Skunks - School IPM - USU Extension




    Striped skunk (Alfred Viola, Northeastern University,

    Spotted skink

    Western spotted skunk (National Park Service, Wikimedia Commons)

    skung damage to lawns

    Skunk damage to lawn (Ohio State University Extension)


    • about the size of a housecat
    • black fur and two broad white stripes running the length of the body; spotted skunks are black with white markings and about half the size of a housecat
    • release odorous spray (distance of 8 – 15 feet) when disturbed or cornered

    Nesting Habits

    • build dens in brush piles, open irrigation pipes, storage areas, sheds, under structures, etc.
    • solitary animals, except for mating and during winter
    • most active at night


    • wide range of plant and animal material including berries, fruits, vegetables, insects, small rodents, reptiles, eggs and young birds


    • known carriers of diseases, such as rabies, and a variety of parasites
    • may damage lawns and athletic fields by digging for food; leave bare patches and small cone-shaped holes
    • odorous defensive spray

    IPM Recommendations

    • Check local regulations for skunk management prior to control.
    • Eliminate potential den sites and food sources outdoors.
    • In buildings without concrete foundations, seal all holes with a fine wire mesh to prevent skunks from denning under the structure.
    • If a skunk enters a structure, do not harass or disturb it. Leave exits open to allow it to leave on its own.
    • Contact a professional to trap and remove the skunk.

    Additional information: