How To Identify a Skunk Problem

Spring is here (or almost here)! With the warmer weather comes wildlife animals, insects, and all kinds of other creatures. 

During this time (and starting now) skunks will begin to come back to life and start exploring. 

Skunks can be a small threat to you, your loved ones, pet, and property. 

Skunk spray for example will temporarily blind you (if close), and smells horrible. It takes days of hard effort to get rid of the spray in a human! 

If the skunk sprays on your property, it can last months without professional intervention. 

This guide will show you how to spot a potential skunk problem, and next week we will share with you how to get rid of skunks. 

Like always, use caution when dealing with wildlife animals. While it’s unlikely you’ll catch any diseases or get attacked, skunk spray alone is a nuisance you don’t want to waste your time on!

Small Holes

Skunks primarily eat insects, and they locate these insects by digging small holes in the ground. 

If you start to notice small holes appearing in your ground, this could definitely be a strong sign of a skunk issue. 

Remember, skunks are nocturnal, which means they only come out at night. It’s unlikely you’ll find one in the day. Instead the damage is done at night. 

Garden Interference

Gardens tend to be a hot-spot for insects as well. If in the mornings you notice strange disturbances in your garden, this could be a sign that a skunk is on the move! 

Skunks love gardens because of the abundance of insects. It is like free food to them. 

Horrible Smell

Most people can identify skunks by their smell. If you are one of the lucky few that can’t, you will know a skunk by its smell. 

Skunk smell immediately covers a large area, it’s very intense, smells quite strong, and smells horrible.  

If you notice a horrible, persistent smell, this is a strong sign of having a skunk problem. 

Skunk smell + holes in the yard/garden is a sure sign that a skunk is nested up nearby. 

Dangers of Skunk Smell

The skunk smell should pass within one day. The smell is quite persistent, so you will notice it for a day, but if it’s still there, try to identify the cause. 

Sometimes a skunk may spray on your property, and this smell can get “stuck” in the property for upwards of months. 

It requires intense treatment to get rid of this smell. 

If the skunk smell won’t go away, contact an expert before it gets worse. 

Upset Pets

The dogs randomly barking at night and the cats getting angry is a sign of any wildlife intruder. 

Dogs were traditionally used to warn humans of potential enemies. 

If the dogs won’t shut up, there might be something in the yard! 

Be careful as to not let your pets get into a fight with the skunk. Your pet will probably win, but the smell is a pain to get rid of! 

Trash/Garage Foraging

Skunks may also forage in your trash bags/bins for food. If you notice that something appears to be trying to break into trash sources, this could be a skunk.

Keep in mind that raccoons are usually better at persistently foraging food, so this could also be a sign of a skunk problem, or many other wildlife animals. 

Dealing with Skunks

In our post next week, we will reveal exactly how to deal with skunks once you have identified a skunk problem. 

Be very careful with skunks. Again, they’re not that dangerous in the long-term, but the short-term pains can be quite frustrating. 

Be safe, have fun, and enjoy a skunk-smell-free year! 

Thanks for reading!
-Wildlife x Team International​​​​​​​

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