in ,

How To Identify A Skunk Intrusion

Wildlife can appear unexpectedly in your house. When you discover an unwanted guest, you should know how to find and persuade it to move away. In the case of skunks, this can be more complicated compared to other species because of its signature odor and behavior specifics. In this article, we will name all the telling signs of a skunk intrusion into your household and reasons to go to for professional help.

Signs to Look For

The signs of skunks’ presence in your house or near it are a lot similar to the ones of a raccoon intrusion. Here is what you need to watch out for:

  • a mess around garbage bins and food storage;
  • damaged garden and lawns;
  • paw prints;
  • specific odor;
  • peculiar noises;
  • droppings all over the place where they have settled;
  • mounds of dirt near the house foundation.

If you have noticed any of the things listed above, you should consider calling a professional wildlife removal service for a consultation. Many of those services won’t even charge you for the initial visit.

Skunk or Raccoon?

Many people know skunks for the unpleasant odor of their natural spray, which is used as a defensive mechanism. But, even without it, they leave a pungent smell through their pheromones and waste products. In contrast to raccoons, skunks do not choose a specific spot to relieve themselves and just do that wherever they feel like it. Meaning you will find their feces all over the place.

When exploring the paw prints, pay attention to their size and shape. Skunk prints are smaller and have distinctly separated toes and claws. A raccoon leaves longer and bigger prints, with fingers and toes connected to the pads.

The clutter that a skunk makes is much less intricate. A raccoon can manipulate objects due to its fine motor skills, while a skunk does not have such abilities. So, objects are more likely to be dispersed and chewed on.

Typical Behavior

Behavioral patterns can help you better understand when to wait for “guests” and prepare for their visit. Typical tendencies in skunks’ behavior are:

  • Nighttime activity. Skunks go foraging at night, so it can explain messed up trash bins in the morning.
  • They prefer living solo, with a rare exception for the closest family. The only time a loner tolerates other skunks on its territory is mating season.
  • Adaptable and omnivory, skunks live almost anywhere they can build a den and find food. Unlike raccoons, who prefer attics, skunks live closer to the ground.
  • Defensive and shy, these animals produce quiet sounds and do not like to draw attention. You can easily scare them with a sudden move. If they are being loud, they are fighting or mating.
  • Breeding season starts at the end of winter when the temperature is suitable. In February and March, male skunks can become aggressive. In spring, female skunks bear kits that will appear at the edge of spring and summer. At this period, and further, while parenting the little ones, mother skunks are much more defensive than loners.

Understanding these patterns can help you save your property and health. An ignorance about the reasons for defensive behavior can lead to undesirable consequences, including being attacked.

Mind the Spray!

The spray with an obnoxious odor is a feature people know skunks for. This smell is a mix of pheromones and other substances that make the odor intense and persistent. If this liquid gets on your skin, it may cause allergic reactions like redness, irritation, and a burning sensation. You will need to apply special shampoos and treatments to eradicate the unpleasant smell, or it will stay on you for a very long time.

Skunk spray is even more damaging to the eyes and mucous membranes. If ingested, it harms the digestive system and causes symptoms of intoxication, e.i., vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and disorientation. Also, it sometimes causes infection. The glands that produce this defensive solution are close to the anus, and pathogenic bacteria can easily travel with the spray.


Skunks may seem cute and fluffy, but they are wild animals. The huge difference setting them apart from other intruders is their defensive mechanism. It keeps predators, competitors, and people away from them. Be extra cautious if you discover these white-striped strangers in your habitat. If you doubt your skills of safely removing the skunk without harming it or getting sprayed, you better call the professionals from Critter Stop.

This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from and other Amazon websites.

Written by Marcus Richards

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.