Skunks are members of the weasel family. Skunks are pests because they dig under foundations and take up residence under homes or in other buildings. They sometimes eat poultry and eggs, garden vegetables, and fruit. They can also damage beehives as they feed on adult and larval bees. Skunks commonly damage lawns when they dig in search of insect larvae, rolling back the sod. Of course skunks are disliked primarily because of their ability to voluntarily discharge an obnoxious odor when provoked. This fluid can be directed accurately for up to 10 feet and somewhat less accurately for up to 20 feet. Skunks are usually active from early evening through most of the night. They spend their days sleeping in dens which are usually below ground but may be located in stream or pond banks, junked cars and machinery, lumber piles and hollow tree stumps, or beneath porches or in crawlspaces of buildings.
Prevention: Many problems with skunks around homes and farms can be prevented by excluding skunks from spaces beneath buildings. To identify areas around buildings where skunks may be gaining entry, tracking patches of smooth layer of fine sand, dust, or flour can be placed at all suspected openings. Wait until after dark when the skunk normally leaves to seek food. Tracks will be seen at the den entrance and will indicate that the animal has left. Use sturdy wire mesh to screen vents near ground level in houses and other structures. Tightly seal or fill in holes in foundations or under porches to prevent skunk entry. Call us for a free inspection.