrete mix over the top of it.

We want something hard in the way of blocking them because they are persistent, persistent digging machines. They will go dig sideways to cut around, to get up underneath it. They’re very, very good at stuff like that. So take for instance the jobs I have on that street in Manhattan beach. All of them kind of presented a different solution.

So one we ended up using the pheromone. Worked perfectly the first time we got to seal it up right away. The other job, they were dancing around my trap for no reason. I have no idea why the guy has it on the security cameras. The traps are made in and fine.  This guy is just walking around the trap. He’s not going for it, which is rare for skunks.

They don’t usually have the instinct to avoid traps. Raccoons maybe skunks, not so much. So I switch up the bait the next day we get the catch. All right cool, tt was a bait issue. The other job, same thing’s happening. They’re not going for the traps. So I switched in the middle. This isn’t worth it, maybe they’ve got babies down there.

I switched to the pheromone in the middle of the job. The pheromone pushes them out and we’re able to seal it up. So having a bunch of options in a situation like that is actually a good thing. Because it’s not always clear with skunks like it is with other animals what’s going on.  For one, I can’t get super close to them, they’re going to spray me.

Two, I can’t dig out their burrows because if I do, they’re going to start to spray, which is going to affect the way the house smells. So based on not being able to get visual confirmation, like I can with raccoons, sometimes we’ll set up traps. But that may not be the final solution. The final solution may be to go underneath and spray the pheromone in order to get them out and things like that.

So when it comes to skunks you have a lot of options and then on top of that. You have a lot of ways that we can seal them afterwards. So that it doesn’t happen again, which is our main goal.

Eric: Seems like there’s only so much you can do until you get there to figure out the extent of the situation. And then after that you consult the client on what needs to be done and give them the choices and let them make the decision. But yeah you, you can’t live in that smell. And you can’t have them coming back over and over again, so you have to figure out something to do. So if anyone is dealing with a skunk problems or needs help trapping skunks, or skunk removal, All City Animal Trapping is an animal removal and animal trapping company servicing the greater Los Angeles area.

And Travis handles the South Bay area. Anywhere from El Segundo to Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Rancho Palos Verdes back to Torrance, San Pedro Long Beach. If you go to allcityanimaltrapping.com and all of their contact information is there. And if you have, if you’re located in the South Bay area, you’re probably going to see Travis show up at your home or your business and help you out. Thanks Travis for filling us in on the subject.

All City Animal Trapping: Thanks Eric.