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Skunks Digging Under a Deck or Shed



03.04.2014 - This is a common case - skunks digging under a deck (or shed, porch, house, etc.) and setting up a den there. This often occurs when a female skunk wants a safe place to raise a brood of baby skunks. It's also simply common for skunks in any life state to want to seek out a safe shelter. Skunks are adequate diggers, and when they sense a cavity then can get to, they'll dig their way in. Many porches or sheds are raised off the ground, with a gap around the perimeter, and skunks can tell that there's a safe place underneath to make a home. If need be, they'll dig a little, such as in the above photo.

You might have many reasons for not wanting a skunk, or family of skunks, living under your house. But the primary reason, of course, is the odor. Skunks can leave odor behind for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it's a result of mating activities. Sometimes they are threatened by a variety of sources, and spray. The young sometimes can't control themselves well, and spray for no reason. Of course, if you have a pet dog, you absolutely do not want skunks living under your porch, because your dog will likely encounter them, and get sprayed. The same goes for you yourself. If you have skunks living on your property, that ups the chances of getting sprayed, considerably.

How do you remove skunks living under your porch or deck or shed? The best method is via trapping and removal. A large cage trap, baited with cat food or marshmallows, and set near the entry hole, will likely work. But if you really want to ensure that you trap the target skunk, block off all other means of exiting the deck, but leave the one main entry/exit area open, and set a trap right on that hole, with the escape routes on the sides blocked, and force a skunk who leaves the area to go into the trap.

After the skunk(s) are removed, or even before, you'll want to install an exclusion barrier. This is a steel mesh barrier that goes into the ground, sloping outward, so that animals can't dig their way back under the structure. If you do this before you trap, it'll be very easy to isolate the trapping area. If you aren't comfortable with doing it with the skunk(s) nearby, trap and remove them first, then install the exclusion barrier. If you don't install this steel mesh, you will surely get animals under your deck again in the future. Groundhogs, raccoons, and even stray cats love to live under such areas. Of course, a new skunk is the most likely future culprit.

We specialize in nuisance wildlife control - this is the field of removing unwanted wildlife from homes and property, and solving conflicts between people and wild animals. From home inspections to preventative repairs, wildlife trapping, attic cleanups and more, we solve critter problems with professional expertise. Call me, David, or click on the below link to find any one of hundreds of wildlife trappers in every city and town in the US.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Skunks page for tips and advice.
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