cat food

Do skunks dig in lawns looking for food?

A skunk is a nocturnal animal that is mild-mannered and not aggressive. It chooses to eat insects and small animals as dinner and not your garden. When skunks visit the garden, it may be because of the plants or corn that they find near the ground. You may wish to have skunks in your garden since they will dig up and eat the larvae of hornworms, Japanese beetles and cutworms. They also eat other insects that may destroy your crops. However, the skunk will eat other things in the garden like grains, grasses, buds and leaves. They also eat berries and fruit. This is why you may not wish to have them in your garden.

If there is an animal in your garden, then you can easily identify if it is a skunk through seeing the white stripes that run on its back with the black fur on the rest of the body. It is the size of a house cat. You can also learn how to identify the skunks by their tracks if you cannot find it. Sometimes the skunks can be mistaken for raccoons since the two have feet with five toes. In skunk tracks, it is hard to see the fifth toe. The heels are not in their tracks while the claw marks are more visible. Skunk droppings will contain parts of undigested insects. Another way to know that you have a skunk around is through the odor. Sometimes the skunk may spray in the garden, but you can also find that there is a certain smell around the home even if it has not sprayed.

When the flower bed or lawn has several holes in them, then it may mean that you are having a skunk problem. The skunk can dig up the turf while looking for grubs. It will move around during the night and it can dig in the grassy areas, making deep holes of 3 to 4 inches. Their activities will increase in the spring, and it will stop naturally, so if you wait a little, the skunks may go away on their own.

Skunks like to feed on corn, but they only choose the lower ears. When the corn stalk has been toppled on, then the culprit can be a raccoon. Planting different types of corn may reduce the damage.

To keep the skunk from your garden, you can spray a mixture of dish washing liquid, castor oil and water. You can spray in the place where the skunk will like to forage. The best repellent that you can use against the skunk is light. The skunk is nocturnal and its eyes are too sensitive to the light. A bright light or motion sensor flood light is capable of scaring the skunks away. You can use citrus fruits since most animals will not like their smell. You can put lemon and orange peels in the yard as a natural skunk repellent. Predator urine can be used in repelling the skunk. It is sold commercially. Others are strong smelling soap, deodorizers and ammonia. If you want to keep the skunks away, you should treat the garden to keep the grub population down.

You may also want to read:

  • Why do skunks dig?

  • Go back to the Skunk Removal home page or email us for more info about Do skunks dig in lawns looking for food?