While some wildlife is just a nuisance on your property, others can do more harm. Skunks are unlikely to hurt you or your loved ones, but there is a very real possibility that they will make your home smell horrible, which is why most people want these animals gone as soon as possible. Having a skunk around always puts your pets and your property at risk of smelling, but you can get rid of skunks humanely and easily.
1. There aren’t any effective skunk repellents on the market so don’t believe their claims.
2. If you are catching a skunk, opt for a large cage trap and place them in the right area.
3. The best skunk bait is marshmallows or cat food, but avoid the latter is stray cats are in the area.
4. Always relocate skunks a minimum of 10 miles from your location so they don’t return.
5. Exclusion barriers are effective for skunks underneath sheds and decks.
6. Clean up your yard to remove items that may attract the skunks to your property.
7. If the skunk sprays, remove the smell with hydrogen peroxide combined with dish soap and baking soda. This can be rubbed on your home or pet and rinsed off after a few minutes.
Trapping And Relocating Skunks
The most effective way to get a skunk away from your property for good is to trap the animal and then relocate it. When relocating a skunk, always choose an area that is 10 miles or more away so the skunk doesn’t find its way back. You should also select somewhere with food, water, and shelter to increase its chances of survival.
Opt for a large cage trap, such as those rated for raccoons, which should be about 10x12x30 inches. Always set the trap in a shady area and ensure it is flush with the ground and free from scent. Bait it with marshmallows and pay close attention so the skunk doesn’t sit inside the trap for an extended period of time and become dehydrated. Cover the trap with a tarp to calm the skunk down and discourage it from spraying you while transporting it.
Because of the risk of spraying whenever a skunk is involved and how long the smell can last, it is smart to leave skunk trapping and relocation to the experts. Most homeowners would rather someone else get sprayed over themselves. Moreover, it is less likely that a professional will be sprayed since they will know how to approach the skunk in a way that doesn’t spook it. They will also already have a good idea of where to relocate the animal too and already own the necessary traps.
When Exclusion Works
In the case of one or more skunks living underneath a structure like a shed or deck, you can install an exclusion barrier made of mesh. Opt for steel mesh as it is nice and sturdy and install it all around the area. The mesh should go 12 inches or more into the ground and slope outwards at the bottom to prevent the skunk from digging its way back inside. If you have a garden or something else you want to keep skunks out of, you can do so with a barrier that is dug down to a similar depth.
What Repellents To Try
You won’t find any repellent for sale that is effective at getting rid of skunks, but some people are willing to try homemade or natural repellents. While these aren’t very effective either, they have the benefit of being something you already have on hand, making them essentially free. One thing that may actually work is spreading peels of citrus fruits around the location where the skunk was. You can also do the same with cayenne pepper.
Your dog may also be able to help you with the skunk problem; just don’t let him get close to the actual skunk. Pay attention to where the skunk was seen and encourage your dog to go to the bathroom by its den. The skunk will view the canine urine as predator urine and want to stay away. Just remember that this method needs to be reapplied anytime it rains. Some people also suggest leaving outdoor lights on to discourage skunks. While this will stop these animals from visiting your property, your electricity bills will likely skyrocket and your neighbors may not be very happy, especially since you need bright lights for this to work well.
Get Rid Of Potential Skunk Food
One of the reasons that skunks are probably on your property is because you have tempting food for them. To stop these animals from digging through your garbage, opt for bins with secure lids or better yet, keep your garbage in your garage. If your property has trees and bushes with nuts, berries, and fruits, regularly clean up the fallen ones as these can be attractive to skunks and other animals.
Skunks may look cute to some, but if you ever had to deal with them you are likely to consider them a pest. You are not alone; a skunk close to your property can make an entire area smell so bad that you will be kept up at night because of it. Not to mention skunks can carry diseases such as rabies. Many pet owners have spent hours trying to remove the musky odor when their dog has been sprayed. So a skunk problem can be one of the worst wildlife problems that you can possibly have. If you are reading this then you may be desperate and looking for a solution. There are a few things that you can do in order to keep these critters away from your property and that are specifically for skunks; because not only are these little animals a pest, they are also very smart.
Keep Away: Skunks are animals that will eat anything that you give them access to, so if you decide to leave the garbage out overnight a skunk will find it. Leaving that amount of food outside is so tempting to a skunk that you might as well leave a map to the garbage close to its den. Take the garbage out the morning it gets picked up and don’t let anyone in your family feed any wildlife, much less a skunk. Pet food can also attract a skunk so if you feed your pets outside make sure that you do not leave any food behind. You can also try to make the skunk feel unwelcomed. There are companies that offer skunk repellent and they work sometimes, but a repellent is mostly a hit or miss. Not all the skunks will find the repellent to be unappealing enough to be kept out of your garden. If the problem is bad enough you can try repellent, but keep in mind that the results may vary.
Scarecrow Technique: Skunks don’t like to be seen; in fact they do most of their scavenger work when no one is around in the middle of the night or really early in the morning. There are two things that you can use in order to scare them away and they both involve motion sensors. The first one is the regular light motion sensor. When a skunk or anything else for that matter comes within range a light will turn on scaring the “would be” uninvited guests. The same motion sensor technique can be used but using a sprinkler system. If there is something that will surprise the skunk more than light it is water. Those two options should help keep skunks away, but like commercial repellents some skunks may be persistent enough to not be deterred by scarecrow techniques.
Have Them Removed: Catching a skunk can be a bit difficult because they are after all smart animals. There is also the problem of the possibility of being bitten by a skunk, so if you decide to trap the skunk yourself you should be extremely careful. There are services that will catch a skunk for you and most of them work in a very humane manner; that means that they will release the skunk somewhere where it cannot come back to your property and where it can make a new home. This option is usually the most effective because you are making sure that the problem does not come back without having to be cruel to the animal. If you decide to catch the skunk yourself there are traps available in some home and garden stores. Some of the best bait is wet dog food and you have to make sure that the traps are placed somewhere that the skunk will be tempted to go to.
We are the Pest Education Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on wildlife and pest removal education. Our approach utilizes Integrated Pest Management, a strategy advocating prevention and humane methods.