5 Signs That Skunks are Living Underneath Your House

Updated April 1, 2024

5 Signs That Skunks are Living Underneath Your House

Skunks love to make their dens in tight-fitting, dark spaces. In the wild, skunks often dig their own burrows or occupy deserted burrows dug by other animals. Skunks living in residential areas can comfortably live under your porch, patio, deck, or crawl space.

Skunks tear through insulation, wires, and ductwork to access areas underneath your home. They will also leave behind that terrible, tell-tale skunk smell. Once skunks make their dens, they can give birth to litters between 3-6 kits.

Here are some warning signs you have a skunk living under your house.

Strong, Offensive Odor

A strong, intolerable musky odor is the most common sign of a skunk sprayed under your house. You may also smell urine or feces as more skunks shack under your deck or patio. Why do skunks spray under houses? Skunks spray when threatened or frightened to ward off potential predators. Simply walking over or near a skunk den may cause them to spray. Pets who encounter skunks may also return covered in skunk spray. Male skunks will also mark their territory during the winter mating season with foul discharge.

Small Holes Around House

Skunks are omnivores and eat various foods, but they often scavenge for insects. Skunks will dig small, shallow holes throughout your yard when searching for grubs and other insects. These holes are about 2-3 inches in diameter and appear in clusters. If a skunk has fallen under your house, you’ll likely find these holes near your porch, deck, or foundation.

Skunk Tracks

Skunks leaving their dens at night to scavenge may leave pawprints around your foundation, deck, or patio. You may notice skunk tracks in flower beds, mud, dirt, sidewalks, or other surfaces. Skunk tracks are usually about 1.5 to 2 inches long. Front pawprints have 1 palm pad and 5 long finger marks. Back pawprints have 2 palm pads and 5 long finger marks.

Electrical, Insulation, and Ductwork Damage

Skunks may chew or claw through electrical wires, insulation, ductwork, and deck enclosures to access areas under your home. You may notice exterior wiring around your home has been chewed clean or frayed. Skunks that access your crawl space often tear up insulation and ductwork to make a den under the vapor barrier or corner.

Scratching Noises at Night

Skunks dislike bright light and are most active at night. In the evenings, you may hear scratching and rustling under your porch, deck, or patio as skunks move around their den. Skunk litters may also chirp or squeal. If threatened by pets or disturbed by movement above their dens, skunks may also hiss or screech.

How to Get Rid of Skunks Under Your House

A skunk den under your house can become a pricey nuisance. Beyond physical damage, you may also notice higher electric bills if destroyed duct lines vent air into your crawl space. Skunks can also transmit dangerous diseases like rabies and salmonella to people and animals.

Not sure how to get a skunk out from under your house? Don’t risk being sprayed, and call a wildlife removal service like Alpha Wildlife. Our professional animal removal experts can help remove skunks from under your home promptly and safely to avoid further damage.

Learn more about our expert skunk removal services.