Getting rid of skunks

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How To: Get Rid of a Skunk

Photo: istockphoto.com

Nocturnal and relatively shy, skunks aren’t often seen—but they certainly are smelled! Though the black-and-white creatures aren’t innately antagonistic, they will spray people or animals if they feel threatened, leaving behind an awful odor that can linger for days. Even if they don’t make a big stink, skunks are likely to plunder your garden and even make a mess of your garbage. Bottom line: It’s hard for humans to co-exist with these cute but fetid critters, so if you suspect a skunk has taken up residence nearby, try this two-part eviction strategy.

Photo: istockphoto.com

PART 1: Stop the smorgasbord!
Insects are a skunk’s favorite dish, but the opportunistic animals will dine on pretty much anything. Completely cut off their food supply, and they likely won’t stick around.

• Cover trash cans with tight-fitting lids and place them in a secure location where they can’t be easily tipped over.

• Regularly tidy up fruit and nuts that have fallen from trees on the property to keep skunks from scavenging.

• Don’t let pet food become pest food. Feed your pets indoors, or clean up any leftovers as soon as mealtime is done. Also be sure to supervise your pets outside. Remember, a skunk’s only real defense is his foul smell, so cats and dogs that get this guy riled up are likely to come home stinking to high heaven!

• Avoid putting kitchen scraps in your compost and keep it well covered until the skunk moves on.

• The seed you offer to attract songbirds can inadvertently make a tasty snack for skunks. Secure feeders to ensure they can’t be turned over, and be conscientious about cleaning up any spilled seed.

• Need another reason to mow the lawn? Skunks love the insects that live in tall, lush grass.

PART 2: Deter like a demon.
After removing all food sources, employ the following techniques to get skunks to vamoose even more readily.

• Skunks are poor climbers and worse jumpers, so a 3-foot fence ought to keep them out of areas, like your garden, where they’re unwanted. Just be sure that whatever you install goes at least a foot deep; skunks are excellent diggers and could easily burrow under a shallow barrier. Make it a tight fence, too: Though about the size of a large house cat, these critters can squeeze through a hole as small as 4 inches wide!

• Commercial skunk repellents are available in stores and online, but why not make your own? Boil a chopped onion, a chopped jalapeno, and 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper in 2 quarts of water for about 20 minutes. Strain the liquid into a spray bottle and squirt plants to make skunks steer clear. Each dose should last up to five days.

• Skunks are nocturnal, foraging at night, and are scared of bright lights. Leave your exterior lights on or install motion sensors that will turn on when pesky prowlers cross their path.

If these methods fail to solve a stubborn skunk who’s made its den on your digs, you may wish to contact a wildlife control professional who will trap and release the animal away from your home. Because skunks can carry rabies among other diseases, it’s definitely not worth trying to do yourself (note: trapping skunks is not legal in every state). Do be persistent and eventually your outdoor space will have the sweet smell of success! Should you manage to get your black-and-white guest to move on only after he leaves his signature scent, freshen up using our guide to removing skunk smell from almost any part of the house, or check the video below.

How To Get Rid of Skunks (Natural, Non- Lethal Methods


How To Get Rid of Skunks (Natural, Non-Lethal Methods) Learn how to get rid of skunks with these natural, non-lethal methods.

Skunks can be problematic when they decide to make themselves comfortable in your yard. They dig holes in search of insects, forage in gardens and trash, and for chicken owners – they pose a threat to chickens and their eggs.
They may also dig under your house or deck, causing damage to your home and its wiring. To top it all off, their spray is pungent and hard to get rid of of.
When deciding how to approach the removal of skunks on your property, you first need to understand that you run the risk of being sprayed, and plan accordingly.
There are a variety of critters that may be in your garden, so you’ll need to identify that skunks are indeed your problem.
Identifying Skunks on Your Property
Skunks Eating Grubs

You may discover holes around your yard or along the edges or your home, from skunks searching for food. They like to burrow, and insects are a skunks’ favorite food. If you’re wondering how to get rid of skunks eating grubs, you might consider starting at the source. Eliminating the grubs using beneficial nematodes would be your best bet.
At times it may be hard to pin down whether there are skunks or raccoons in your yard, since both animals like to dig shallow holes in search of grubs.
Skunk Feces
You may or may not find skunk feces in your yard. It’s typically about an inch or two long, with the remains of insects in it.
Skunk Spray
The number one way to tell if you have skunks on your property is if you smell their strong spray. It’s pungent and unmistakeable!
It smells so badly because of the mixture of chemicals containing sulfur, called thiols.
When a skunk feels threatened or intimidated, they’ll spray the area as a form of defense. Though they have poor eyesight, it’s not so bad that they’re not able to aim. Predators, pets, or really anything that spooks them may cause them to lift their tail and let out this nauseating spray.
What To Do When There Are Skunks In Your Yard or House
First you’ll need to determine how bad the situation is. Do you suspect a skunk has delivered a litter of kits under your house? Or is it just a rogue skunk that made their way through your yard on a random night?
Depending on the situation, you may want to consider hiring a professional. If you decide to move forward on your own, proceed with caution, starting with the least invasive methods and working your way up to more invasive solutions.
What Attracts Skunks
Removing attractants in your yard is the best thing you can do to ensure the skunks don’t stick around or continue coming back.
Pet Food
Skunks aren’t above eating your pet’s old food. Make sure you put it away, especially at night.
Garden Plants
Skunks are omnivores, so they also eat nuts, plants, and berries. If you have a garden growing, you may find some of it dug up and eaten.
Garbage
When times get tough, skunks have been known to dig through the garbage in search of scraps. Make sure your trash cans have tight-fitting lids, and don’t leave any trash bags by your door.
Grubs, Earthworms, & Insects
If you garden, earthworms are great for your soil, so you won’t want to eliminate them. But for grubs and other insects, you might consider getting rid of them so skunks aren’t as attracted to your yard.
Shelter
Skunks are always searching for shelter, especially if a female is preparing to birth a litter of kits. If you see holes near your deck, or smell the faint scent of skunk spray, it’s possible a skunk made a den on your property.
Chickens & Eggs
If you raise chickens, they may be attracting skunks to your property. And believe it or not, skunks can take out an entire flock of chickens, along with their eggs.
How To Get Rid of Skunks

How To Get Rid of Skunks In Your Yard
Getting rid of skunks in your yard breaks down into fairly easy steps. The trick is to pinpoint exactly what’s attracting them to your property, as well as which deterrents and repellents are most effective for your situation.
Step 1: Eliminate Attractants, as mentioned above
Step 2: Apply Skunk Repellents and Deterrents
Step 3: Check To See If The Skunks Have Left The Premises
Step 4: If The Skunks Still Remain, Adjust Repellents and Deterrents To Drive The Skunks Away
Step 5: Set Catch and Release Traps
Skunk Repellents and Deterrents
There are a few options available to you in terms of repelling and deterring skunks from coming onto your property. All options mentioned are 100% natural and safe, and will not harm the skunks, your garden, or any other animals.
Home Repellents For Skunks
Many people are curious about what home remedy will get rid of skunks. Some of these homemade repellents can work. However, if the skunks are comfortable enough, it may not be as effective.
Don’t forget that with homemade repellents comes the responsibility of frequent applications, as the elements such as wind and rain easily wear down on the scent and taste.

  • Homemade Skunk Repellent Spray (a mixture of hot peppers, onion, jalepeno, cayenne pepper, and water, boiled for a few minutes and strained.)
  • Predator Urine (even the urine of your own pets can work if you’re somehow able to collect it, or you can purchase predator urine at a variety of outdoor stores in your area.)
  • Ammonia (place ammonia soaked rags in buckets around the perimeter of your yard.)

Please do NOT use chocolate as a skunk repellent. The theobromine found in chocolate is poisonous to skunks, as well as many other animals.
Moth balls are also commonly suggested, but they’re highly toxic, with very little results. How To Get Rid of Skunks with Home Remedies
All of the above homemade skunk repellents should be applied daily until the problem subsides. If the skunks leave your property, you can cut back on the number of applications slowly, increasing when you suspect they may be starting to creep back.
However, there are better ways!
Expel Natural Animal Repellent Spray

Expel Repellent Spray is 100% natural, but unlike the natural homemade repellents above, it’s formulated to deliver long-lasting, rain-resistant results.
Even better, it works on a variety of pest and predator animals, so you’ll be protecting your property from more than just skunks!
Deterrent Lights
Predator Guard’s Solar LED Deterrent Lights are typically used to protect livestock animals from predators, but it’s effective regardless.
Though the skunk’s eyesight is not great, they will be able to see the two glowing LED lights, and will assume they’re the eyes of a predator. Because the eyes do not move, it’s unlikely that the skunk will spray the device. Instead, they’ll likely just leave the area.
Under Your House, Deck, or Shed

If there are skunks under your shed, house, or deck, the situation becomes a little more complex. They’ve made themselves comfortable, and it’s not quite as easy to get them to leave.
Search your property for dens, and apply the repellents around the opening. Predator urine in particular, is great at driving skunks out of their den, but they’ll soon return.
You’ll have to close the hole up once you’re certain that it’s empty, and continue applying Expel or other homemade repellents around the opening of the den.
Using Catch & Release Traps For Skunks
If nothing else has worked, setting up catch and release traps may be your last hope. They’re highly effective, but it’s not without it’s drawbacks. You’ll have to go out of your way to not get sprayed while you transport and release the skunks.
Check your local and state laws regarding the trapping of skunks before proceeding.
How To Trap Skunks
The first thing you’ll want to do is pick out a skunk trap. The ideal size for a live skunk trap is large enough for them to move around somewhat comfortably, but small enough that they aren’t able to lift their tail up super high to spray.
Skunks are far less likely to spray you if their tail can’t lift up all the way!
What Bait To Use For Skunks
It’s important to use the proper bait when trying to catch a skunk. Some reliable options include:

  • Canned Sardines
  • Cat Food
  • Bacon
  • Bread and Peanut Butter
  • Insect Larvae
  • Chicken

Skunks have an incredible sense of smell, so the smellier the food, the better!
How To Set Up The Trap
Set the skunk trap up close to their den, or anywhere that you know the skunks are frequenting. Do this in the evening, checking the trap in the early morning.
Where and How To Release Skunks
Once the skunk has been caught, approach the trap carefully and calmly. Be sure to bring a towel or blanket to drape over the top of the cage. This discourages spraying, and calms the animal down.
Like most wild animal releases, you don’t want to take the skunk too far away from your home, but you don’t want to drop them off a block away either. If the skunk can’t find it’s way back to the area they’re familiar with, they may starve and die. You must also take into account the possibility of the skunk having kits to care for. When in doubt, call your local animal control. They will help you figure out the best course of action.

The key to the catch and release method is to protect your yard after releasing the skunk a couple of miles away. Should they find their way back to your home, you won’t want them doing right back to their old ways. Set up better fencing, or use plenty of repellents and deterrents.
Frequently Asked Questions

What will keep skunks away?
Frequent applications of homemade repellents, or infrequent applications of Expel Natural Animal Repellent Spray should suffice in keeping skunks away.
If the problem persists, there may be open food or water sources that you’re unaware of. Be diligent about removing attractants.
Is it legal to kill skunks?
We never advocate the killing of any wild animals at Predator Guard. Every animal plays an important role in the ecosystem of your area. As far as laws go, check your local and state laws regarding the protection of skunks. Spotted skunks in particular are fully protected in most states.
Should I use skunk poison?
Poison of any kind isn’t advised, not only because it poses a threat to the skunks you’re trying to get rid of, but to the plants, pets, and other animals in your area. It’s a health risk to everyone involved.
Considering there are ways to get rid of skunks without the use of poison, we urge you to at least explore those opportunities first.
Do skunks bite?
Skunks are not typically aggressive, and biting is rare. Most cases of skunks biting humans has occurred when the animal is infected with the rabies virus.
If you’re worried about your pets, they’re far more likely to simply get sprayed by a skunk than bit.
When do skunks have babies?
Skunks breed in the late winter, typically in February and March. The gestational period for female skunks is roughly 60 to 75 days, with an average litter size of 6 to 8 kits.
Do moth balls work to keep skunks away?
Moth balls can work to keep skunks away, but they’re not the most effective or natural solution. They’re highly toxic, and when you’re around them, you’re essentially inhaling insecticide. They’re bad news for your garden, pets, and your family’s health.
When do skunks come out?
Skunks are active all year long, and they don’t hibernate, though they do sleep longer during the Winter. They’re nocturnal, meaning they’re most active at night. This means you’re far more likely to smell skunks on your property, than you are to see them.
Are you dealing with skunks on your property? What methods have been most effective for you? Which methods didn’t work? Let us know in the comments below!

4 Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Skunks Digging Your Yard

Use these four remedies to get rid of skunks that aren’t just creating a stink but also digging up your backyard and lawn.

How to Get Rid of Skunks

1. Set up a Skunk Trap
Skunk traps are different from regular live animal traps because they are shaped to reduce the likelihood of the skunks spraying.

The shape of the trap can prevent the skunks from lifting their tails or arching their back. You can use baits like marshmallows and empty tuna cans to lure them in.

2. Eliminate Shelter & Food Source
The skunks are attracted to your yard for two reasons: food and shelter. Eliminate anything that could make a simple meal for the skunks.

If you notice a lot of skunk mounds then there are probably a lot of grubs in the soil. You can eliminate the grubs by using beneficial nematodes. You should also make sure the trash lids are tightly secured to prevent the odor from attracting more skunks.

3. Repel with Hot Pepper Spray
This method is a hit or miss but worth trying as skunks have sensitive noses. Boil one chopped onion, one chopped jalapeno pepper, and one tablespoon of cayenne pepper in about two quarts of water for 20 minutes.

Strain the mixture then pour the hot pepper solution into a spray bottle. Start applying the hot pepper spray close to areas where the skunks are frequently spotted. Do not spray directly at the skunks as they’ll just spray back.

4. Repel with Predator Urine
Soak an old rag with fox urine then place it near the skunk’s den. You may also want to spray the urine around the perimeter of the yard to deter more skunks from entering.

Skunks are one of few wild animals that are known to carry the rabies virus so take extra precaution when you try and handle a skunk problem on your own.

Sam Choan is the Founder of Organic Lesson. He started this site to share tips on using natural remedies at home when such options are available.

How to Create a Natural Skunk Repellent

  • If skunks have been getting into your garbage and leaving behind a mess, try putting oil of mustard or moth balls at the bottom of the garbage can .
  • If skunks are snacking on the vegetables growing in your garden, spray your plants with a mixture of water and hot pepper .
  • If skunks are snacking on the vegetables in your garden and you don’t want to try the remedy above, you can plant cucumbers, squash or other prickly-leaved plants among your vegetables .
  • If you suspect that a family of skunks has made a den on your property, try boiling one chopped yellow onion, one chopped jalapeno pepper and one tablespoon of cayenne pepper in two quarts of water for 20 minutes. When the broth is done, strain the liquid and pour the it into a spray bottle, then squirt it all around the skunks’ den .
  • If skunks are walking around your front or back path or porch, try placing a rag in a bowl of ammonia on the ground in the area. The smell will keep skunks away. However, it’s important to keep the ammonia away from any grass or plants, as ammonia will burn them .

Get Rid Of Skunks And Keep Them Away | Dear Adam Smith

Effective Products For How To Get Rid Of Skunks And Keep Them Away

Havahart Critter Ridder

2

THE SNARE SHOP

3

J T Eaton 475N Spring Loaded

Updated on Dec 01, 2019

Skunks are mammals and for most homeowners are pests. Many people fear the animal as well for good reason. Skunks spray when they feel threatened or scared. This smell is almost impossible to get rid of. Skunks are known for their black and white color that warns other predators off. What people do not realize is that skunks are sometimes brown or even a ginger color. There are many ways to deter skunks from coming to your property but, there is only one way to get rid of them for sure.To get rid of skunks once and for all, you will need to trap the skunk and release it far away from your home. Most of the techniques we will discuss here work sometimes.

#1 Way To Get Rid Of Skunks

The best way to get rid of a skunk that is a nuisance to live trap it. Depending on your state it might be illegal to kill the skunk, and personally, we don’t encourage killing an animal that can easily be relocated.

We recommend you buy Havahart Live Animal Cage Trap, It features a timer that makes releasing the skunk super easy.

Skunks like to hide under decks, porches, and even in the bushes. If you have areas that are accessible like under a deck or porch make sure to block that off with fencing or mesh wiring. This will keep skunks out of your deck and make sure that they do not reproduce, causing the mother to become aggressive. If you have bushes that skunks seem to hang around, make sure to trim them back to make the bush less appealing. Lastly, make sure that if you have log piles or any pile of building materials that you move them indoors. Places like this make for a good hiding spot for skunks.

To remove a skunk humanely if you have tried all these tips to rid yourself of skunks and still experience the presence, use a live trap. These traps are going to catch the skunk alive. You may be worried about them spraying but when they see you and are in the cage they are not likely to spray. If you are worried about being sprayed there are special traps that are made especially for skunks to trap them and make them unable to spray you while keeping them alive to release.

How to Get Rid of Skunks in Your Backyard

Skunks like the dark, they are most active during the night hours which makes them nocturnal. If you have a problem with skunks in your backyard you may want to install motion sensor lights. This will scare off the skunk. If you do not want to install motion sensor lights you may install solar lights or any light that stays on all night. Skunks prefer dark locations so if your yard is well lit, a skunk is likely to stay away from that lit area.

Like said above the most appealing thing to a skunk is a hiding place or nesting place. Make sure to seal off all entrances that a skunk may find easy to hide in. Seal decks, porches, and any holes that lead into a garage or house. At night make sure dog and/ or cat doors that go into a garage or house is locked. If skunks smell food they will enter these doors and get into the house or garage and may become trapped.

Make sure you do not have anything that may attract a skunk. Garbage bins that are unsealed are a huge attraction. Make sure to seal off garbage cans as well as compost bins. It is important that your garden has a fence that will help block a skunk as well as making sure to pick ripe produce as soon as possible.

Skunks do not like sprinklers so the best bet would be to install motion activated sprinklers. These will scare the skunk away once it enters your yard. If you do not want to install sprinklers you may use a repellent that will irritate the skunk’s senses if it touches or smells the substance causing them to stay away.

How to Get Rid of Skunks with Chocolate

Chocolate is poisonous to skunks. It will kill them if they eat enough of it if, much like dogs it will make them sick for a period of time depending on how much they eat. If you set out a chocolate bar or pieces of chocolate around your yard, house, garage, or anywhere skunks seem to be, it might make them sick once they eat it.

Chocolate contains theobromine will kill a skunk if they get enough of it. Funny enough, we humans can also die from eating theobromine but we would need to eat a lot of chocolate to get to that point. The reason that chocolate is poisonous to animals is that they cannot digest the chemicals in the chocolate.

Not every chocolate bar is made the same. White chocolate contains the least amount of theobromine. Dark chocolate contains more theobromine while bakers chocolate contains the most.

If you know where the skunk is hiding try breaking pieces of bakers chocolate around the area. Once the skunk eats it, it most likely will get sick and vomit. We don’t think this is a really effective way of getting rid of skunks as you have to make sure the skunk eats enough chocolate to either die or get sick enough to leave.

A better alternative to is to catch the skunk with a skunk trap, this is the best way to get rid of a skunk without killing or harming it. We prefer you not harm a skunk and in most area’s it’s illegal to kill a skunk. Check with your state rules. We recommend Havahart Live Animal Cage Trap.

How to Get Rid of Skunks with Mothball

For those who do not know what a mothball is, it is an ammonia-soaked cotton ball. This is a very effective method that can repel skunks. Skunks hate certain odors and are sensitive to them. If you soak a cotton ball in ammonia, put it in a mason jar that is open, then set it where there is a high traffic of skunks, it will repel them. The skunk will most likely not return if you do this for several weeks. If you do this method, make sure your children stay far away from this. It is very toxic to humans, so make sure that your children know that it is poisonous and dangerous.

How to Keep Skunks Away

There are many ways to keep a skunk away. If you have troubles with skunks make sure to follow these steps of precaution to ensure your yard is skunk free from now on. What you should do first of all is eliminate anything that may attract skunks. This includes your garbage, your garden, or natural growing berries or nuts. If you have skunks make sure your garbage bins are secured tightly or taken in the garage at night. When you have naturally growing berries or nuts in your yard this is a hot spot for food so make sure that if possible rid your yard of these opportunities for food. If you want to keep these berries or nuts, fence them or enclose them so that a skunk has no access to this food source. thing that goes for a garden, fence it in, enclose it. If you are still experiencing skunk traffic with a garden, another tip would be to make sure that you are picking the vegetables and fruits as soon as they are ripe. This takes away another food source making the skunk have to search somewhere else for food.

The next step is to make sure that all hiding places are eliminated. If you have a deck ensure that there are no entry points to get under it. Skunks like to hide under decks and porches. If there is an entry point make sure it is blocked with fencing or wire mesh. It is important that you block off areas that may be hiding areas or nesting areas.

Lastly, you may want to use repellents that would irritate a skunk’s senses. There are many different repellents that you can use to keep skunks away. There are many different repellents that can be purchased as well as made.

Natural Skunk Repellent

When you have a skunk problem many people do not realize that there are natural ways that will eliminate skunks from your yard forever with just simple household items. One way to eliminate a den of skunks would be to sprinkle urine near the den. Using dog or coyote urine near the den will make a skunk think a predator is near. This will make them feel unsafe and leave. The only downside to using urine is that it needs to be reapplied to the affected area every 24 hours. Urine can be washed away easily when it rains so this method is not fully effective used alone. Also, if you use dog urine and your city has a lot of stray dogs, it may attract a dog if he/she is not fixed.

Another option if you do not want to use urine or to use with urine is cayenne pepper. If sprinkled near a den it will make a skunk feel unsafe. You will have to reapply after it rains. The cayenne pepper will irritate the senses and make them feel like they need to find a better place to make a .

If your household has citrus peels like an orange or lemon this is quite effective. If you sprinkle pieces of the peels around the den or high traffic skunk areas, they will start to avoid these places. The upside of using this method is that it lasts longer than anything else because it lasts until it decomposes.

Another use of cayenne pepper is to make a repellent spray. To make this pepper spray you will need one yellow onion and jalapeño peppers. If you mix these ingredients with one tablespoon of cayenne pepper and boil in two quarts of water for 20 minutes, you will have a homemade natural skunk repellent. You will want to strain the mix with a cheesecloth and then put it in a spray bottle. A skunk will avoid anything that was sprayed with this liquid. This repellent has to be reapplied every three to five days but is very effective. You will also need to reapply after it rains.

How to Get Rid of Skunk Smell in the House

Many people think that using tomato juice will rid anything of that skunk smell, however, this is a myth. This method of getting rid of that nasty skunk smell does not work. However, there are some things that do work in getting rid of the smell that easy to make. This home concoction was made in 1993 and has been a useful skunk odor eliminator. All you need is hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and liquid laundry detergent. To make this you will need a large open container. you will want to make sure your peroxide is 3%. You will want to mix 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide with ¼ cup baking soda and 1 teaspoon of liquid laundry detergent. Once mixed you will want to use immediately and if you have leftover mix dilute heavily with water and pour down the drain. This mixture cannot be stored because in a closed container it is likely to explode.

If you experience a person or pet coming into the house smelling like skunk you may notice that the smell of skunk lingers in the air. To eliminate this lingering odor, you will want to boil vinegar in a pan. The smell of vinegar will be lingering for a few days but after the vinegar odor is gone, your home will be skunk odor free.

There are many different ways to also prevent the smell from coming into your home. You will need to make sure that you eliminate the odor as soon as you notice it because the longer that the smell is on something/someone the harder it is to get off. Another tip to help keep the house smelling clean and not like is to work outside if possible to keep the skunk oil off , furniture, and other household items. The next tip is to shower in hot water after using de-skunking solutions. Lastly, if clothing or other items have been heavily sprayed, just throw them away if possible. This is because fabric can hold the stench of a skunk for a long period of time.

Skunks are known for their smell and nuisance. If you follow these simple steps you will have no worries with skunks any longer. No skunks no issue with smells in the house from people or pets. Just remember if you do get sprayed and use de-skunking solutions it may not work completely the first time. You may need to use it several times to eliminate the odor. These solutions do work just make sure you are patient and use them as needed. With these you should be skunk free in no time.

Skunks!

Q. Mike: Around the end of October, I smelled a skunk and noticed shallow holes in the yard that looked like an animal had been digging for grubs. If it was a skunk, when can I spread grub control on the lawn?
—Colleen in Southwestern Pennsylvania

Oh, organic Chemical-free Garden Guru: Steer me in the right direction! A friend in Shrewsbury, NJ (close to Red Bank in central Jersey, not far from the shore) has skunks toddling around her home, wafting their potent aroma through her bedroom windows. We found a site on the web selling dried fox and coyote urine for skunk control. Do you know anything about such products? Is the ‘manufacture’ of this stuff humane? Thanks.
—Nikki in a different part of NJ

A. There is an awful lot of bad information about skunks out there, so we turned to “Mr. Skunk” himself, Mephitologist Jerry Dragoo, Ph.D. a research assistant professor in the Biology Department at the University of New Mexico who has studied the oft-misunderstood creatures intensively. (He has a VERY understanding wife.)

Like moles, skunks will sometimes dig in lawns for grubs, like those of the famed Japanese beetle. Unlike moles, skunks are not generally persistent lawn pests. They won’t live in the lawn as moles do, and may only dig once or twice as they’re passing through an area, especially in the Fall, when, as Dr. Dragoo explains, they tend to be on the move.

If a skunk does take a particular liking to your lawn, I’d first suggest treating your turf with one of the castor oil based products sold for mole and vole control; their smell seems to deter a wide variety of marauding mammals.

The best time to apply grub controls is when the soil is warm and the grubs are feeding on grass roots in the Spring and late summer/early Fall. Beneficial nematodes (Northern or Southern varieties) will destroy all species of grubs in your lawn with in a few weeks, but there is no carry over effect from year to year. Milky spore disease will eventually rid your lawn of Japanese beetle grubs for a decade or two, but it has no immediate effect and doesn’t harm the grubs of other beetles. Both are completely safe, non-toxic, and can be applied at the same time. Chemical grub control products are extremely nasty, will poison you and your environment, and you will go to Hell if you use them.

Occasional odors around homes are nothing to worry about—again, especially in the Fall when skunks are on the move. Skunks actually taking up residence under the house is a much more common—and serious—complaint, says Dr. Dragoo. “Crawlspaces and open areas under homes make excellent skunk dens”, he explains, adding that the subsequent odor can be substantial even if they don’t spray. Skunk poop is very potent.

Prevention is key, he says, explaining that the majority of skunk problems are caused by people leaving pet food outside and bagging their trash in plastic as opposed to sealed cans. “Skunks are omnivores—they eat everything”, he explains, and easy access to pet food and garbage make an area very attractive for long-term nesting.

If you live in an area where skunks abound—which would be every state in the lower 48 plus Canada and Mexico—make sure that open areas under your house are sealed. Chicken wire is adequate, he says, but I favor the look of latticework. Either way, bury AT LEAST six inches of that fencing in the ground. “Skunks love to dig”, he explains.

And NOW is the time to seal up, he urges. “Skunks will be mating soon,and the females will begin having babies in May. You want to have your fencing up before you have a mother and litter under your home”.

Predator urines? I’ve never seen any evidence that these things work at all. They certainly won’t deter skunks, explains Dr. Dragoo, because skunks don’t fear those kinds of predators. The only animal that reliably makes a meal of skunks is the great horned owl. Foxes, coyotes and such have learned they’ll get skunked if they attack black animals with white stripes, and the skunks know it. And yes—the collection of these urines is cruel in the extreme.

And don’t even think about using the mothballs some moronic web sites suggest; those little balls of toxin are kidney cancer on a stick.

Keeping an area brightly lit often keeps the nocturnal creatures at bay. You could also try keeping an outdoor radio set to an AM talk station on at night, deer repellant, motion activated sprinklers and similar tricks and devices used to deter other kinds of critters.

Contrary to popular opinion, Dr. Dragoo explains that skunks are not in a rush to unleash their powerful sulfur-scented secret weapon; they’ll generally go through a series of bluff behaviors before aiming their hienies in your direction and giving you both barrels. If such a terrible thing should happen, Dr. Dragoo agrees with the episode of the “Myth Busters” TV episode that found only hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to effectively remove the smell. Tomato juice apparently only makes you or your pet smell like skunked tomato juice. (The exact recipe for the hydrogen peroxide and baking soda cure is in the Wikipedia on-line encyclopedia link just below.)

By the way, I’d always wondered whether “polecat” was a different animal or just another word for skunk. Dr. Dragoo says it’s a skunk synonym—an old British term originally used for weasels (“poultry attackers”). There are no skunks in England, and so Britishers in the New World used the term to describe these new, weasel-like creatures. And bad guys in the Old West, of course.

For more info:

Dr. Dragoo’s ‘ACLU site’ for skunks; “The Dragoo Institute for the Betterment of Skunks and Skunk Reputations”: www.dragoo.org

A great story about Dr. Dragoo from The Smithsonian: http://stevekemper.net/work3.htm

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Word in the garden is that skunks are doing more than just drive by’s: they’re wreaking havoc! With the ongoing drought, a moist, luscious garden offers a bounty of “skunk food.” You’ll find circular holes in your lawn when they dig for grubs and other insects, and there be may other items missing – fruit, vegetables, cat food. If you suspect that this is an issue in your garden (usually evident by that unmistakable, lingering odor), there are several things you can do!

Remove / Block Any Potential Skunk Dens

First, take a look for any areas where these critter may be nesting, such as under a deck or in a garden shed. Do you notice anything in your yard that could be a potential den? Some examples are a wood or rock pile; an opening under a wooden deck or a porch. If so, close up any gaps by repairing rotted wood or covering over openings with chicken wire. With wood or rock piles, you may want to either remove them altogether, or else try tightly stacking and/or covering the piles. I knew someone who had a large, dilapidated wooden structure in the back corner of her garden and, no surprise, also had a really bad skunk problem. She wasn’t using the structure for anything so had it removed and voila, end of the skunk problem.

What Do Skunks Eat?

According to Wikipedia, “skunks are omnivorous, eating both plant and animal material and changing their diets as the seasons change. They eat insects and larvae, earthworms, grubs, small rodents, lizards, salamanders, frogs, snakes, birds, moles and eggs. They also commonly eat berries, roots, leaves, grasses, fungi and nuts.

In settled areas, skunks also seek garbage left by humans. Less often, skunks may be found acting as scavengers, eating bird and rodent carcasses left by cats or other animals. Pet owners, particularly those of cats, may experience a skunk finding its way into a garage or basement where pet food is kept. Skunks commonly dig holes in lawns in search of grubs and worms.”

What you can do. Make sure there are no obvious food sources for the little guys such as open compost or other garbage (tight fitting lids are a must). If they are helping themselves to the veggies in the garden, a low fence should keep them out since skunks are not good climbers. If you’re feeding your pet outdoors, don’t leave food unattended. If pet food is stored outside, make sure it is in a closed, skunk proof, container. And if skunks are destroying your lawn, you can start by lowering the water. When the ground dries a little, the grubs will move deeper, and your lawn will become less of a skunk attractant.

Time to Send Your Resident Skunks Packing

Once you’ve removed what is attracting the skunks, it’s time to employ deterrents. One trick is to add some unfavorable smells to your garden. Yes, ironically there are a lot of smells they don’t like, so spraying the lawn with castor oil and dish soap will help keep them away. Another trick is to place strong smelling soaps around the garden. Additional smells skunks abhor are: citrus, ammonia, mothballs and predator’s urine (you can buy pellets of fox and coyote urine at your local hardware store, although the Humane Society considers its use inhumane).

Another hindrance to nocturnal skunk parties are outdoor motion lights. The flash of bright, unexpected light will scare them away. Unfortunately this is not a great option if your bedroom also faces the yard. Flashing bright lights may also scare you or disrupt the evening’s rest so in this case you may want to use a light that stays on all the time. You can also boost your ‘skunk be gone’ campaign with a motion activated sprinkler and a radio, set to talk radio, close to any location you think might be a den. Mild harassment for a few days is a good way to suggest they find a new address.

As a final resort, if your skunk friends just won’t leave, you may consider setting a trap. This option is probably the least desirable, since, once trapped, how do you transport the critter to release it further away without having to later sell your vehicle?? Your best bet is to remove anything that is attracting skunks to your garden while adding in a combination of deterrents.

Skunked

If you or your pet does have the misfortune of a direct skunk encounter, forget the tomato juice! There are some good commercial products such as Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover, but that’s not much help if you don’t have any on hand. Don’t despair, you can make an effective odor neutralizing solution with some common household items. Mix together:

1 quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup baking soda
1 teaspoon liquid soap (laundry or dishwashing soap)

Use rubber gloves to apply. Leave it on for five minutes and rinse. Repeat if the smell is still strong. Note: Do not store this mixture. Also, don’t forget to brush your pet’s teeth (not with this mixture), since they were probably sprayed in the face and got a mouthful. Skunk-sprayed collars may have to be thrown away.

*We’d love to hear from you about any home remedies or combination of solutions that worked well to get rid of your skunk problem.
Happy ‘Skunk Free’ Gardening,
Judy

Skunks and Yard Damage

Do you want a skunk problem in your yard? Didnt’ think so. Learn about skunks and how to help keep them away.

The infamously foul-smelling skunk is among the most unpleasant of unwanted animal guests that you should keep out of your yard. Scent aside, however, skunks can also be a problem because they love to dig, tunnel and otherwise make a mess of your yard. While the average skunk is usually no bigger than a house cat, it can be as damaging to the integrity of your home as a much larger animal.
As with all pest mammals, the best offense is a good defense. That means remaining observant, taking precautionary measures and being prepared in case of a skunk encounter. So, let’s get to know a bit more about skunks and what makes them unique.

Where do skunks live?

Skunks are native to the Americas and can be found all across the continental United States. More specifically, skunks live in underground shelters called burrows. Often, skunks will take over burrows abandoned by other animals who like to excavate, like rabbits, badgers and foxes. Skunks, especially females about to deliver young, will also dig their own burrows.
Overall, skunks will seek out any available and convenient location for their dens. They look for warmth and easy access to food and water, which most likely can be found on your property. In areas populated by humans, skunks can make their dens under houses, under decks, in basements, in garages, under wood sheds or woodpiles, or anywhere else that provides shelter from the elements.

What attracts skunks to my yard?

Food in plentiful supply will always be irresistible to wild animals, and skunks are no exception. An accessible water supply is also likely to attract the black-and-white striped pests.
What do skunks eat? Grubs — the underground-dwelling larvae of insects such as Japanese beetles and June bugs — are just one part of the skunk diet. These grubs are most plentiful in the colder months of the year, as they lay dormant in preparation for their spring and summer metamorphoses. Grubs feed most commonly on grassroots, and their presence can go undetected until dead patches begin to pop up on your lawn.
At one level, skunks can be beneficial animals, ridding your turf of these near-invisible plant parasites. Unfortunately, skunks are not terribly picky eaters. They are technically omnivorous. This means that carelessly secured garbage receptacles behind your home and pet food left on a porch, patio or in a garage or shed can also be very tempting to a skunk.

How can I keep skunks out of my yard?

If you’re concerned about skunks in your yard, the best solution is to make your yard a less attractive habitat. One thing you can do is be on the lookout for patches of dead grass and eliminate any grub infestations you may have. Healthy populations of fat, juicy grubs are an open invitation to skunks to come and claw up your yard.
Make sure all seals and lids on your trash cans and recycle bins are secure, and periodically clean out these receptacles to remove odors and stray bits of waste. If you have fruiting trees and plants in your yard or garden, don’t let fruit over-ripen, fall and rot on the ground. Be sure to remove any wild animal carcasses that you may find on your property, especially if you own a cat or dog who likes to hunt. Finally, take the Humane Society’s advice, by building an animal fence, and cordon off any vulnerable areas around your home’s foundation using L-footer–style fencing.
A Terminix® pest management professional can build a plan that helps keep skunks and other wildlife off your property.

Learn how to deter skunks from your home with seven simple but reliable steps and tricks!

Deter Skunks Effectively with These 7 Steps

1. Remove Skunks’ Food Sources and Shelter

How do you deter skunks naturally? Get to the bottom of their food source and some of the foods skunks like are are nuts and berries.

Skunks are scavengers, so they’ll eat anything nutritious they can find in your area.

  • If you have trees that produce nuts, berries, crabapples, or other fruits, clean them up by raking your yard as often as necessary
  • Other vegetation, like piles of grass clippings, should go since it may contain seeds or other sources of food for skunks
  • If you have a garden, harvest ripe fruit, and vegetables as soon as you can so you can prevent a hungry skunk from feasting on them.
  • Use a tray under your bird feeder to catch most of the seeds, and clean up stray seeds dropped by birds often.

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2. Protect Your Waste to Deter Skunks

We all know that dreaded skunk smells, but how can you deter skunks? Chances are if you live in a rural area, you know the scent of a skunk – and they are stinky!

The scent of their spray can linger for days, so don’t fall victim to skunk activity. If you want home remedies to keep skunks away, start with your garbage disposal.

Like raccoons and other stray animals, skunks can survive on garbage alone. So it’s important to keep your trash cans properly sealed.

  • If possible, store your trash bins in a shed or in your garage at night to deter skunks
  • Use an enclosed compost bin, since skunks like to eat old fruit and vegetable peels, egg shells, and other items that you may be composting.

3. Close Off Hiding Places

Skunks like to make their homes under decks, porches, and in other sheltered areas. With that in mind, put these skunk removal tips into action.

  • Close off spaces that may be appealing to skunks using rocks, fencing, or plywood.
  • Log piles and piles of lumber or building materials can serve as shelters for skunks.
  • Store the materials in a shed or bin to prevent skunks from moving in.
  • Large bushes are also good shelters for skunks so if you see skunks hanging out in bushes or low vegetation, you might want to trim back the branches.

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4. Install Skunk Deterrent Lights in Your Yard

Skunks shy away from bright lights because they are nocturnal. If you light your yard at night, it will be a lot less appealing to skunks.

  • Since the lights will be shining all night long, consider using solar lighting or energy-saving lighting to avoid paying high electrical bills.
  • You can also install a motion sensor that gets tripped when a skunk or another creature comes close.
  • In this case, the skunk will have to enter your property for the light to work as a deterrent.

RELATED: Send Raccoons Packing With These 8 Natural Deterrents

5. Use Different Scents to Deter Skunks

There are a few different scents known to be offensive to skunks. If you place them around the edges of your yard and in areas where you suspect skunks like to spend time, the skunks will start avoiding those areas.

  • Fox and dog urine deter skunks since foxes and dogs are skunks’ natural predators. If you can figure out how to collect dog urine, that’s fine to use.
  • You can also buy products containing fox or dog urine at hardware stores. Spray it around the perimeter of your yard.
  • Pepper sprays, also sold to repel squirrels and other wild creatures, are effective skunk deterrents. Spray them on trees and other areas where you’ve seen skunks.
  • Ammonia also deters skunks. Soak old rags in ammonia and place them under your deck or porch to keep skunks from coming in.
  • Citrus peels have natural skunk repellent qualities. Scatter orange or lemon peels around your property and under your deck or porch.

6. Install Motion-Activated Sprinklers

These automatically turn on when an animal wanders too close and are a safe and natural way to keep the skunks away from your property. Place them strategically close to areas where you suspect skunks might want to shelter.

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  • Keeps in poultry, sheep, goats, cattle and guard dogs. Keeps out deer, bear, raccoons, rabbits, foxes, coyotes, stray dogs and skunks.
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7. Set a Trap

Advice from prairie gallery director: check skunk trap by art vault before tour Board of Governors. @ulethartgallery pic.twitter.com/4KMgZAY9FA

— Josephine Mills (@Josie_M_Mills) June 11, 2015

Spring-loaded skunk traps lure the skunk inside with bait, then close the door behind them so they can’t escape. The skunk is then carried away from your property and set free in the woods or another open, wild area.

  • Bait the skunk trap with peanut butter, canned sardines, cat food, or other strong-smelling foods. Set it near the skunk’s den or its route of access to your property.
  • Traps designed for raccoons, feral cats, and other wild animals also work well for skunks.
  • When you release the skunk in the woods, wear heavy clothes and gloves, and make sure your face is positioned well away from the door where the skunk will exit the trap. Most of the time, skunks leave traps calmly, but you should take precautions just in case you get sprayed.

How to Make a Garbage Can and Ramp Trap

What you’ll need:

  • 30-gallon (113.6 L) metal garbage can
  • A long, sturdy piece of wood (preferably a 2×4)

Instructions:

  1. Just before dark, place the garbage can upright where you want to trap the skunk. Have it against something strong, such as a wall, so the skunk cannot tip it over.
  2. Bait it with cat food.
  3. Get long, sturdy pieces of wood (it must be thick and heavy enough to hold a skunk, maybe a 2 x 4). Use it as a ramp to allow the skunk to get from the ground to inside the garbage can.
  4. The skunk will not be able to get out of the garbage can. If handled carefully, it will hopefully not spray.
  5. After the skunk is inside, put the lid on the garbage can. Put it in your truck and carry the skunk away to a wooded area.
  6. Release by tying (or clamping) a twenty foot or longer cord to the lid handle. This will allow you to take off the lid and letting the skunk make its own way back into nature without danger of getting sprayed.

To learn more about how to deter skunks, watch this video from Helpful DIY’s channel:

While skunks are generally harmless creatures, it’s best not to get too close to them. You risk getting a dose of their noxious spray, or worse, a bite from a skunk carrying rabies.

Be sure to follow the abovementioned steps to successfully deter skunks from your home.

Do you have a deterrent method not listed here you would like to share? Please tell us your ways to deter skunks in the comment section below.

Up Next: How to Deal With Stray Dogs

Products to help you maintain a skunk-free yard:

  • In need of an animal trap? Check out this Large Collapsable Humane Live Animal Trap.
  • A Predator Guard Solar-Powered Predator Deterrent could be just the thing you need to effectively keep skunks out of your yard.

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Editor’s Note: This post was first published on June 6, 2018, and has been updated for accuracy and relevancy.

If the trap does not include a cover, use an old blanket or some towels, making sure that you can cover the front as well.

By covering the cage, the skunk is less likely to spray, and the cover will catch the liquid in the event that it does.

Finally, attempt to get a used trap, as skunks are less likely to enter a shiny new trap.

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Adding Bait

Skunks will eat a variety of foods, but meat-based bait such as wet cat or dog food, chicken, bacon, or sardines tend to work best.

If you are placing the trap outdoors and wish to avoid attracting stray cats, try using bread lightly covered in peanut butter or mayonnaise, apple slices, or even marshmallows.

Trapping and Removal

Skunks are intelligent, so it is important to camouflage the trap if you are capturing a skunk outdoors.

For a skunk that is entering your fenced-in garden, locate the point of entrance. Skunks will continue using the same opening if possible, so place your trap by that entrance.

Also, attempt to find out whether the skunk has a den in the yard during the day by following its tracks.

  • If there is a den on your property, place the trap near the den entrance and add your bait and cover.
  • Use leaves, twigs, and dirt to help the trap blend in.

As the skunk will likely not leave its den during the day, check the trap the following morning to see if the skunk has been caught.

Once the skunk is trapped, put on some thick gloves and carefully cover the front of the trap to avoid scaring it.

If the trap is small enough to prevent the skunk from raising its tail, there will be no risk of spraying. In the event of a larger cage, you must move slowly and carefully to avoid frightening the skunk into spraying.

Check local regulations to find out whether the animal can be released or must be taken to an animal control center.

If you are able to release, aim for a location at least ten miles from your home. Slowly uncover and open the trap’s door, then back away until the skunk has left the trap.

When to Hire a Professional

If you are unsure about removing a skunk on your own, or you suspect there are skunk kits present that cannot yet leave their den, it may be best to hire a professional to remove the skunks.

Another good reason to hire a professional is if the skunk is acting aggressive.

  • Skunks are normally shy and will avoid humans, spraying only if they feel threatened and a warning stomp was ignored.
  • If the skunk is being aggressive or acting erratic, then it may be an indicator of rabies.
  • Do not attempt to capture a potentially rabid skunk on your own.

How to Get Rid of Skunks’ Smell

When dealing with skunks, perhaps the single most frustrating aspect is the smell.

A skunk’s primary defensive weapon is a concentrated dose of musk which it can fire up to a meter from its anal glands. This musk can permeate your entire home and last for six months or more. Thus removing this stench from people, animals, and your home tends to be a high priority.

Remove Skunk’s Smell From Your Pet

Photo Credit: Mike Mozart

There are several methods of treating a dog or cat that has been sprayed.

  1. One method is to soak your dog in a solution of one cup vanilla extract per gallon of water for ten minutes, then bathe it.
  2. Another method is to use a solution of one part apple cider vinegar to two parts water. Thoroughly wet the dog’s fur and then work the solution in, being careful to avoid the eyes. Let it soak in for five minutes before rinsing.
  3. Finally, a solution of one quart hydrogen peroxide, one teaspoon of Dawn, and one-fourth cup of baking soda. Wet the dog thoroughly and work the solution in, again avoiding the eyes. Let it sit for five minutes before rinsing. This last recipe makes enough for a medium-sized dog.

Remove Skunk’s Smell From a Person

The home remedy of using tomato juice to remove skunk musk is a myth.

The juice merely masks the smell and does not actually remove it.

Instead, the most effective method is to use the aforementioned solution of one cup baking soda and one teaspoon of Dawn detergent mixed in a quart of hydrogen peroxide.

  • Scrub down in the shower or tub in order to keep any mess minimal, and focus on the point of impact.
  • Rinse after each scrub until the smell is gone.
  • Be careful not to let the solution sit in your hair for long it may cause bleaching.

Remove Skunk’s Smell From Clothing

Photo credit:

Healthline

To remove the smell from clothes or fabrics, soak them in a mixture of one part hydrogen peroxide per six parts of water for one to two hours.

More delicate materials or dry cleaned items should instead be soaked with one part vinegar per four parts of water for two to three hours.

Next, place the clothes in your washer with one-half cup of baking soda and air dry.

Remove Skunk’s Smell From Your House

Because your home has a variety of surfaces, multiple methods may be required to completely remove a skunk’s musk.

  • Natural sunlight helps to break down the smell in curtains and other fabrics.
  • For countertops and ceramic tile, try using diluted bleach.
  • Diluting ammonia works well on wooden surfaces.
  • It is also important to have your rugs steam cleaned.

You can place open containers of vinegar throughout your house to absorb the odor, so long as you are careful to keep them out of the reach of pets and small children. Boiling vinegar will also help remove the smell. Use a fan to keep air circulating so that the stench vanishes faster.

The Potential Health Risks of Not Getting Rid of Skunks

Photo credit:

Medical News Today

Wild skunks are timid creatures, but will bite, scratch, or spray when provoked.

  • This raises the risk of leptospirosis, a bacteria found in stagnant water. Your pets are also at risk of distemper if bitten.

Additionally, wild skunks are known to be susceptible to rabies, which is easily transmitted.

Finally, skunks generally suffer from worms and may harbor other parasites such as fleas or ticks.

Further Resources

  • Bob Vila offers many tips on removing skunk musk on his website

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Get Rid of Skunks and Their Smell

How Do You Get Rid of a Skunk from Your Property?

The following methods work best: barrier & exclusion methods, repellents, live traps, automated sprinklers, professional interventions.

Need to hire an exterminator? Get a free estimate online from top local home service pros in your area.

What Are the Most Efficient Repellents for Skunk Removal?

The most efficient repellents for skunk removal are cayenne peppers, citrus peels, or a hot pepper spray made with cayenne pepper, yellow onion, and jalepeño peppers.
Contrary to popular belief, ammonia and predator urine have moderate effects and sometimes they can prove inefficient.

How Do You Get Rid of Skunks’ Smell From Your Dog?

Mix one part apple cider vinegar to two parts water and wash the pet’s fur. Let it soak for five minutes, then rinse.

How Do You Get Rid of Skunks’ Smell From a Person?

Mix one cup baking soda and one teaspoon of Dawn detergent in a quart of hydrogen peroxide. Scrub well in the shower with the solution, insisting on the point of contact. Rinse well until the smell disappears. Make sure you do not leave the mixture in your hair for too long, as it may lead to bleaching.

How Do You Get Rid of Skunks’ Smell From Your Clothes?

Soak your clothes in a mixture of one part hydrogen peroxide per six parts of water for one to two hours. Put the clothes in the washing machine with one-half cup of baking soda, give them a thorough wash and rinse, and air dry.

How do You Get Rid of Skunks’ Smell From Your House?

Use diluted ammonia for wood surfaces. Use diluted bleach for tiles and countertops. Steam-clean your rugs and carpets. Wash curtains and let them dry in the sun, as light breaks down the smell.

What Is the Best Bait to Trap a Skunk?

A meat-based trap will work the best. Use wet cat or dog food, sardines, bacon, or chicken. However, to avoid attracting stray cats or other animals, use bread with a thin layer of peanut butter or mayonnaise. You can also try with apple slices or marshmallows.

Does Vinegar Remove Skunk Smell?

To some extent, yes, it does. Place large open containers of vinegar throughout your house to absorb the stench. Boil vinegar to remove the odor faster. Wash with vinegar affected areas of a rug or other textiles to remove the smell.

The first thing my family did when we moved from the city to the countryside was stockpile anti-skunk spray shampoo for our dog. Even without the fear of getting sprayed, skunks can still dig up your gardens and cause all sorts of other problems.

That is why we have compiled this natural skunk repellent master list to help you maintain a skunk-free yard. There are plenty of ways to deal with skunks.

With these various commercial and homemade skunk repellent recipes and other home remedies, you should have no problem finding a solution that works for you and your family.

Easy-to-Use Skunk Repellent Tips and Recipes

1. Preventative Measures

If you notice that you might have a sort of pest problem, whether it be small rodents or skunks or something else, it is always a good idea to take a couple of easy preventative steps. Everything is attracted to food sources. If you keep pet food outside, be sure the empty bowl is the default state, not sitting filled with food.

You might also want to think about adapting your bird feeders. Ideas on how to make homemade squirrel repellent for bird feeders will also be useful skunk deterrents.

Although, if you do suspect you might have a small rodent problem as well, be sure to take care of that. Skunks will eat small rodents, so you want to make sure your pest control needs are in order.

2. Easy, Low Maintenance DIY Skunk Repellent

When you first notice you have a skunk problem, you can try these easy, natural ways to keep skunks away. You can take citrus peels and spread them out around your yard to help keep the skunks away.

If you don’t have any citrus peels, you can sprinkle cayenne pepper around your yard. These methods will be particularly useful around the skunk den.

3. The Ultimate Homemade Skunk Repellent: Homemade Hot Pepper Spray

If your skunk problem persists, you can whip up this easy pepper spray with all natural ingredients to scare away the skunks.

Pepper Repellent Spray to Repel Skunks

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper
  • 2 quarts of water

You’ll want to mix the ingredients and boil for 20 minutes. Once the mixture cools, you’ll then want to pour it into an empty spray bottle. This repellent spray is great for trouble spots, such as your garbage can or near crawl spaces.

4. Using Household Cleaners

If you’re in an area that’s experiencing a large amount of rain, enough to wash away any of citrus peels, cayenne pepper, or pepper spray, you might want to try something you can find in your cleaning cabinet. Because skunks can sometimes carry rabies, you’re going to want to get them out of your yard as quickly as you can().

There’s a quick home remedy that you can try: old rags or cotton balls soaked in ammonia. The intense smell will drive the skunks away. Just make sure that you place the soaked materials away from any air intake areas of your home.

5. Urine – the Ultimate Natural Skunk Repellent

There is no purer natural skunk repellent than fear. In this case: fear of predators. Skunks are prey to coyotes, and so by association, skunks will often recognize dogs as predators as well.

If you have a dog, you can try to collect your own dog urine. If not, you can usually find predator urine for sale at pet stores. As long as you continuously re-apply the predator urine to your yard, the skunk should eventually get scared and run for the hills.

6. Motion Sensor

A popular commercial method is motion sensor “alarms.” Skunks are nocturnal, so a common practice is to hook up a night vision motion sensor camera to some bright lights to scare away the skunk.

Another popular option is to set up a motion sensor to a sprinkler so that the water will turn on whenever the skunk is near, also pushing the animal out of the area.

Who knows, maybe a particularly rough and tumble skunk found its way into your yard. If none of these conventional methods work, you may need to call in animal control. They will be able to use live traps and skunk traps to catch the skunk and relocate it to a more hospitable environment.

Regardless of how you remove the skunk from your property, be sure to walk along your fence line and look for any possible points of entry. You’ll want to seal these up, so you don’t have any future intruders.

Besides just worrying about that infamous skunk smell, skunks can sometimes carry various diseases that can hurt you, your family, and your pets. By using these commercial and homemade skunk repellent options, you are sure to find yourself worry free.

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