The Metro Atlanta Area office of Rid-A-Critter is a full-service animal-control and wildlife-management provider. We handle many kinds of nuisance animal problems, including some that we don't encounter frequently enough to mention on this site. We'll talk a bit about a few on them on this page. For others, please visit our main company site, or just call us for more information.
Skunks are small- to medium-sized, mainly carnivorous, mainly-nocturnal animals who are best-known (and most-disliked) for their ability to squirt a foul-smelling liquid at a would-be attacker with a degree of accuracy that would make an artillery commander proud. There are several species of skunks, but the ones we get most often in Atlanta and most of Georgia are striped skunks, whose bodies are predominantly black with a white stripe stretching from the tops of their noses to their tails.
Although generally disliked, and sometimes even feared, by many people, skunks are actually fairly laid-back animals. They don't even like to spray. They almost always give warning before using that powerful weapon, usually by stamping their feet and arching their backs. Most people or animals who get sprayed by skunks got sprayed because even after this warning, they continued doing something that the skunk saw as threat to its life.
The kinds of things that skunks see as a threat (and which you therefore shouldn't do if you happen across a skunk) include:
The best thing you can do if you happen upon a skunk is to slouch slightly, lower your head a bit, nonchalantly turn in another direction, and walk away from the skunk. If you do that, chances are you won't get sprayed.
Skunks don't like to spray for three reasons. First of all, it seems to irritate them. After spraying, they spend quite a bit of time rubbing their rear ends in the grass trying to get it off. Secondly, it takes them between several days and a week or more to "recharge" their scent glands after spraying, during which time they are relatively defenseless. The third reason is simply that skunks, by nature are relatively passive, laid-back animals.
Skunks become a problem when they get into or under homes. They frequently get into crawl spaces and under porches, for example, where they'll live quite contentedly once they no longer consider the occupants of the home a threat. Some will even beg for handouts from time to time, especially if they were still young when they "moved in."
There are several problems with this arrangement, however. Some have to do with health. Skunks have ectoparasites like fleas, ticks, mites, and so forth, some of which carry disease. Their droppings also can harbor bacteria and fungi that can be harmful if it gets airborne, and skunks have a fairly high incidence of rabies. So even if you don't mind a family of skunks living in or under your home, it's not an especially good idea.
Another problem is that there's always the chance that you (or your pet) will surprise and startle the skunk, in which case it might spray you. It also might spray some other animal while it's under your porch or in your crawl space, which will stink things up so badly that even the skunk itself will most likely up and move someplace else.
Rid-A-Critter offers skunk trapping and removal throughout the Metro Atlanta area. We also provide animal-proofing services that protect your home from invasion by all sorts of wildlife -- including skunks.
Muskrats are stocky rodents, somewhat bigger than a Norway rat, who like to live by water. They have a distinctive tail that's shaped sort of like a knife blade standing on edge. They're frequently encountered along streams and ponds, where they build their "lodges" out of mud, branches, and twigs.
All this construction activity is one of the reasons why muskrats can become a nuisance. Their lodges can cause flooding when they dam up small streams or block drainage ditches or culverts.
The other reason why muskrats can be a nuisance is because they have a taste for the same sorts of food crops that people like eat, and frequently freeload in our vegetable gardens or planted farm fields. They actually damage more of the crop than they eat because they're nibblers. Instead of just sitting down and eating an entire eggplant, for example, they'll take a nibble or two from every eggplant in the garden.
Muskrat control tends to be an as-needed, trap-and-remove kind of job. They have no desire to get into homes, anyway. But we can trap and remove muskrats who presently are on your land, and we we can help you fence them out of your garden. There's no much we can do, however, to prevent "new" muskrats from moving in and living along streams and ponds.
As a full-service animal control company, the Atlanta regional office of Rid-A-Critter has dealt with a wide variety of animals over the years. We've trapped groundhogs, rescued owls and rabbits, and even chickens and turkeys. So please call us if you have a problem with any animal problem, and we'll let you know if we can help you out. Most likely, we can.