Black and white striped skunk with its nose on the ground with green grass.

How To Identify And Seal A Skunk Hole

Skunks may look cute with their furry little faces and striped tails, but they can be a huge pain to have around your home. Not only do these animals smell foul and cause damage when burrowing in gardens or beneath porches, but also dealing with one of them is far from pleasant.

If you think skunks have been lurking around your home, don’t be discouraged – there are practical steps to figure out where they’ve burrowed and secure the area.

Key Pest Points:

• Skunks usually make burrows in lawns, gardens, and beneath porches or decks.

• Look for fresh shallow holes with dirt rings around their entrances to identify a skunk hole.

• To seal a skunk hole, use heavy gauge wire mesh and secure it to the ground.

Why Do Skunks Dig Holes?

Before doing a skunk burrow identification, it’s essential to understand why skunks create holes in the first place. Here are a few reasons they may be digging:

Skunks Dig To Make Burrows and Dens

Skunks are skilled burrowers who enjoy creating their cozy dens. These primarily nocturnal animals prefer slopes, dry areas with low human activity, and some form of protection from predators, such as under porches or in brush piles.

They excavate their dens using their noise, powerful forelimbs, and sharp claws, which can also help them defend against threats. Moreover, skunks will reuse holes abandoned by other animals for the same purpose.

Skunks Dig To Find Food

Skunks are known for their smell and love of digging up food sources, like grubs, insects, and small animals. These fascinating creatures have strong digging skills and a keen sense of smell that helps them locate their prey.

Skunks are omnivorous and opportunistic feeders, meaning they will eat whatever food source is available. They eat anything from beetles and termites to mice and baby rabbits. These diggers also have long claws that they use to loosen soil and burrow into the ground, enabling them to feast on various critters. Despite their reputation as nuisance animals, skunks play an essential role in maintaining healthy ecosystems by controlling insect populations.

Infographic illustration of how to seal a skunk hole.
Feel free to share the full graphic with credit to Outdoor Pests if you found it useful!

How To Identify Skunk Holes

It can be challenging to identify skunk holes without an experienced eye. They often look like small mounds of earth or patches of freshly dug soil, but they can also be mistaken for the recesses made by other animals. Here are a few signs that may indicate the presence of skunks:

Look For Fresh Digging and Droppings

Fresh dirt rings surrounding the shallow hole are a telltale sign that it’s been dug by a skunk. They are known for excavating their dens beneath sheds, decks, and other man-made structures, so watch out for small holes around these areas.

Additionally, look for black droppings that contain pieces of insects, seeds, and plant material. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to easily spot skunk dens and take the necessary precautions to avoid contact with these pesky creatures.

Three skunk holes in the ground with grass.
Photo Credit: by Javier Gil

Check For Signs Of Activity

Once you’ve identified a skunk hole, looking closely for signs of activity is crucial. The presence of paw prints or tracks in the area indicates that they are actively using the den. During the summer months, watch for young skunks exiting their burrows as they explore their surroundings.

Furthermore, skunk mating season occurs in late winter through early spring, so it’s a good idea to beware of any activity that may indicate the presence of adult skunks.

Listen For Sounds

One of the best ways to determine if skunks are in a particular area is by listening to noises that may indicate their presence. Skunks tend to vocalize by chattering, growling, and hissing at night.

In addition, they can also be heard scratching and digging in their dens as they create tunnels underground or look for grubs to eat. If you hear these noises coming from a particular area, likely, skunks are nearby. 

To figure out what does a skunk hole look like, you must examine the area and find its unique characteristics, but it can be hard to identify them, so contact an experienced pest control company to help you with the process. 

How To Seal A Skunk Den

Often, the best way to deal with skunks is by sealing off their den. Securing a hole can prevent them from returning and limit their access to food sources. Here are the steps to take to close a skunk hole safely:

Clear The Area

Clear away any debris that may be blocking access to the skunk hole. This includes rocks, branches, and leaves. Removing these items makes it easier to cover the den with a material that will prevent them from returning.

Close Up The Hole

Once the area is cleared, cover the hole with heavy-duty material, such as plywood or thick wire mesh. Make sure to firmly attach the material to the ground so that it doesn’t shift or move when disturbed, as this could allow skunks to access the den.

Install Repellents

It can be beneficial to install skunk repellents around the area. Repellents emit a strong odor or taste that skunks find unpleasant and will avoid at all costs. These repellents can include cayenne pepper, garlic, predator urine, and ammonia-soaked rags. However, these repellents are unreliable, so contacting a pest control professional is best if the problem persists.

Monitor The Area

Regularly monitor the den for any fresh digging or tracks in the area that may indicate a recent visit from a skunk. If you notice any new activity, take steps to seal off the hole once again.

Taking a proactive approach to managing skunks is vital in maintaining a safe and pest-free backyard. So, the next time you spot a skunk hole, use this guide to properly seal it off and prevent future visits from these wild animals.

Skunk with its nose on the ground digging for food.

Skunks Digging Prevention Tips

Skunks are cute, but their digging can damage your property. To prevent this, you can make your property less attractive. Here are some ideas:

  • Remove any potential food sources, such as uncovered trash or pet food left outside.
  • Trim back overgrown bushes and shrubs where skunks might feel safe hiding or digging.
  • Fencing can help prevent skunks from entering your yard, but ensure it extends a few inches into the ground to stop digging.
  • Eliminate any attractive areas for denning, such as wood piles or piles of brush. If possible, fill in any holes or burrows where skunks might nest.
  • Keep your lawn mowed and well-maintained, as skunks are less likely to dig in clean and debris-free areas.

Familiarizing yourself with the signs of skunk activity and preventing access to their dens can help keep these creatures away from your property. Following these tips effectively reduces the risk of damage caused by skunks digging in your yard.


How do you know if you have a skunk hole?

You may be able to detect a skunk hole if you hear vocalizations at night or scratching and digging noises coming from a particular area. Additionally, look for signs of denning, such as holes in the ground with rings of dirt. There may also be a distinct odor of skunk spray in the area.

How deep is a skunk hole?

A skunk hole is typically three to five inches deep, although it can sometimes be deeper. Skunks use these dens to protect and escape predators, so they will often dig them deep enough to provide safety and a secure hiding place.


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