How to find and remove a dead skunk

When there is a dead skunk in your yard, it may be an alarming and smelly experience. If this takes place, it is good to remove and discard the dead skunk as soon as possible before animals get attracted to the smell and start to come into the yard to look for the food. Handling the skunk in a proper manner is important for your health and safety.

The skunk will continue to smell even if it is dead because its glands create a foul odor which can still be released even when the skunk has died. The skunk odor will ruin all the objects it comes into contact with like clothes or other porous items that may need to be thrown away. The vapor of the skunk may create a burning sensation in the eyes or it may lead to vomiting or nausea. When a skunk dies within a shed or in a building’s foundation, the smell can persist for some months.

A strong odor will be the indication that a skunk has died on your property, and you will locate the carcass at the strongest point of the odor. When you find the dead skunk, you should use thick gloves when handling it as it is not recommended to use bare hands to touch a dead skunk. The skunk can carry rabies, and a dead rabid skunk can still transmit rabies through saliva when it gets into contact with the mouth, nose or eyes.

You can pick up a dead skunk from the ground with a shovel. Even with gloves on, you should still avoid touching the skunk since you will not be aware of the type of bacteria that it may be carrying.

Put the dead skunk in a garbage bag and tie the garbage bag very tight so that the skunk will be completely sealed inside. You can transport the bag to a landfill or a dumpster and discard the skunk there. When the skunk stays on your property, it will continue producing the foul odor, so it is always good to take the skunk carcass to another place.

After handling a skunk, regardless if it is dead or alive, make sure that you wash your hands with warm and soapy water. If you have a live skunk on your property, you should consider using a live trap to catch and relocate the skunk.

Go back to the How to Get Rid of Skunks page or email us if you have any other questions about How to find and remove a dead skunk