Recently, I went on a service call to a home in Whiting, NJ, to resolve a wildlife infestation for a homeowner. The homeowner believed that he had groundhogs because of burrowing activity in his backyard.
Upon arrival, I inspected the backyard for any signs of active wildlife and soon found a hole underneath the A/C condenser slab. Groundhogs are only one of many types of burrowing wildlife that can cause lawn damage, and turn into a nightmare for homeowners. Based on a close examination of the hole, I determined that the invading wildlife here were not groundhogs. This was a skunk problem! Chubby groundhogs form holes 6-8 inches wide. This cone-shaped hole was far too small for a groundhog. Skunks commonly dig for insects and grubs (insect larvae) in yards, and they are notorious for digging under slabs. Their holes tend to be shallow and perfectly circular. Sometimes you will be able to smell a faint skunk odor. Many homeowners don’t realize that skunks are as skilled diggers as groundhogs. Skunks have large, strong claws with long nails on their forefeet that are tailor-made for digging. Over time, skunks burrowing under concrete slabs, decks, porches, or other residential structures can cause structural damage, not to mention ruin lawns.
For treatment, I’ll cover the hole and then set up a one-way exclusion device behind the A/C Condenser unit. The “one-way” has a spring door that allows the animals to exit but prevents their return. With skunks, if you get rid of the insects and food sources attracting them in the first place, they’ll leave to look for food elsewhere.