Signs of Skunks in the Backyard

As skunks are nocturnal, property owners are typically first alerted to their presence in backyards by their putrid smell as opposed to actually spotting the animals. Individuals may also notice conical holes around yards, which are the result of skunks foraging for grubs. Additionally, on farms and in yards with poultry, skunks target chicken eggs as meals and may leave behind dead adult chickens as evidence of their existence.

Problems & Dangers

Skunks occupy land where food and water is abundant. Problems arise when the pests’ food seeking habits destroy the landscaping in gardens and golf courses and wreak havoc on building foundations. Furthermore, having skunks in backyards puts both people and pets at risk of being sprayed. The smell can linger for months at a time. Skunks can also carry the rabies virus. Any skunk in the yard showing signs of rabies, such as foaming at the mouth and aggressive behavior, should be reported immediately.


Property owners can take steps to deter skunks in yards, like limiting access to food, water, and shelter. However, making lawns less favorable to the pests does not guarantee they won’t infest. Due to the potential of getting sprayed and the danger of disease transmission, property owners should employ professional wildlife removal specialists to take care of skunk problems.

Related: Skunks in my Backyard


A mother skunk and her babies have moved into my backyard. Is there a humane way to remove them?

-Florence, AL


The welfare of the animals we handle is always a top priority. We are very careful to not only solve the conflicts that arise but also follow all of the laws and regulations while treating the animals with as much dignity and respect as possible. The best course of action with skunks would be to trap or otherwise capture the mother and babies together so that they may be relocated without causing them undue stress.