Just like opossums and raccoons, skunks are burrowing animals. Are there differences in the holes that they make? You may consider the idea of asking help from professionals to confirm a skunk hole. Nonetheless, you can learn how to identify it by yourself.
How big is a skunk hole? Skunks make a couple of small, conical holes. They’re shallow as they’re only three inches deep with a diameter of three to five inches. These sizes are as big as its nose that is being pressed down when digging with its claws. It is made to hunt grubs and worms, which are usually found in the garden or lawn.
Because of this, you feel obliged to protect your yard from skunks. You don’t want to see small holes for sure.
When they get used to digging in your yard, they might find a home in your deck, porch, or shed. To prevent these things from happening, always remember the kind of holes that skunks make.
You can build a fence since they’re not good at climbing. By reading the entire, you will learn more about how to prevent these holes from surfacing.
What Attracts Skunks in Your Yard?
Two things that attract skunks in your yard are:
Skunks consume both plants and animals. It depends on the availability which can be offered in your yard. They usually feed on earthworms, grubs, and insects.
Therefore, they dig holes in your lawn as their favorites can be found under the ground. When an infestation of grubs happens in your yard, skunks will be excited to enter it. Hence, grubs are to blame when you see skunks’ holes.
If you have a garden that is filled with different plant species, skunks are attracted to it for sure.
They’re fond of snacking on fallen nuts and fruits. To prevent this from happening, you have to maintain the cleanliness of your garden. One way to do it is picking the food that fell on the ground.
Skunks also scavenge on garbage and carrions in urban and suburban areas. So, they infiltrate areas where garbage is stationed. Pet food is another thing that attracts them. Thus, you have to ensure that these things won’t be easily accessed by skunks.
Skunks enter your yard because of the potential areas for creating a den. The ideal place for them is patios, decks, and sheds. It’s best to block the entrance to these places.
How Do You Keep Skunks Out of Your Yard?
Here are the things that you can use to keep skunks out of your yard:
- Sensor lights – Since skunks are nocturnal, they will be startled by bright lights. A motion sensor light does the job well.
- Strong scent – Skunks hate strong scents so you can paprika , citrus, and soap. Mothballs and detergents are also effective solutions. Spread any of these options around your yard to ward off skunks and even other destructive wildlife.
- Scarecrow – Humans are a threat to skunks. So, take this opportunity by erecting a mechanical scarecrow. You may also use human-like structures like a bird or owl scarecrows.
- Predator urine – Skunks don’t like to be near predators such as coyotes and dogs. Spray predator urine or scatter flakes that are dipped in it in your yard’s perimeter. You can buy them from a garden store.
- Getting rid of grubs – Grubs attract skunks, so it’s wise to remove them in your yard. During early spring and late summer, you can get nematodes to get rid of them quickly.
- Securing trash bins – Make sure that the lid of the trash bins is tightly closed or even locked.
Are Skunks Bad for Your Yard?
When skunks dig, they improve aeration and dirt drainage, which promote air circulation in the soil. They also help with saturating excess water in the ground.
Where Do Skunks Hide During the Day?
As nocturnal animals, skunks hide during the day in the following places:
- Under stumps
- Stone walls
- Under decks
- Under sheds
- In garages
- Below home’s additions
- In crawl spaces
- Stacked wood piles
- Tall grass
- Dried drainage culvert pipes
How Big of a Hole Does a Skunk Need?
The entrance hole of the burrow should be 8 inches wide to allow a skunk to get inside. You may think that it’s quite small, but it goes down deep, and you won’t even see its nest.
How Small a Hole Can a Skunk Fit Through?
According to a master gardener, skunks can squeeze themselves into a small hole that is not bigger than what a huge rat can fit through. Furthermore, the smallest hole that it can enter has a diameter of four inches.
How Do You Find a Skunk Den?
There are two ways of finding a skunk den. First, you have to be attentive to the size and location. As mentioned, they make an entrance hole that is eight inches wide. It goes down deep, so you won’t likely see its nest.
Second, skunks dig their holes under an object that provides protection. For instance, the den can be found on a fallen log or an enormous rock. Skunks can also dig under patios and decks.
You also have to know that skunks leave some hair on the den’s entrance.
Do Skunks Burrow Holes in the Ground?
Skunks burrow holes in the ground as they’re known as notorious diggers.
Does a Skunk Den Smell?
A skunk den smells because it sprays the renowned foul odor coming from its anal glands to repel any threat. It’s a nauseating odor that can linger for several days.
Do Skunks Burrow Under Houses?
Skunks can burrow in dens, porches, and house’s addition or shed.
Do Skunks Stay in One Place?
Skunks stay in one place when offspring are born in late winter. In addition, it’s common for some of them to share a den during winter when they’re in a torpor state.
So, they stay in a den for a few months. This happens in the cold season when it’s hard to dig the frozen ground, and there’s inadequate food supply. They sleep most of the time but step out as well to look for food.
The babies become independent in summer. So, they leave their dens and separate themselves from their family. Nevertheless, skunks can stay in a certain place that offers secure shelter and access to food sources.
They can go as far as 1.5 miles from their dens to find grubs and other kinds of food. But they mostly prefer staying in areas near their dens.
When a skunk lives by itself, it transfers from a den to another every few days or more in early spring until late fall. It will have a different den in winter.
Will Skunks Leave On Their Own?
Skunks will likely leave a place if predators are bothering them and when food is scarce. When offspring become old enough to be on their own, they will leave voluntarily.
After the long winter, skunks leave on their own to look for food and replenish the calories that they lost.
Do Skunks Leave Their Den Every Night?
Skunks can leave their den every night because they’re nocturnal. Except for the cold season, they go out at night to hunt for food.
When the breeding season comes from February to March, male skunks will travel every night until they find a mating partner.
Skunk digs an eight-inch wide hole and burrows the ground. But it can squeeze in a hole with a four-inch diameter. Though the hole is small, there’s a passage that leads to their nest.
Aside from the size of the den’s hole, a skunk also makes small, cone-shaped holes that are three to five inches wide and three inches deep. These can be seen when they dig their favorite food, such as worms and grubs.
List of Sources
Brantley, P. (2016). Return of the…Skunk. Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California.
Voyle, G. (2013). Who’s that digging in my yard: Skunks, raccoons or moles? Michigan State University.
Thurston, S. N., Brittingham, M. C. (2006). Skunks – Solutions to Common Problems. PennState Extension.