Some people are of the mindset that skunks can make suitable family pets once their scent glands are removed. While this might be true, you probably don't want to encounter one of these scent-producing creatures in your yard, especially if you have pets who are outside at night. Skunks are typically nocturnal creatures, meaning that they often sleep during the day and prowl the neighborhood at night. This could mean that you never actually see a skunk in your yard — but this doesn't mean that one isn't living nearby. Thankfully, you don't have to spot a skunk to know one lives nearby. Here are some clues to watch for.
One of the most obvious signs that you have a skunk in your yard is that you'll notice areas of your lawn that are torn up in the morning. The damage can range from a small section of the lawn being turned up to a wide area that shocks you when you look out your window. Skunks lift the grass in their quest for bugs to eat, and the end result can appear as though someone has lifted a section of the grass carefully with a garden spade.
Presence Of Droppings
While you might occasionally find droppings from dogs or cats in your yard, pay special attention if you encounter droppings that don't appear to be from either animal. Skunk droppings are often about half an inch thick and range from two to four inches in length.
Disturbance Of Your Compost Or Garbage
Raccoons will commonly be attracted by your compost or garbage, but skunks can also find the food waste in these two receptacles enticing. If you've noticed that food scraps from your composting bin have been disturbed and your garbage bin has been knocked over — in some cases, it might even have dirty footprints on it — these are signs that you could have a skunk visiting your yard after hours.
Prolific Sniffing From Your Dog
When you let your family dog out in the morning, watch his or her behavior. If a skunk has passed through the yard overnight, even without spraying, it's likely that your dog will be intensely sniffing the area in which the skunk traveled. If you're picking up on these signs together, it's time to call your local pest control service, such as B & W Pest Control, to attempt to trap and relocate the skunk.