Skunks have a notorious reputation for their markedly foul sprays, but at the same time usually possess very meek and mild dispositions. Because of that, they tend to stay away from contact with human beings. Despite the avoidance, skunks can also sometimes bring upon significant damage to lawns, even if no one ever spots the nocturnal creations in action.
Digging for Grubs
If you keep your lawn looking immaculate and well-kept all the time, you may not prefer the presence of skunks. The little guys are big diggers, especially in times of abundant rain. Grubs generally rise to the top of the ground when the soil is moist, and skunks often try to take advantage of that by digging. This doesn't occur exclusively in times of plentiful rain, but also when you water your lawn excessively, so practice moderation. Either way, the presence of skunks can lead to your lawn looking rather disorderly.
Evidence of Digging
If you are worried that skunks may be causing harm to your lawn, look closely for the telling signs of digging, which are often apparent. These holes are usually only about 3 to 4 inches in length. They also are typically rather conical in form. Holes aren't the only indications of skunk-induced lawn destruction. If skunks have been spending a lot of time on your lawn, you also may observe tiny spots of exposed soil -- essentially, missing grass.
If you take pride in the attractive and vivid flowers decorating your lawn, skunks may bring upon a major headache to you by pushing them down while on the lookout for food -- not a fun surprise at all.
Although digging can wreak havoc onto your lawn's appearance for a while, it can actually be beneficial for the soil and future development of plants. By digging, skunks enhance dirt's drainage and aeration. Aeration is vital for helpful air circulation within the soil. This aeration is especially useful for soil that is saturated with excess water.
Apart from assisting in soil aeration, skunks also can help in keeping your lawn free of frustrating pests. Skunks frequently feed on annoying outdoor "nuisances," including cockroaches, bees and wasps, for example.
- Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources: Living With Skunks
- City of Sacramento: Dealing With Skunks
- The Town of Morristown: Solving Skunk Problems
- The Humane Society of the United States: What to Do About Skunks
- Evergreen Animal Protective League: Wildlife Problems
- MSPCA Angell: About Skunks
- UC IPM Online: Skunks
- Utah State University Cooperative Extension: Skunks
- Soil and Environmental Biogeochemistry @ Stanford University: The Influence of Biota on Soil Development and Soil Properties in the Grasslands of Windy Hill Open Space Preserve, California
- Penn State Extension: Skunks