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image of a skunk
11/28/2022 5 minute read

Are Skunks Destructive?

Property damage is usually associated with wildlife infesting your home. And aside from the damage they bring, they can also be carriers of diseases and life-threatening infections. 

Skunks also love to dig. And they do so with great fervor. You’ll likely find holes everywhere if you have a skunk in your garden. Skunks will also strip the bark of trees in search of insects to eat. While this might not sound like much, the damage can compound over time.

Common Problems Caused By Skunks

Most people are concerned about the foul-smelling skunk odor. But did you know that these animals can also cause damage to your property?

First, it’s essential to know that skunks are not aggressive animals and do not pose any physical threat to humans. But that doesn’t mean they’re not destructive. 

Here are some common problems caused by skunks:


Your lawn or garden can be home to insects, edible plants, fallen fruits, and even small rodents. So it’s no surprise that skunks would want to dig them up. Skunks use their sense of smell to find food underground and will dig several small holes in the process.

Their diggings can result in holes all over your lawn or garden. Not only is this unsightly, but it can also damage your plants and disrupt the roots of your grass.


Skunks will also burrow under porches, decks, and sheds in search of shelter. With the help of their long claws and short stubby legs, their burrows can be as deep as two feet and can cause significant damage to your foundation.

This happens more often during winter. This is because skunks look for warm places to spend their entire winter season. They create these holes to access your crawlspace and get underground. This can cause structural damage to your property and create safety hazards.

Hunting for grubs

Grubs are the larvae of beetles that live in the soil. Skunks dig for these grubs as they constitute a significant part of their diet. Skunks will dig up lawns in search of grubs to eat. Interestingly, a single skunk can eat up to 60 grubs in one night! This can damage your grass and make it difficult to grow new ones.


Skunks are also known to forage through garbage cans, dumpsters, and compost bins in search of food. And when they start to rummage, this can result in a mess and attract other animals to your property.

The mix of leftovers, trashes, and rotting food can attract skunks to your property. It gives a strong smell that sends a clear message to these stinky rodents, food. 

Structure damage

As we have discussed, skunks will burrow and dig under your porch, deck, or shed. But that’s not all. Skunks can also enter through small openings and holes in your walls and ceilings. Once they’re in, they will start to build their nests using your insulation, wood, leaves, and other materials. This can cause significant damage to your property and will be costly to repair.

Landscape damage

The most accessible area of your property is your landscape. And skunks will not hesitate to dig and forage through it in search of food. This can damage your plants, flower beds, and shrubs. Not to mention, skunks spray an unpleasant rotting smell which can make your landscape smell terrible.

Risks to Pets and Livestock

Skunks can also be a threat to your pets and livestock. They may see your pets as a food source and prey on them. Skunks have also been known to carry rabies and other diseases that can be passed on to your pets.

Livestock such as chickens, goats, and sheep are also at risk of being attacked by skunks. These animals are attracted to the smell of food and will try to eat anything they can find. This can lead to diseases and parasites being passed on to your livestock.

Safety and Health Concerns

In the wild, skunks are exposed to a variety of diseases and parasites. Some of these diseases can be passed on to humans and pets.

These diseases can be passed on to humans and pets through direct contact or through skunk droppings. Their droppings contain a lot of microorganisms and viruses that they acquired throughout their life in the wild. Some of the diseases include rabies, distemper, and leptospirosis.

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system and is fatal to humans and animals. The virus is usually transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal.

Distemper is a viral disease that affects dogs, cats, and other animals. It is fatal to dogs and can be passed on to humans.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. It is transmitted through the urine of an infected animal and can be fatal to humans.

These diseases can be prevented by vaccinating your pets and avoiding contact with wild animals. If you see a skunk on your property, it is best to call a professional to remove it.

Damage Control

The good thing is that there are ways to deter skunks from getting into your property. These ways are effective and will keep them from coming back. Here are a few things you can do to prevent skunks from doing damage.

Remove food sources

The first step is removing all food sources that may attract skunks to your property. This includes trash, leftovers, pet food, and bird seed. Store all food in sealed containers and keep them in a secure area.

You should also regularly clean your rubbish, compost bins, and other areas where skunks may find food.

Use Predators Urine as Repellents

Skunks have a well-developed sense of smell so, one way to keep them away is by using predator urine as a repellent. The critters will smell the scent and think that there’s a predator nearby.

You can purchase these products at your local hardware store or online. Just be sure to follow the instructions on the package and always wear gloves and a mask when handling these products.

Seal garbage cans

Another way to keep skunks away is by sealing your garbage cans. The smell from your garbage can is one of the callers for these animals. So, make sure to keep it covered at all times. This will prevent them from getting into your trash and rummaging through it.

Use secure containers for your compost

If you have a compost bin, ensure it is covered and secured. The smell of decomposing food is another attraction for skunks. So, keep your compost in a secure container to prevent skunks from getting into it.

You can also add an enzyme-based cleaner to your compost to help control the odor. This will also help to decompose the food faster. Enzyme cleaners are available at your local hardware store or online.

Close all entry points

The last step is to close all entry points that skunks may use to enter your property. This includes repairing holes in your fence, sealing cracks and gaps in your foundation, and trimming bushes and trees near your home.

You can also purchase or build a skunk-proof fence to keep these animals away. In addition, you should trim your lawn and remove any overgrown plants or shrubs. This will eliminate hiding places for skunks and other animals.

Call Pest Control Experts

For long-term solutions and peace of mind, it is best to call a pest control expert. Pest control experts have the knowledge and experience to quickly and efficiently eliminate skunks. They will also be able to provide you with tips on how to keep these animals away from your property in the future.

When calling a pest control expert, ask about their experience with skunks. You should also inquire about their removal methods and ask if they offer a guarantee. During this consultation, they will assess your problem and provide you with a quote for their services.

Need Help With Skunks Infestation On Your Property?

AAAC Wildlife Removal is your one-stop shop for all your skunk removal needs. We have over 25 years of experience removing skunks and other wildlife animals. We are licensed and insured, so you can rest assured that your property is in good hands.

We use only the latest and most effective methods to remove skunks on your property. And we offer a wide range of services to meet your needs, including live trapping and removal, skunk-proof fencing, and repair of damage caused by these animals.

Call us today for a consultation! We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our services.

Final Word

Skunks can be destructive animals. They create unsightly burrows, structure damage, and pose risks to humans, pets, and livestock.

Good thing that there are ways to get rid of them. For effective and safe removal of skunks call us at AAAC Wildlife Removal.


Is skunk ownership legal?

Owning a pet skunk depends on the state. Currently, there are only 17 states that allow this. These states include Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. So, before thinking of having pet skunks, check your state laws first.

What skunks tend to linger within suburban areas?

The striped skunk is the type that often visits suburban areas. It is also the most common skunk in North America.

Is the skunk spray harmful?

The skunk spray can cause temporary blindness and irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. It can also be harmful to pets if they ingest it. Inhaling the spray can also cause headaches and nausea. If you or your pet comes into contact with the skunk spray, it is important to wash the area immediately with soap and water.

Learn More About Other Wildlife Pests

Originally published at AAAC Wildlife Removal: