Skunks in Foster City
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Skunks in Foster City

The following information has been provided by county, state and federal wildlife officials:

If skunks have taken up residence on your property, as opposed to just passing through, you may need to hire a trapper. You can select a trapping service through the yellow pages under "Pest Control."

Once the skunks are removed, here is advice that the City received from the Peninsula Humane Society (PHS) and other "skunk experts" about how to keep them away:

PHS advocates critter-proofing yards as the best way to discourage skunks. PHS says skunks do not climb, so they will go after what is on the ground. They eat rodents and insects, pet food and any trash they find at ground level. They will dig under fences or squeeze under gates with a higher ground clearance, so these are areas that should be secured, too.

There have been no reported cases of skunk or raccoon spread rabies for many years. PHS says that skunks do not automatically use their spray, so if a skunk is encountered you usually can back away slowly and quietly and not get sprayed.

Here is some additional information from another urban wildlife expert –

Fake great horned owls may help to deter the skunks. You can do an Internet search for "fake owls" and find places to order them. Stores like OSH or Home Depot may also have them. Skunks have poor eyesight and do not climb, so you need to place the fake owls nearest to where you see the skunks' boroughs or other activity.

Apparently skunks do not like rain and wet conditions. If they are wet, they are highly susceptible to getting pneumonia, which is fatal to them. There has been a significant rise in skunk populations throughout the bay area in the past two years due to poor rainfall. According to the skunk expert, rainy years mean more skunks die of pneumonia. So rain keeps the skunk population in check. If we get more rain this year, we may see a decline in skunk activity.

If you find a good skunk deterrent, please let the City know so we can share your success with others!

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