Do Skunks Burrow Under Concrete? Facts You Need to Know

Do skunks burrow under concrete? This is a question that has been on the minds of many homeowners, especially those who live in areas where skunks are common. As cute and cuddly as these creatures may appear, they are known for being quite the nuisance. They can invade your property, tear up your lawn, and even damage your home’s foundation. But the question remains, do skunks go as far as burrowing under concrete?

While many of us assume that skunks only burrow in soft soil or grassy areas, it turns out that these little critters are quite adaptable. Skunks are known for their ability to dig holes in a variety of surfaces, including concrete. This means that if you have a concrete structure on your property, no matter how small, you could be at risk for a skunk invasion.

But why do skunks choose to burrow under concrete? There could be a number of reasons. Perhaps they are looking for a place to nest or raise their young, or maybe they are simply looking for a safe haven from predators. Whatever the reason may be, it’s important for homeowners to understand the risks associated with skunks burrowing under concrete and take measures to prevent it from happening.

Characteristics of skunks

Skunks are small mammals known for their distinctive black and white stripes and the foul-smelling spray they use as a defense mechanism. They are found primarily in North and South America, and are nocturnal animals that are active at night and rest during the day.

  • Size: Skunks are typically around the size of a house cat, with an average length of around 20-25 inches and a weight of 6-10 pounds for males and 4-6 pounds for females.
  • Habitat: Skunks are adaptable creatures that can live in a variety of habitats, including forests, fields, deserts, and suburban areas. They prefer areas with easy access to water, as well as places to burrow and find shelter.
  • Diet: Skunks are omnivores that feed on a variety of foods, including insects, small mammals, fruits, and vegetables. They are also opportunistic and will scavenge for food when necessary.

Skunks are known for their unique defense mechanism: a spray that can cause temporary blindness and a noxious odor that is difficult to remove. They have two small glands located near their anus that produce this spray, which they can aim accurately up to 10 feet away.

Common Name Scientific Name
Striped skunk Mephitis mephitis
Hooded skunk Mephitis macroura
Spotted skunk Spilogale putorius

Skunks also have other distinct characteristics, such as their long claws that are used for digging and their excellent sense of smell. They have poor eyesight, but make up for it with their sense of hearing and smell, which they use to locate prey and detect danger.

Habits and Behaviors of Skunks

Skunks are known for their distinct black and white striped fur coat and they can be found roaming in various parts of North and Central America. These nocturnal creatures are omnivores and eat both plants and animals. They have a reputation for their strong, pungent odor which serves as a defense mechanism against predators.

  • Diet: Skunks are opportunistic feeders and will eat almost anything they can find including insects, rodents, birds, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. They have a keen sense of smell which allows them to locate food easily.
  • Nocturnal: Skunks are nocturnal creatures and are most active during the night. During the day they usually sleep in their dens or in other sheltered locations.
  • Defensive Mechanisms: Skunks use their strong-smelling spray as a defense mechanism against predators. They can spray their enemies accurately up to 10 feet away, and once sprayed, the smell can last for days. Apart from the odor, they also use loud hissing noises to frighten away attackers.

Skunks do not typically burrow under concrete, they usually dig their dens under tree roots, fallen logs, or in rock crevices. However, they can sometimes dig under concrete if they are searching for food or if they are displaced from their natural habitat due to human activities.

Skunks are generally solitary animals, except during mating season when they will seek out a mate and then go their separate ways. They have a lifespan of up to 3 years in the wild and up to 10 years in captivity.

Behavior Description
Scratching and Digging Skunks have long claws and will scratch and dig at the ground to find food or to create a den. They also dig shallow holes to place their food in, covering it up with dirt to keep it out of sight from other predators.
Grooming Skunks are clean animals and groom themselves regularly like domestic cats. They use their tongue (which is covered in small spines) to clean their fur and paws.
Climbing Skunks are good climbers and can easily climb trees to escape predators or to access food sources.

In conclusion, skunks are fascinating creatures known for their distinctive appearance and strong-smelling spray. While they do not typically burrow under concrete, they can sometimes do so if they are displaced from their natural habitat or are searching for food. Understanding their habits and behaviors is important when it comes to minimizing conflicts with humans and ensuring their survival in the wild.

Skunks and Their Ability to Dig

Skunks are notorious for their digging abilities and are often found digging holes in gardens, lawns, and even under concrete slabs. Their physical build, with a long snout and sharp front claws, makes them well-suited for digging. In fact, skunks can easily dig holes that are several feet deep and wide.

When it comes to burrowing under concrete slabs, skunks are known to be persistent. They will dig until they find a way to get through the barrier, even if it means creating multiple holes or tunnels. Once they’ve made their way under the concrete, skunks will often use the space as a den to raise their young or as a resting place.

Ways to Prevent Skunks from Digging Under Concrete

  • Block off all entry points: Skunks are skilled at finding openings, so make sure to seal off any gaps or spaces that they could use to gain access.
  • Install barriers: Laying down a barrier of hardware cloth or small mesh wire mesh beneath the concrete can prevent skunks from burrowing underneath. Covering the sides with bricks or stones can also help create a barrier.
  • Use repellents: Certain scents such as vinegar, ammonia, or hot pepper have been known to repel skunks and keep them away from an area. Spraying these substances around the perimeter of the concrete slab can be effective.

Situations that Attract Skunks to Dig

Skunks are attracted to various environments because they are omnivorous. They primarily eat insects, but they will also eat fruit, seeds, and small mammals if they are available. Here are some situations that could attract skunks to dig:

  • Food sources: Gardens, compost piles, and trash cans are all easy sources of food for skunks. Keeping these areas sealed or inaccessible to skunks can discourage them from digging.
  • Dark and quiet places: Skunks prefer to burrow in quiet and dark areas where they feel safe from predators. If there are any dark corners or shaded spots underneath the concrete slab, skunks might try to set up their den here.
  • Structure of the concrete slab: Skunks will dig underneath concrete slabs that have cracks or seams. Such places are easy to dig through and provide the animal a safe place to burrow.


Skunks are known to be skilled diggers and can easily burrow under concrete slabs. Once they get underneath, they can create tunnels or use the space as their den. Preventing skunks from digging under concrete requires a combination of keeping access points sealed, installing barriers, and using repellents. Additionally, removing sources of food and dark, quiet spaces can discourage skunks from choosing that particular spot. It’s important to take action to prevent skunks from digging under concrete to avoid property damage and unwanted odors.

Pros of Skunks Digging Cons of Skunks Digging
Can help control pest populations such as insects and rodents Can cause property damage, especially if they dig underneath foundations, patios, or other concrete areas
Creates soil aeration, leading to healthier plant growth Skunk spray is smelly and unpleasant, and skunks can also carry diseases like rabies and tetanus

While there are some benefits to skunks digging, the cons outweigh the pros when it comes to their impact on human-inhabited areas. It’s important to take preventative measures to keep skunks from digging underneath concrete, protecting both property and people from any unwanted impact.

Burrowing Habits of Skunks

Skunks are known for their distinctive black and white striped appearance and unpleasant odor. But did you know that skunks are also great burrowers? While they typically live in dens that they have dug themselves or that they have taken over from other animals, they are also known to burrow under concrete in certain situations.

Why do Skunks Burrow Under Concrete?

  • Seeking Shelter -Skunks are natural burrowers. They dig burrows to create a safe and cozy environment where they can sleep, nest, and raise their young. Sometimes, they may burrow under concrete slabs to find a more secure shelter, especially if their natural habitat has been disturbed or destroyed.
  • Access to Food -Skunks are opportunistic eaters and will eat almost anything they can find. Thus, they may burrow under concrete floors to gain access to food sources. If you have a food source stored in your garage, basement, or any other area covered by a concrete slab, there’s a chance skunks may tunnel underneath to reach it.

What Are the Signs of Skunk Burrows Under Concrete?

If you suspect skunks have burrowed under your concrete, here are some signs to look for:

  • Visible paw prints or trails in the dirt leading to and from the burrow.
  • A distinctive, strong, and unpleasant smell that is characteristic of skunks.
  • Loose or uneven concrete slabs indicating that underground tunnels are being dug or expanded.

What Should You Do If You Suspect Skunks are Burrowing Under Your Concrete?

If you suspect skunks have found a way to burrow under your concrete, it’s important to take action quickly to discourage them from creating a permanent residence. Here are some steps you can take:

Step Description
Inspect Your Property Perform a thorough inspection of your property to locate where the skunks are entering and leaving your property through the burrow.
Seal Entry Points Seal off any entry points around your foundation, gaps in siding, and other potential entry points.
No Food Outside Remove any potential food sources from outside. This may include pet food, garbage, and berries or nuts that have fallen from trees.
Use Repellents Apply repellents to the perimeter of your property to deter skunks from entering.
Call a Professional If all else fails, consider seeking help from a professional wildlife control service to safely and humanely remove the skunks from your property.

By taking these measures, you can discourage skunks from burrowing under your concrete and minimize the damage they can cause.

Types of burrows made by skunks

Skunks are known for digging deep burrows for themselves. They are omnivores and are mostly active during the night, making it a challenge for humans to detect them during their burrowing. Skunks are not known for burrowing under concrete, but they may create den sites beneath buildings, decks, and porches. Here are some types of burrows made by skunks:

  • Primary Burrows: These are the main burrows created by skunks. They are typically used for denning and raising young. Primary burrows are dug deep into the ground and are generally larger in size. They provide safety and warmth for the skunks.
  • Feeding Burrows: As their name implies, these burrows are mainly used for foraging and feeding. They are shallower and smaller in size compared to primary burrows. Skunks usually dig feeding burrows near their primary burrows to have easy access to them.
  • Escape Burrows: Skunks are not great runners, and will often dig escape burrows to avoid predators. These burrows are usually shallow and dug close to their primary burrows. Escape burrows provide them a quick escape route in case of danger.

Skunks burrow underground not just for shelter, but also to escape harsh weather and to give birth and raise their young. They’re also known for burrowing loosely under sheds, decks, and porches, but they don’t typically burrow under concrete. In case they do, homeowners need to be cautious as these burrows can increase the risk of foundation damage. It is also essential to avoid blocking their burrows, as doing so can also lead to angry skunks and a strong smell.

Skunks and their attraction to concrete structures

Skunks are fascinated with denning beneath concrete structures due to the shelter, warmth, and security they provide. Besides, human buildings are often constructed in close proximity to green spaces that skunks consider their habitats. Therefore, it’s not uncommon to find skunks burrowing under concrete structures, such as patios, decks, sheds, and even some homes.

Reasons why skunks burrow under concrete

  • Their natural instinct to seek shelter
  • Concrete structures provide a stable environment for raising young ones
  • Concrete structures are often located near reliable food sources
  • Concrete provides warmth during the winter season
  • Skunks prefer hiding in tight spaces where they feel safe
  • The porosity of some concrete structures allows their scents to permeate, attracting other skunks

The dangers of having skunks under concrete structures

While skunks might seem harmless, their presence under concrete structures presents significant health risks. Skunks are carriers of a variety of diseases such as rabies, leptospirosis, tularemia, and canine distemper, which can infect both pets and humans when exposed to the skunk’s urine, feces, or saliva. Moreover, their strong-smelling spray is not only unpleasant but can also cause temporary blindness if it gets into the eyes.

In addition, if skunks nest beneath homes, patios, or decks, they can cause structural damage due to their digging. This behavior can cause cracks in concrete structures or even create holes, making them unsafe to walk on or, in extreme cases, cause the concrete to collapse. Therefore, it’s essential to remove skunks from your property if you notice their presence.

How to keep skunks away from concrete structures

If you want to keep skunks from burrowing under the concrete structures on your property, consider these options:

Option Description
Seal up potential entry points Seal up holes, cracks, and crevices that could allow skunks into your structure
Clean up food sources Keep your property free of food sources, such as garbage and pet food, which can attract skunks.
Install an exclusion barrier Install a barrier, such as a fence around the perimeter of your property, to prevent skunks from getting in
Use skunk repellents Use natural or commercial repellents such as ammonia, predator urine, or baits to drive skunks away
Call a professional If you have persistent skunk problems, call a professional wildlife removal service to resolve the situation safely

Overall, skunks are attracted to burrow beneath concrete structures due to their suitability as habitats. However, the risks of having them nest under your property outweigh the benefits. Therefore, you need to take measures to deter skunks from burrowing under your concrete structures or remove them as soon as you notice their presence.

Risks and problems associated with skunks burrowing under concrete

Skunks are notorious for burrowing under concrete, especially in search of shelter. However, this behavior can have several risks and problems associated with it. Here are seven potential consequences of skunks burrowing under concrete:

  • Structural damage to concrete: The burrowing activity of skunks can cause significant structural damage to concrete. As they dig, they can create holes or cracks that weaken the integrity of the concrete. This can lead to other problems such as water infiltration and eventual collapse.
  • Odor issues: Skunks have a strong and unpleasant odor that can permeate through concrete and into the home or other structures nearby. This can create a persistent and unpleasant smell that is difficult to eliminate.
  • Health risks: Skunks are known carriers of diseases and parasites such as rabies and fleas. Burrowing under concrete increases the risk of exposure to these health hazards for humans and other animals in the area.
  • Leaking pipes: Burrowing under concrete can cause damage to pipes, leading to leaks and potential water damage. This can result in costly repairs and potential health hazards from mold growth.
  • Damage to landscaping: Skunks can cause damage to landscaping by creating holes and disrupt plant roots in their burrowing process. This can lead to plant death and a loss of aesthetic appeal.
  • Pest infestations: Skunks can attract other pests such as rats and mice to the area. These pests can then also begin to burrow under concrete and cause additional damage and health risks.
  • Difficulty with removal: Skunks can be difficult to remove once they have established themselves under concrete. They can be aggressive and are known to spray their unpleasant odor when they feel threatened.

Preventing skunks from burrowing under concrete

To prevent the risks and problems associated with skunks burrowing under concrete, it is important to take preventative measures. Some tips for preventing skunks from burrowing under concrete include:

  • Ensure that all potential entry points are sealed off, including small gaps and holes around the foundation.
  • Trim back any shrubs or bushes near the concrete to discourage skunks from hiding in them.
  • Remove any potential food sources near the concrete, such as pet food or garbage.
  • Use deterrents such as motion-activated lights or sprinklers to discourage skunks from approaching the area.
  • Consult with a professional pest control service for additional advice and assistance.

In conclusion

Skunks burrowing under concrete can cause significant risks and problems for homeowners and property owners. From structural damage to health risks, it is important to take preventative measures to discourage skunks from establishing themselves under concrete. By following these tips and seeking professional advice, property owners can avoid the headaches and potential hazards associated with skunk burrowing.

Prevention and Control Measures for Skunks

Skunks are notorious for their strong odor, which can be a major nuisance for homeowners. These animals are known for burrowing under concrete structures, such as patios and sidewalks, where they can create dens and potentially cause damage. To prevent skunks from burrowing under concrete and invading your property, there are several prevention and control measures you can take.

  • Seal all entry points: Skunks can squeeze through small openings, so it’s essential to seal all potential entry points around your home. Common entry points include cracks in your foundation, vents, and gaps around pipes. By sealing these openings, you can prevent skunks from gaining access to your property.
  • Install fencing: Installing a fence around your property can be an effective way to keep skunks out. Make sure the fence is buried deep enough into the ground to prevent skunks from burrowing underneath it. Additionally, the fence should be tall enough to prevent them from climbing over it.
  • Keep food sources away: Skunks are attracted to food sources, so it’s essential to keep your yard free from food waste and other food sources, such as pet food. Store your garbage in sealed containers and make sure your compost pile is far enough away from your home.

If you’re already dealing with a skunk problem, there are several control measures you can take to remove them from your property.

  • Live traps: Live traps can be an effective way to catch skunks and relocate them. However, it’s important to use caution when handling skunks, as they can spray their foul odor when threatened.
  • Repellents: There are several skunk repellents on the market, such as predator urine and ammonia. These repellents work by mimicking the scent of a predator and deterring skunks from entering your property.
  • Professional removal: If you’re dealing with a severe skunk infestation, it’s best to call in a professional removal service. They can safely and effectively remove the skunks from your property without causing harm to you or the animals.

Prevention and Control Measures for Skunks: Table

Prevention Measures Control Measures
Seal entry points Live traps
Install fencing Repellents
Keep food sources away Professional removal

By taking these prevention and control measures, you can keep skunks from burrowing under concrete and causing damage to your property. Remember, it’s important to handle skunks with care and avoid getting sprayed. If you’re not comfortable handling skunks on your own, it’s best to call in a professional for assistance.

Hiring professionals for skunk removal

Skunks can be a nuisance when they invade yards and homes, and some homeowners may consider removing them on their own. However, this can be dangerous and ineffective. It is important to hire professionals who have the proper equipment and experience to remove skunks safely and efficiently. Here are some reasons why:

  • Proper equipment: Professionals have the necessary tools and equipment to trap and remove skunks without harming them or causing damage to the property.
  • Safety: Skunks can carry diseases and their spray can cause temporary blindness and nausea. Professionals are trained to handle skunks safely and avoid being sprayed.
  • Legal considerations: Skunk removal may be regulated by state and local laws. Professionals are aware of these regulations and can ensure that the job is done legally.

Hiring a professional for skunk removal can also save homeowners time and money in the long run. Inexperienced individuals may cause damage to the property while attempting to remove skunks, which can be costly to repair. Professionals can also provide preventative measures to keep skunks from returning in the future.

It is important to choose a reputable and experienced skunk removal company. Homeowners can research companies online, ask for referrals, and check with the Better Business Bureau to ensure that the company is trustworthy. It is also important to get a written estimate and understand what services are included in the removal process.


Hiring professionals for skunk removal is the safest and most effective way to deal with a skunk problem. Homeowners should research and choose a reputable company to ensure that the job is done properly and legally.

Pros Cons
Proper equipment for safe and efficient removal Cost may be higher than attempting removal on your own
Professionals are trained to handle skunks safely May need to research and choose a reputable company
Preventative measures can be provided to keep skunks from returning May need to schedule an appointment, which can take time

Overall, hiring professionals for skunk removal is the best option for homeowners who want to ensure that the job is done safely, legally, and effectively.

Natural and Humane Methods for Skunk Control

Skunks can be a major problem for homeowners, especially when they burrow under concrete structures such as decks, patios, and foundations. While trapping and poisoning are common methods for skunk control, these can be dangerous and inhumane. Fortunately, there are natural and humane methods for skunk control that are highly effective and safe for both humans and skunks.

Preventive Measures

  • Establish a barrier: Install a barrier around your property to keep skunks out. This could be a fence made of hardware cloth or chicken wire that extends at least 2 feet underground to prevent burrowing.
  • Remove food sources: Skunks are attracted to food, so remove any potential food sources from your yard such as pet food, birdseed, and garbage cans.
  • Eliminate hiding places: Skunks like to hide in brush piles, overgrown landscaping, and other areas of dense foliage. Eliminating these hiding places can discourage skunks from taking up residence on your property.


Natural repellents can be an effective way to keep skunks away from your property without causing them harm. Here are some options to consider:

  • Pepper sprays: Skunks have a sensitive sense of smell, so sprays made with hot peppers or essential oils can be a strong deterrent. These can be sprayed directly around the perimeter of your property or on areas where skunks are known to burrow.
  • Ultrasonic devices: These devices emit high-pitched sounds that are inaudible to humans but bothersome to skunks, causing them to vacate the area.
  • Bright lights: Skunks prefer to operate under the cover of darkness. Installing bright lights around your property can discourage skunks from venturing too close.

Trapping and Relocating

If preventive measures and repellents are not effective, trapping and relocating skunks can be a humane way to deal with the problem. However, it is important to note that trapping should only be conducted by professionals with a permit. Once trapped, skunks must be released in a safe area where they can thrive, ideally in their natural habitat.


Method Pros Cons
Preventive measures Effective for long-term control Can be costly and time-consuming to implement
Repellents Safe, natural, and non-lethal May not be effective for all skunks
Trapping and relocating Humane and effective Must be done by professionals with permits, can be costly

By taking preventive measures, using natural repellents, and only resorting to trapping and relocating as a last resort, you can effectively and safely control skunks without resorting to harmful or inhumane methods.

FAQs: Do Skunks Burrow Under Concrete?

Q: Do skunks burrow under concrete?
A: Yes, skunks are known to burrow under concrete structures such as sidewalks, porches, and even buildings.

Q: Why do skunks burrow under concrete?
A: Skunks burrow under concrete for various reasons, including shelter from extreme weather conditions and protection from predators.

Q: How can I tell if a skunk is burrowing under my concrete?
A: Signs of skunk burrowing include holes or depressions in the ground near concrete structures and a strong odor of skunk musk.

Q: Will skunks cause damage to my concrete structure?
A: Yes, skunk burrowing can potentially cause damage to the concrete structure over time if left untreated.

Q: Is it safe to remove a skunk burrow under concrete by myself?
A: It is not recommended to attempt to remove a skunk burrow by yourself as skunks are known carriers of rabies and can potentially be dangerous if provoked.

Q: Who should I contact for skunk burrow removal?
A: It is best to contact a professional wildlife removal company or animal control agency for safe and effective removal of skunk burrows.

Q: How can I prevent skunks from burrowing under my concrete structure?
A: To prevent skunk burrowing, seal any cracks or openings in the concrete foundation and keep the surrounding area clear of debris and clutter.

Closing Thoughts: Thanks for Reading!

Thank you for taking the time to read about skunks and their ability to burrow under concrete structures. If you suspect a skunk is nesting under your concrete, it is best to contact a professional for removal to ensure your safety and the safety of the skunk. Remember to take preventative measures to avoid future burrows from occurring. We hope you found this article informative and come back for more in the future!