Have you noticed any strange animal droppings around your home or property? You could be dealing with skunks! The first step in identifying if you have a skunk problem is finding out if there have been any recent sightings of skunks in your area. Skunks can be identified by their black and white markings, long bushy tail, and pointed nose.
Of course, because skunks are nocturnal, you may not always see them. Another great indicator of skunks is skunk poop, which they leave behind wherever they roam.
But what does skunk poop look like, and what are some other indicators that you may be dealing with these stinky animals?
Keep reading to find out.
What Are Skunks
Skunks are solitary animals that are common throughout the United States.
Skunks are mammals that belong to the family of Mephitidae. The name “skunk” is derived from the Algonquian word for the animal, skunked, which means “strongly smelling”, which is the perfect description of these striped animals.
Other names for skunks include polecat, skunk bear, and musquash. Skunks are famous for their ability to spray a liquid from glands near their anus that has a powerful odor. Those who don’t know what that liquid spray is may be fearful they are being sprayed with skunk poop or urine.
This is understandable, as skunks are notorious for their powerful spray. Their spray is a white, milky substance that can be sprayed from the skunk’s rear end, though it is not urine or skunk poop. The smell comes from glands near the anus and is truly terrible and can cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, and worse if inhaled or touched.
This is because the skunk’s spray contains sulfuric compounds that give off an odor similar to rotten eggs. This smell is so strong that it can be detected by a human nose from 100 feet away. Some of the same components of this odor are used in pepper sprays sold by law enforcement agencies to control riots or other disturbances.
Luckily, skunks only spray when they feel threatened or if they are being harassed. If you do see a skunk out and about during the night or even during the day, it’s best to keep your distance.
Skunks can be destructive, but not as severely as raccoons or other common nocturnal pests. Most of the time, they just want to be left alone. Skunks are omnivores and will eat almost anything, including insects, rodents, birds, eggs, and small reptiles. They don’t cause much damage to property or gardens but will use burrows under porches or sheds as shelter from predators.
With that said, skunks do have a bad reputation for being aggressive animals that can spray an unpleasant odor when threatened. While this is true in some cases, skunks are actually more likely to avoid humans than attack them, as we mentioned above.
The only time you may have an issue with a skunk is if you bother one too much or try to get too close to its nest. This can result in an attack where they release their musk as a defense mechanism against predators or humans.
Of course, if you don’t want a skunk around your property, you’ll want to be on the lookout for signs of skunks, like skunk poop for example, and then use common methods to repel skunks in order to remove them safely and without getting sprayed.
But what does skunk poop look like? Let’s find out!
What Does Skunk Poop Look Like?
Skunk poop can look a few ways. Sometimes it looks like coffee grounds while other times it can look similar to dog feces.
Skunk poop, also known as skunk feces or skunk skat, has a very strong smell. It is usually brown, has a bad odor, and can be found in your yard, garden, or under your porch. Skunk poop contains waste from the skunk and it can be dangerous to your health if handled, inhaled, or accidentally ingested (if you touch it and don’t wash your hands before handling food, for example).
If you think you have discovered skunk poop, it likely means you have a skunk living somewhere nearby.
But are you sure you are looking at skunk poop in your yard? It could be difficult to tell. Skunk feces are dark brown or black in color and often have a smooth texture. They may also contain small white deposits at their ends which are composed of uric acid crystals formed during the digestive process. These crystals give off an odor when they come into contact with moisture which is why skunks will sometimes place their feces in piles so that they can be easily found again later by other members of their family group.
The size of skunk poop depends on whether they are male or female and how old they are. Young skunks tend to produce smaller droppings than older ones while males tend to produce larger ones than females.
Skunks are nocturnal animals, which means they eat at night and sleep during the day. They like to dig holes in yards or gardens where they can find food and build their nests. The stench from these holes attracts other animals like raccoons, squirrels, and rats. When these animals move into the area, they leave their own feces behind too — which creates more of a problem for you.
If you notice that skunk poop is piling up around your property, this means you have a skunk that is likely living on your property. Skunks can live below porches or along your property line, where they dig burrows and live with their young.
It can be difficult to get rid of skunk poop because in order to do this you must get rid of the skunk itself. The good news is that there are some products and methods you can use to get rid of skunks and eliminate skunk poop.
But before we talk about how to get rid of skunks and skunk poop, let’s talk about why you might have skunks attracted to your property.
What Are Skunks Attracted To?
Skunks are nocturnal animals that are attracted to food, water, and shelter.
Skunks are found all over the United States and Canada. They are nocturnal animals that can be destructive to your yard if they decide to make it their home too. More than being destructive, however, skunks bring with them a terrible odor.
We should note that skunks are not social animals; they live alone except during mating season and when raising their young. They do not hibernate, but they do dig dens in the ground or under tree roots for shelter during winter months. This means that if you do have skunk poop in your yard, you’re likely dealing with a single skunk unless, of course, you’re dealing with a skunk mother and her young.
But why do you have skunks and why do you have skunk poop? Skunks are attracted to a number of different things, but primarily they are attracted to food, water, and shelter.
Skunks will eat just about anything they can get their paws on. This includes insects, mice, rabbits, birds, and eggs. They also enjoy eating vegetables, fruits, and grains, so they could be attracted to vegetable gardens or fruit trees.
If you have chickens or other small animals on your property then you may also have skunks trying to get at them as well. The best way to deal with this problem is by keeping food waste away from the skunk’s feeding area. This can be very difficult in some cases because they will find a way into your garbage cans no matter what type of lid you have on them or how much effort you put into keeping them out of them!
Skunks also like living in dark, covered areas where they feel safe from predators and other animals that would attempt to eat them. They live in dens that they dig themselves but these dens may not be in your backyard unless there is some sort of shelter nearby such as an old shed, an unused garage, or a porch they can easily get beneath. Skunks are also resourceful and will find any hole that is large enough for them to fit into if there isn’t a better alternative.
When it comes to water, skunks can get most of what they need from their food sources. However, they will sometimes drink from puddles or ponds if there is no other alternative.
The best way to keep skunks and their skunk poop out of your yard is to make your yard less attractive to them. Put up skunk-proof fencing around vegetable gardens or fruit trees, and make sure your chickens are protected in a chicken coop with chicken wire that is not penetrable by skunks, coyotes, or foxes.
You should also be sure to store garbage properly, remove excess water sources like overturned tires, buckets, or bird baths, and refrain from leaving pet food or bird seed outside overnight.
Along With Skunk Poop, What Are Other Common Signs Of Skunks?
Skunk tracks are another sign of skunks nearby.
Skunks are known for their ability to spray a foul-smelling defense mechanism to ward off predators, as we’ve mentioned. These pests can be quite destructive, so it’s important that you take action as soon as you notice skunk activity in your yard.
Along with skunk poop, here are some other common signs that you have skunks in your yard:
A persistent musky odor – Skunks smell like, well, skunks. If you notice a musty muskiness coming from somewhere near your property, it’s likely because there is a skunk living nearby. Skunks also may leave behind droppings that can sometimes look similar to dog poop and can be found near potential skunk dens.
Shallow holes in your lawn – Skunks dig shallow holes as they travel through the yard searching for grubs and insects to eat. As they dig these holes, they pull up and loosen the grass around them which gives them a bald appearance. If you notice this happening in multiple areas of your lawn, it’s likely due to skunks.
Skunk tracks – Skunks leave tracks in the snow with four toes on each foot. The prints are about three inches long and two inches wide, with five toes on each foot. If you wake up to unique tracks like these in the snow or mud around your property, you probably have a neighborhood skunk.
Skunk Droppings – Yes, skunk poop again is one of the top signs you’re dealing with skunks. Remember, skunks leave behind small, black scat that can range in appearance. It can look like a pile of coffee grounds, or sometimes even look like other animal feces. The droppings are the size of a pea to walnut and oval in shape.
Skunk dens – If you see dens in your yard, chances are good that skunks have been digging there. They dig dens for winter sleeping quarters and for birthing their babies in springtime. They also use dens as hiding places when they’re feeling threatened by predators or humans.
If you notice any of the above signs of skunks, it’s a good idea to take steps to repel them quickly.
How To Get Rid Of Skunks – Best Methods And Products
Skunks can be managed using repellents and the help of professionals.
There are a lot of different methods for getting rid of skunks. Unfortunately, some of them are not very effective, and some can even be dangerous.
Here are the best ways to get rid of skunks:
Use repellents: Skunk repellents are often better than traps because they don’t involve capturing or killing the skunk. However, the best products for getting rid of skunks don’t always work. If you want to use a repellent, make sure it has a good track record. We have listed a few of the best-rated products further down.
Use traps: Traps are an easy way to get rid of skunks, but they’re not as effective as some people think they are. If you’re going to use traps, make sure they’re humane and have a high success rate. It’s also important to remember if you are using traps as a form of catch-and-release with the skunk, you’re putting yourself at high risk of getting sprayed. For this reason, we highly recommend you use repellents instead when it comes to getting rid of skunks.
If repellents don’t work for eliminating skunks and reducing the amount of skunk poop you are running into, then it’s best to contact a professional pest control expert for help.
Natural Armor Animal & Rodent Repellent
Natural Armor Animal & Rodent Repellent for removing skunks, bats, rats, and mice is a spray that repels animals without chemicals or harmful effects on the environment. It works by combining natural ingredients to create an odor that animals find offensive.
In addition to repelling skunks and other pests, Natural Armor can be used around your home or business to deter cats, dogs, and other common household pests.
Natural Armor Animal & Rodent Repellent can be applied directly to surfaces or used as a spot treatment in corners or cracks where animals may hide.
Epic All Natural Skunk Scram Skunk Repellent
Epic All Natural Skunk Scram Skunk Repellent is a popular and effective skunk repellent. It is a completely animal-safe and all-natural product that repels skunks, foxes, and raccoons from gardens, yards, flower beds, and more.
The product works by using a blend of essential oils that smell very unpleasant to animals like skunks and raccoons. It also contains garlic oil which has proven to be effective against pests like ticks and fleas, however, we do not recommend using it directly on plants or flowers because it could burn them if left on too long.
Univerayo Solar Nocturnal Animal Repeller
The Univerayo Solar Animal Repeller is another effective way to protect your home, garden, and pets from unwanted visitors like skunks. It is a solar-powered electronic animal repellent that uses ultrasonic sound waves to keep pests away.
The device has two modes of operation: day and night. When switched on during the day, it produces an ultrasonic sound that cannot be heard by humans or pets but will frighten away skunks and other pests. At night, it emits a high-intensity light that is visible up to 300 feet away.
Bonide Repels-All Granules
Bonide Repels-All Granules are a non-toxic solution to skunk removal. The granules are made of natural ingredients that will repel animals from your property. The granules will not harm your lawn or plants, so you can use them on your property with no worries.
The granules work by releasing a scent that animals find unpleasant. This means that when you apply the granules around your home, the odor will keep animals away from it.
We like that Bonide Repels-All Granules are a natural product that helps to repel skunks, rabbits, and other pests from your property. The formula is made up of all-natural ingredients including garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and cinnamon oil extract
Life Supply USA Store Catch and Release Animal Trap
Life Supply USA Store Catch and Release Animal Trap is a humane way to control and remove skunks, raccoons, possums, woodchucks and similar animals. This cage trap has an open design that allows you to release the animal without touching it. The trap’s spring-loaded door snaps shut quickly when an animal steps on the trigger pan.
It also has a safety latch that prevents accidental closure of the door during use. This animal trap is made of heavy-duty steel with a rust-resistant enamel finish, so it can be used outdoors or in wet areas like basements and crawl spaces. The innovative design of this trap makes it ideal for catching small animals like squirrels and chipmunks as well.
Home Remedies For Repelling Skunks Once You Know What Does Skunk Poop Look Like
Companion planting plants like daffodils can help repel pests like skunks.
Are you looking for some do-it-yourself pest control methods for skunks?
Skunks are a common nuisance in many parts of the country. Skunk problems often arise when they dig up lawns looking for grubs and worms.
Luckily, skunks can be easily discouraged from digging up your lawn by using companion planting to make your garden less appealing to them. Companion planting is the practice of planting certain types of plants together to improve their growth or repel pests. Below are some plants that will help keep skunks away from your yard:
Chives – Garlic chives (Allium tuberosum) are easy to grow in any garden and make a beautiful addition to any flower bed or vegetable garden. They have clusters of tiny white flowers that appear in early summer, but you will have to deadhead them if you want more blooms later in the season. Garlic chives produce purple-tinged foliage that smells like garlic when crushed. They do best in full sun with well-draining soil that isn’t overly rich in nitrogen fertilizer.
Hollyhock – Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) are one of the toughest perennials you can grow, so they’re good for any spot where other flowers might not survive. Hollyhocks have tall spikes of bright hues, ranging from red and pink to yellow and orange. They grow about three feet tall and should be planted at least 6 feet apart for maximum impact. Hollyhocks prefer full sun but will tolerate partial shade conditions as long as they are watered regularly during hot weather periods.
Daffodils – Daffodils are one of the best natural ways to keep skunks away. Skunks hate the smell of these flowers and will avoid them at all costs.
Garlic – Garlic is another great plant to have in your yard if you want to keep skunks away. Skunks hate the smell of garlic, so plant some near the edge of your property or around any entry points they may use to get into your home.
Crown Imperial – Crown Imperia is another great flower that will keep skunks away from your yard. This flower has a very strong scent that skunks find offensive, so planting these will help keep them away from your home for good!
Stinging Nettle – The stinging nettle is another great plant to have in your backyard if you want to keep skunks away from your property and therefore skunk poop! Skunks hate the smell of this plant, so planting some in an area where they frequently enter or exit their den should suffice!
How To Make Your Own Skunk Repellent Spray
Skunk repellent spray is a popular, easy-to-make solution that you can use to ward off skunks from your yard and garden. It’s also effective on other pests such as raccoons and squirrels. The active ingredient in this homemade skunk repellent is cayenne pepper — the same ingredient that makes hot peppers hot — and it’s what makes this homemade repellent so effective at keeping skunks away.
Cayenne pepper is an irritant to skunks, similar to how capsaicin in cayenne pepper makes it spicy for humans. The smell of capsaicin triggers a reaction in the nose and mouth of humans because it causes irritation to the mucous membranes. It’s the same with skunks: They have sensitive noses, so they don’t like anything that irritates them!
Here’s how to make your own skunk-repellent spray using cayenne pepper:
- 1/4 cup of cayenne pepper (or more if desired)
- 1 teaspoon of liquid castile soap (eucalyptus, peppermint, or lavender works best)
- 2 cups of water
Mix all of the above ingredients together in a spray bottle. Shake well before using. Spray directly around areas you have noticed skunk poop or you suspect skunks to be frequenting your property like around vegetable gardens, sheds, garages, porches, or chicken coops.
Skunks – The Good, The Bad, And The Stinky
Though skunks can be a nuisance, they are beneficial and for the most part, prefer to stay away from humans.
Skunks are wild animals that can be found in almost every state. They are omnivorous, eating everything from small insects to other small mammals. Skunks also have a reputation for their offensive odor, which they use as a defense mechanism when they feel threatened.
Skunks will eat both vegetables and meat and can cause serious damage to your crops if they are not kept away from your property. Skunks are nocturnal animals and prefer to live in underground burrows during the day. They can be aggressive if they feel threatened, but most of the time they just want to avoid humans at all costs. Skunks are typically found in wooded areas or near bodies of water where food is more plentiful, such as farms and gardens.
Keeping skunks away from your property is not always easy, especially because you may not know how many skunks could be living on your property or how many of them may come around at night looking for food or shelter. Here are some tips for keeping skunks off your property:
Block entrances to burrows – If there is an opening where a skunk has been digging into your yard or garden, then block it off with chicken wire or fencing material so they cannot get back in again after leaving through it.
Remove any food sources – Skunks will eat just about anything they can find, but they are especially attracted to pet food and garbage. Keep all pet food inside and make sure that no trash or compost piles are accessible from outside the house.
Clean up after your pets – Skunks are very attracted to dog feces and will dig through yards looking for it. Pick up after your pet every day, even if there is not yet a problem with skunks on your property.
Don’t leave water sources uncovered – Skunks may be on the hunt for water and will come out of their burrows at night looking for a drink. Make sure that bird baths and other water sources are covered at night so they do not attract these pests.
And remember, if you are struggling with getting rid of skunks and skunk poop, the best method to use, along with repellents, are your local wildlife resources.
Best of luck and thanks for reading!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.