Asked May 18, 2014, 7:44 PM EDT

I saw a skunk in my back yard within the last week (dusk). It left when I made noises. Have not seen it since but there are signs of odd digging that I have seen since I saw the skunk. It is like something was digging near the surface of the grass. Could that be skunk behavior? In the 24 years I have lived at this location, I have never seen a skunk.

Multnomah County Oregon human-wildlife issues wildlife

2 Responses

The digging you describe sounds like the work of a skunk. Skunks are likely foraging in your lawn for grubs (for example, cranefly larvae). Skunk digs often look like little (paw-sized) inverted cones. Is your yard fenced or fence-able? Skunks cannot climb very high, so a 3-4' tall fence with an additional attachment of a 1-foot deep, 1'foot out (to the exterior of your yard) L-shaped apron of hardware cloth or fence would help exclude the skunk from your yard. Making noises to deter the skunk was a good short-term approach, but because of their persistence and well-known alarm behavior (spraying), you probably want to minimize direct encounters between the skunk and yourself or your pets! However now that you're aware that your yard has been adopted by a skunk, if the digging is at a tolerable level, you might not need to fence him/her out -- Just be aware of who might be out there when you go out in the evening. I hope this information proves helpful.

Thanks for the info. I do have a 6' fence but there are some openings at ground level. I put some rocks in one opening, but the rocks "moved" --- smart skunk?
Good to know they visit in the evening, not day time.
I may have to live with this new visitor for now. I did let my neighbor know since they have a small dog who might not like sharing her yard. Thanks again.