Dead Giveaways There's A Skunk Secretly Living In Your Yard

Skunks typically search for food at night, which is why you may be unsure if they're secretly living in your yard, but luckily, there are several ways to tell if skunks have invaded your space. 

One tell-tale signal is finding dug-up holes in your lawn. These animals love to eat grubs, worms, and other insects that live in the soil, so they will rummage through the grass and dirt in your yard in search of a snack. For those with loose sod, the skunks may simply move or roll it out of the way.

These animals are generally passive and will do their best to avoid you, though they are known to carry rabies. This is why it's important not to approach skunks, especially if they are displaying strange behavior, particularly aggressiveness. If you have a dog, you definitely want to try to keep skunks away from your yard and garden. While humans will pick up on a skunk's warning, such as stomping their feet or raising their tail, dogs don't always get the hint and are more likely to be sprayed. If you're having issues with skunks, you could contact your local animal control, a wildlife rehabilitation center, or look into humane ways to keep these critters out of your yard.

Signs that skunks are living in your yard

While many animals will dig holes in the ground, such as moles, skunk holes are typically smaller. Because skunks use their noses to dig and search for food, holes in the ground are typically more cone-shaped and only 3 or 4 inches in diameter. Sometimes, many of these holes will be near each other and it might look like the dirt has been turned over. These features distinguish a skunk's holes from that of another animal. Another dead giveaway that skunks are hiding in your yard is a musty smell around your property. If the skunks have sprayed recently, the scent will linger in your yard and let you know these creatures are nearby. 

If you feed stray cats outside or like to let your dog have his dinner on the back porch, you might also find that skunks are stealing any leftovers at night. If the animals are a nuisance, you can try to deter skunks naturally with mint, or see if you can have the animals removed. Otherwise, just let the skunks eat all the grubs in your yard before moving on to the next.