If you have found an animal that has been digging holes in your garden, you might be surprised to find it is skunks. In this article, we look at why and how to stop them.
The most effective method is to reduce the number of grubs in the lawn. Beneficial nematodes will kill ants, fleas, moths, beetles, flies, weevils, and other pests that raccoons feed on. Ultrasonic animal repellers are an excellent deterrent for scaring skunks away.
Ultrasonic Animal Repeller
I use a solar-powered flashing light and ultrasonic animal repeller in my garden. They are humane, use no chemicals, and the one I use is waterproof with a range of up to 20 feet. I recommend this solar animal repeller, but they are all quite similar.
For an effective grub killer, I have started using Bonide’s grub killer. It lasts all season with one application and will give you a healthy lawn.
You can consider using a motion-activated water sprinkler to act as a deterrent to scare them away. Skunks and other animals are scared by the sudden movement and spray of the water. I haven’t used one of these myself, but my friend loves his. You can find it on Amazon here.
Coyote or Wolf Urine
Coyote or wolf urine is excellent at keeping skunks away. As natural predators, skunks will keep far away.
You may lack the appropriate equipment to trap skunks, but hiring a wildlife operator is a good step to make. Make sure they remove them and put them somewhere else humanely.
Skunks are a mostly nocturnal mammal found throughout North America. Their color can be black, gray, or brown, and they often have a white stripe on its back running from head to tail.
Skunks measure from 52 to 77 cm and weigh from up to 5kg. Skunks are omnivores and eat crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars, mice, voles, eggs, and small birds. Their favorite foods are grubs, however, and this is the main reason why they are digging up your lawn.
Skunks live in open areas such as grasslands or thin forests in the United States, southern Canada, and northern Mexico.
Environmental changes have forced them to start living in urban areas. This is the reason why most people regard them as pests. They can cause a lot of harm to gardens as they eat plants and dig in the lawn for insects.
How To Stop Skunks From Digging Your Lawn?
As we have already stated, skunks can cause some serious damage to your lawn as they search for food. If you are sure skunks are causing the damage, it is best to stop them. One of the best and the most effective ways of keeping skunks from damaging your lawn is to take away the underlying cause.
By realizing they are after food growing inside the lawn and the soil, you can remove the cause. Reduce the number of grubs using Bonide’s insect and grub control. Once the grubs have been removed, you also need to take other actions to ensure skunks will not return.
Removing other food sources such as pet food left outside will stop skunk from returning, and purchasing a skunk-proof feeder may also help.
Why Do Skunks Dig Up My Lawn?
Skunks can destroy plants in your garden and dig up your lawn. The main reason why they invade your yard is in search of food.
They are likely to dig in your lawn, looking for insects and plants to eat. They usually target larval insects, which is why you may notice small individual holes in your lawn.
Skunks generally only dig at night. This may mean that it can be a little difficult for you to spot them digging holes in your lawn.
Other animals that may also dig holes in your lawn include raccoons and squirrels. Raccoons will dig holes in your lawn in search of food, while squirrels will dig up your lawn to bury food. The ultrasonic animal repellent works well on all of these animals.
Some of the most common symptoms of grubs in your lawn will be drying grass, especially two to three inches in diameter, and appearances of brown spots in the lawn. If you notice that these spots are increasing in size, skunks are probably expanding their territories.
The main reason why your lawn is being dug up is that there are plenty of grubs. These are the larvae stage of a beetle that serves as a rich source of proteins for skunks and many other animals.
The grubs have brown heads and white or grey bodies. They are always an attraction to skunks, which can end up causing a lot of damage to your lawn.
They are likely to destroy grass around these areas, which means you have to do something to stop the skunks from coming around your home.
Most animals that dig up your lawn, including skunks, will be looking for worms, insects, and grubs. If animals are digging up your lawn, you most likely have a grub problem.
Which Animal Is Digging?
The first way to determine the animals is to observe the type of holes. Moles will create tunnels and mounds, but skunks will flip over whole sections of turf. Skunks are looking for food, but moles are looking for food and shelter. Skunks, on the other hand, will dig precisely and will not leave deep holes in your lawn.
If you are careful enough, you will be able to determine which animal is digging your lawn.
Many animals can cause the same problem. However, if you suspect that skunks are the ones responsible, you have to do something about it. Many gardeners will have an issue with these animals unless something is done to reduce the number of grubs.
How Many Grubs Are Too Many?
A healthy lawn always has a certain number of grubs. A lawn can host up to 5 grubs in every square foot. For example, a lawn of 5,000 square feet can be home to up to 25,000 grubs.
It would be difficult to kill all the grubs, and they do so much good for your garden and their natural habitat that you probably shouldn’t.
However, you can take some measures that will minimize the numbers significantly. Experts actually advise that killing all the grubs is very difficult even if you use harsh chemicals.
The best action to minimize bugs growing is to use a natural suppression treatment, which will eventually minimize food for skunks. One of the best controls is the use of organic grub control.
There are no guarantees that you will be able to stop skunks from entering your garden completely using any of the above methods. However, a combination of the above techniques will see the damage to your garden minimized, and the number of skunks invading your property reduced significantly.