Need skunk removal in your hometown? We service over 500 USA locations! Click here to hire us in your town and check prices - updated for year 2020.
One of the most important parts of most gardens will be the lawn, and there is no doubt that it is one of the areas of a property that can help it to look its very best, with a fresh green area in the sun a beautiful sight. However, it is also an area of the garden which can easily be ruined, and if you have signs of animals digging on the lawn, then it can soon start to look unsightly, with parts of the grass torn up and replaced with holes in the soil. There are several animal species that do dig in lawn areas, but the truth is that it certainly can be skunks digging in the lawn of your home.
The Skunk Diet
Skunks have a very adaptable diet, and they can find food sources from a range of different sources, but when they find their way into an urban or suburban area, they can actually become a nuisance as they adapt their diet to the food sources available. In rural areas they will usually find sources from a mix of fruits and vegetables along with the small insects and animals that are to be found in woodland and prairies. However, in urban areas they can also scavenge for food from garbage and pet food stores, and will also often find small animals and insects that are living in these areas too.
Why Do Skunks Dig In The Lawns?
The key reason why skunks will be digging in your lawn is that they will be looking for food, and for the skunks with their sharp claws it is easy enough to dig through the grass into the soil beneath. In most lawns, the soil will be moist because it will need to be watered in order to keep it green, but this moist soil can then become home to grubs, earthworms and other insects that thrive in these conditions. The skunks will then be able to sense these animals when they press their noses against the ground, and will quickly dig into the lawn to catch these insects.
How Do You Keep Skunks Away?
One of the important aspects to understand if you are trying to get rid of skunks and to prevent them from getting to your lawn is that they are not great climbers, so one of the best methods of defense here is a good fence. As skunks cannot jump particularly well, even a fence of around three feet can be enough to keep them away from your lawn, so if the lawn is at the front of the property then a picket fence embedded around six inches into the ground can work well. Chain link fences can also be very effective, but because skunks are very good diggers, the key is that the fence shouldn’t just be on the surface, otherwise some skunks can actually dig a hole under the fence to get in.
Trapping And Removing Problem Skunks
If you don’t want to have to put up a fence to protect your lawn, then the other option is to catch and remove the skunk causing the problem, but the difficult here is that you will have to deal with the skunk in close quarters. A cage trap baited with bacon, cat food or other smelly meat can work well, but when it comes to removing the skunk then make sure you throw a blanket over the trap to prevent it from spraying you, and then transport the skunk to a rural area at least ten miles away. You may also need to check the area for any baby skunks if it was nesting under or around your property.
For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
Paws have very strong paws, the front ones being perfectly adapted to a life digging around in the undergrowth. These strong front paws combined with sharp and long claws have made the skunk what is essentially the perfect digging machine. In some ways, this can be a good thing. The animal naturally airs-out the earth. This helps seeds to get deeper and have a chance to sprout, and also allows for hydration to fall deeper when it rains. Of course, all of this burrowing action isn't always a good thing. In some cases, it can be a very bad thing. When the burrowing is happening on residential properties, it can be incredibly costly.
There are other animals that dig more efficiently than the skunk, including woodchucks and moles, and if you were to compare the two, the skunk would be the lazier. If they happen to come across another den that looks like it might just fit the bill as far as a home is concerned, they'll snap it up. They don't mind putting in the effort to make sure it suits their very specific requirements too.
Skunks don't have the largest habitat ranges so when they build or take over a den, they need to make sure they do so in close proximity to water — a fresh source of it. If they have a good source of food nearby, such as a regularly filled bird feeder or pet food bowl in the back yard, even better. It is the food, water, and shelter that attracted them to that particular spot in the first place. If they find all three in one place, they aren't going to want to give it up without a fight.
One den can be made up of several complex tunnels, with lots of little chambers attached to them. These will be filled with various materials, with the intention of making the space more comfortable — hay, leaves, grass, and even flowers can be used for this. It is quite common to see more than one skunk sharing the same underground burrowing system, especially during the spring and summer when it is likely that females will be rearing young.
Of course, it is not just in these underground burrows that skunks will create their dens, basements, under outbuildings, and even the space beneath a decking or porch will suffice when there's nothing else that comes close to offering what those spots can offer.
Skunks DO burrow underground, and they can wreak havoc as they do it too. It is always best to avoid a skunk problem before it happens and, thankfully, there are plenty of minor property modifications that you can make to make your land more wild-critter-free.
How much does skunk removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of skunks - my main skunk removal info guide.