Outdoor PestsSkunks

Why Do Skunks Spray Under the House?

Why Do Skunks Spray Under House?

Skunks are known for their pungent odor that they spray as a defense mechanism when they feel threatened.

As nocturnal animals, they thrive well in dark places like underneath the house.

Ever wondered why these critters spray under houses?

This article will answer this question and more.


Skunks may spray under houses for a few reasons, including:

  • Protecting themselves against predators.
  • To keep a distance from dogs.
  • To mark their territory, etc.

In the following sections, we will discuss why skunks spray under houses and what to do after the spray.

Also, we will answer some common questions about handling the infestation of these nocturnal pests.

Reasons Why Skunks Spray Under Your House

Reasons Why Skunks Spray Under Your House

Skunks spray outdoors and underneath houses for the same reason as a defense mechanism.

Whenever they perceive predators getting too close, they release some spray to ward them off.

Now, if you notice the spray coming from under your house, there can only be one reason:

These animals probably feel comfortable there and have made that spot their den.

But let’s take a deeper look at some of these reasons:

1. They Feel Threatened

They Feel Threatened

Skunks may spray under your house because predators may have traced them there.

Sometimes, wild animals may follow a skunk and retreat into its new hiding spots under the house.

To ward the stranger off, the skunk will release a defensive fluid, which you may have noticed.

2. To Keep a Distance From Pets Like Dogs

To Keep A Distance From Pets Like Dogs

Sometimes, the reason for the skunk spray you noticed may be your domestic pet.

Dogs are naturally curious animals and may sometimes get too friendly around skunks.

So, if your dog, out of curiosity, follows a skunk under the house, it may receive a spray bath.

3. Making Territory

Making Territory

Skunks use their spray to mark their territory and communicate with other skunks.

If a skunk has made a den under your house, it may need spray to mark its territory and protect its home.

4. In Search of Food

In Search Of Food

Skunks are omnivores and will eat various foods, including insects, grubs, fruits, and vegetables.

If insects or other food sources are under your house, a skunk may be attracted to the area and spray if it feels threatened or startled.

5. Skunks Spray When It Is Not Mating Season

Skunks Spray When It Is Not Mating Season

Although the skunk spray is a defensive tool, it can sometimes be an alert signal. Sometimes, female skunks use this spray to signify that they are not ready to mate.

These female skunks are typically on heat during their regular breeding season. This can then trigger the male skunks to chase them to their hiding spot, which may be under the house.

At this time, the male skunks only chase female skunks for one reason-to initiate mating. But if the female skunks are not ready, they will release this defensive spray, signaling they want alone time.

What To Do After a Skunk Sprays Under Your House

What To Do After A Skunk Sprays Under Your House

By now, you understand some of the reasons why skunks spray under your house.

The next question is: what are you going to do about it?

It would be best to neutralize the odor before it gets too overwhelming.

Below, we will show you a few ways to do so:

1. Open All Your Windows and Doors

Open All Your Windows And Doors

The easiest way to neutralize skunk spray odors is to let fresh into the house.

Try to trace the source of the smell and pay more attention to that area.

Open the doors and windows, then turn on the fans and the air conditioning unit to circulate air inside.

With the doors and windows open, the foul smell quickly goes out.

Then, the fans and air conditioning help rearrange new air inside the house.

2. Move the Furniture Outside

Move The Furniture Outside

Although ventilating the house may eliminate the skunk smell, it may not be fully effective. Sometimes, the scent may have found its way into your furniture, making the stench the strongest.

In that case, it is advisable to move the affected furniture outside. Then, please leave it to air out under the sun or in your garage.

Carpets and other removable floorings may also be sources of the skunk smell entering your home. This is often because the terrible odor has settled between its layers.

At this point, the amount of ventilation can get it out. You will need to take them out alongside the furniture for airing outdoors.

3. Neutralize Skunk Odor With DIY Remedies

Neutralize Skunk Odor With Diy Remedies

After tracing the most potent smell sources and taking the offending objects outside, it’s time to neutralize the odor. You can use various household and kitchen items to deal with the lingering problem.

These ingredients include hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, baking soda, and other cleaning agents. Use these ingredients to clean affected areas like floors and walls until the smell disappears.

A simple solution of bleach and water can go a long way in neutralizing skunk odors. But you can work around different mixtures until you find the best fit.

As an alternative to cleaning, you can leave bowls of vinegar in your rooms overnight until the smell is gone. Vinegar helps absorb some of the skunk odor without you needing to do physical labor.

4. Clean Your Furniture

Clean Your Furniture

Earlier, we suggested taking furniture outside to air if you notice the skunk smell coming from them. But here’s one better if that tip doesn’t work to your taste.

You can first wash your furniture before taking it outside to dry. This way, you have a better chance of eliminating the skunk smell.

You can fit your smaller rugs into your washing machine and wash them with hot water to clean them properly. Then, use a steamer on the stronger piece of furniture and scrub down carpets with a vinegar solution.

But for this process to be effective, you may need to repeat it more than once.


Encountering skunks can be one of the most unpleasant experiences ever.

But with some guidelines, you can be better prepared to deal with these territorial pests.

Above, you will find some reasons skunks may be underneath your house.

We also include some tips to help you eliminate their pungent smell.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Skunks Build Dens Underneath Houses?

Skunks have short legs sturdy enough to provide the balance they need to dig underneath your foundation.

As a result, skunks can dig some feet deep in building a crawl space and access points.

So, even if you don’t see or smell one, a skunk may live under your property.

Do Skunks See Humans?

Skunks do not have good vision. As a result, they can only see things that are in their direct line of sight. This lack of foresight makes skunks easily startled.

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