Female skunks are on the move once again looking for places to have their babies. It’s pretty common this time of year for them to search out and find gaps and holes leading under sheds, trailers, decks, and sometimes foundations. Here are a few simple things you can do in 5 minutes to check for skunks living on your property.
This may seem super simple, but start by walking around your yard looking for skunk activity. Feeding skunks do a lot of damage to lawns. They especially prefer to eat the grubs that are in your lawn. If it looks like someone was outside all night practicing their bad golf swing with a chipping iron, then it was probably made by skunks. They leave small conical depressions and lots of ruffed up lawn fragments. You won’t have to worry about grub problems in your lawn ever again, although it may be difficult to mow.
So now you’ve walked all over the yard and haven’t found anything yet? Did you check the neighbors yard as well? Skunks can wander all over the place and they may very well be feeding next door, but looking for a place to sleep under your porch steps. Check around the edges of all sheds, decks, porches, and foundations. Trailer skirting falls in this group as well, it’s sometimes easy to climb under. Skunks are really not known for their ability to tunnel. At least not in the way we think of groundhogs tunneling. They will however excavate a depression large enough to slip inside. In the early Spring, with all the snow melt and rains the ground is very soft and easily moved by skunks. Especially if it means its open on the other side, such as you find under a shed, or behind a trailer skirting. Looks for a hole that may only be 3-4” deep, and 6” or so wide.
This time of year, even if you haven’t found any signs of resident skunks, they could still be in the neighborhood. Mothers are on the move now. Males may still be on the move searching for a receptive female. However, if a female is in the processes of looking for a nest for babies, she definitely isn’t in the mood for love. She won’t tolerate a male around when she is getting ready to have her young. If you suddenly begin smelling skunk odor one day on your property this spring, its a good chance that the female sprayed the male. If that happens, recheck the property to see if you have new inhabitants. It could happen overnight, but it only takes 5 minutes to do a quick look around.