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How to deal with skunks in Evanston

Most of the time Evanston residents and wildlife are able to cohabitate. However, sometimes wildlife can become a cause of concern for residents. Here are some of the basic things you can do to mitigate a current problem or to reduce the chance of a future problem with a skunk on your property.

Preventing Problems

  • Do not encourage skunks by feeding them
  • Keep pet food and watering dishes inside, especially at night
  • Do not allow spillage to accumulate outside bird feeders
  • Keep grills and barbecues clean; even the smallest food scraps may attract skunks
  • Do not keep garbage cans outside if possible (store in garage)
  • Cover window wells
  • Use welded wire to exclude animals from underneath decks, elevated sheds, openings under concrete slabs and porches. Secure outside access to crawl spaces.

Skunks Living in your Yard
Skunks are at home in a variety of habitats but prefer forest borders where water is nearby. Cities and suburbs provide adequate food and shelter. Common den and resting sites include abandoned woodchuck burrows, hollow logs, wood or rock piles, under buildings, elevated sheds, openings under concrete slabs and porches, and access to crawl spaces under houses.

Skunks love to eat grubs and will tear up part or all of a lawn looking for grubs. You should treat your lawn in the Spring and in the Fall with a grub killer.

Skunk Stuck in a Uncovered Window Well

  • Place a roughed board at a 45 degree angle into the window well. Make sure the board is long enough to act as a ramp to the top. If you do not have a roughed board, wrap a towel or carpeting around the board to provide traction for the skunk. Remember, they are not good climbers. Place fish scented cat food or Brie cheese at the top of the ramp to entice the skunk to leave the window well. Skunks are nocturnal (active at night) and they may not leave the window well until night.
  • Attach a string/rope to a 5-gallon bucket handle and lower the bucket into the window well with food placed inside the bucket to entice the skunk. Place the bucket on its side so the skunk is able to walk inside. Once the skunk is inside slowly raise the bucket up to the ground level and place on its side away from you so the skunk can walk out. Try to stay out of the skunk’s sight. You do not want to agitate it.




After Hours Communication

For after hours communicable disease or bioterrorism emergencies, please call 847-448-4311 and stay on the line to be connected to someone immediately.