Resident Tips & Information

Skunk skunkFaq’s

  • People generally relate skunks to the foul-smelling, defensive spray they discharge when scared or threatened. 
  • In many parts of North America, skunks are the major carriers of rabies.
  • Skunks are nocturnal, usually active from early evening through the night. Dens are usually below ground but may be found in a stream or pond banks, lumber piles, or beneath porches or in crawl spaces.
  • Residents may experience Sod lawn damage by skunks that are looking for Grubs to feed on. The turf often has the "rolled back" look to it. They will also feed on mice, rats, ground squirrels, shrews, moles and other small mammals. 
  • Skunks are known for their discharge, an obnoxious odor when provoked. This is released primarily in self defense. A skunk generally sprays only as a last resort, preferring to retreat from danger.

Skunk Control:

  • Dog or cat food left outside for family pets can be very attractive to skunks. Discontinue this practice if skunks are a problem.
  • In Illinois, skunks are protected as Furbearers. In urban areas, skunks may be removed if an animal removal permit is issued by an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist. 

Skunk Odor Control:

  • Mix 1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, ¼ cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon liquid soap. Do not add water. This solution can be used to wash skin, clothes, dogs, etc. that have been sprayed by skunks. Due to the peroxide, the solution may lighten the fur of pets.

For more information on Skunks and other Wildlife, please visit the “Living With Wildlife in Illinois” University of Illinois Extension website at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/wildlife/