How To Get Rid of Skunks: The Ultimate Guide

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Having skunks around your home stinks. Not only do they carry diseases there’s the risk of being sprayed with that deadly scent. 

You might be thinking of the best way to get rid of skunks. 

Don’t worry. I got you covered.

In this post, I will go over the 4 best ways to get rid of skunks once and for all. 

Let’s get started. 

1. Killing Skunks

Often, the first thing that people think of doing when they have a skunk is killing it.

Before you jump to this conclusion, do your research. 

While skunks can be a nuisance are beneficial in specific ways. 

Skunks are beneficial because they consume most garden and home pests. 

The list of pests that skunks eat and can help you remove is extensive. Everything from rodents to insects, skunks are willing to eat. 

Skunks eat: 

  • Moles, voles, gophers 
  • Mice, rats 
  • Roaches, beetles, aphids, grubs
  • Spiders, snails, black widow spiders
  • Yellowjackets, grasshoppers

Skunks truly can offer a huge benefit by eating and reducing the pests around your home and garden. 

The great thing is that skunks are nocturnal, which means you don’t have to contact them very often. 

Before you decide to kill skunks, it is important to consider the legal restrictions where you live. 

Depending on where you live, the use of firearms is not allowed. Likewise, in certain cases, the use of poison is also not allowed to kill skunks. 

Be sure you follow the state or regional laws to ensure you are killing and disposing of skunks properly. 

2. Habitat Modification - Make Your Home Less Appealing

Like other pests, Skunks are in search of three things: food, water, and shelter. 

One of the best ways to get rid of skunks is to make your home less appealing to skunks. 

This is otherwise known as habitat modification. 

You can do this by: 

  • removing food
  • removing water 
  • excluding skunks 
  • eliminating potential dens 

Remove Food

The easiest thing you can do is to eliminate any food or water that the skunks might be feeding on. 

You can start by eliminating any food that skunks might be easily feeding on. 

To reduce potential sources of food: 

  • Close all trash cans with a lid 
  • Protect gardens with a fence or small barrier to prevent skunks from getting access 
  • Clean up fallen fruit frequently 
  • Store pet food in sealed containers and do not leave outside
  • Pick up any spilled bird seeds
  • Controlling insect and grub populations around your home.

Also, it is highly recommended that you avoid intentionally feeding skunks.

This will cause them to return. It’s also unhealthy and unsafe for you and your family and the skunk.

The skunk will become dependent and will not be able to survive in the wild. 

Remove Water

Another reason that skunks might be around your home is access to water. 

First, you want to make sure you do not have any drainage issues creating puddles of water or constant sources of water for skunks. 

Be sure to check for any: 

  • Leaky pipes 
  • Broken sprinklers 
  • Birdbaths 
  • Pooling water 
  • Broken downpipes or gutters 

Make sure that skunks do not have a consistent source of water around your house. If this is the case, they will keep coming back. 

Eliminate Potential Dens

It’s also ideal for making your home uninhabitable. This means that there are no areas where the skunk can create a den to live.

One of the simplest ways to do this is to maintain the vegetation around your home. This includes cutting shrubbery, trimming bushes, maintaining gardens, cutting grass.

Another effective way of eliminating potential dens is to declutter and remove any unnecessary items from around your house.

This includes old furniture, old items, wood, rocks, or any other debris or trash lying around. When these items are in a large pile or grouped, skunks tend to turn them into dens by creating a small hole that they can burrow into.

It’s also recommended that you store your firewood properly. Keep your firewood stack tightly and at least 12 inches above the ground.

Exclusion

The final way you can modify your home to be less appealing is excluding. By excluding skunks from accessing areas of your home that they could create their den, they are less likely to frequent your home.

There are many areas where skunks tend to gain access to so that they can create a nice warm home.

First, make sure that the vents, crawl spaces around your home are properly sealed. Skunks love creating dens under homes or inside vents.

The easiest way to exclude skunks from areas like this is by using a wire mesh and applying it to anywhere that skunks might burrow inside to create a den.

It’s also a great idea to apply a wire mesh around barriers around cars, motorhomes, or trailers that you do not move often. Skunks will create a den under vehicles, especially if the grass or debris begins to build up.

Also, make sure you always close any outdoor structures you may have, such as sheds, barns, or garages.

Skunks will enter these buildings and create their dens behind and on top of the objects inside the structure.

These buildings are especially vulnerable to skunks when they are not used often, and skunks can hide and create their den without being disturbed.

These types of structures also provide warmth and darkness during the day, making a perfect skunk den.

3. Skunk Traps

Traps are one of the most intuitive ways you can get rid of skunks around your home. This is also the method that gets you closest to skunks and that potent spray they release. 

Traps are very easy to use. All you need to do is set up the trap where the skunk frequents. Inside you will place a bait that will attract it inside. When the skunk tries to eat the bait, the sensor will release the trap door, and it will trap the skunks. 

While certain traps may function slightly differently, the basic concept of the skunk traps remains the same. 

When purchasing a skunk trap, I highly recommend that you avoid using snares or open traps. 

There are traps that are specifically designed to be spray proof. They provide walls for defense if the skunk gets frightened and attempts to spray. 

Other traps will also trap the skunks in place, preventing them from living their tail even to start spraying. 

Once you have trapped the skunk that has been bothering your home, it’s time to determine what you are going to do with it. 

You have three options once you have captured a skunk: 

  1. Kill it 
  2. Relocate it 
  3. Call a professional 

Kill it

If you plan on killing the skunk, it’s important that you follow the laws and regulations you live in.

This may vary depending on where you live and the seasons.

Also, if there are any signs of rabies, it might be best to avoid killing the skunk.

Sings of rabid skunks include aggression, nervous activity, and excess salivation.

Killing it and getting the blood in the trap or on the floor can spread zootonic diseases to other pets or animals.

If you do suspect it has rabies, I recommend that you call local animal control. Local animal control is equipped to deal with rabid animals without spreading any diseases.

Relocation

Relocation is one of the most humane ways of getting rid of skunks.

This method allows you to remove the skunk from your region without harming it.

It’s important to note that this is not an easy task. If a skunk feels frightened, it will spray.

There is a way you can avoid getting sprayed.

The first is to use a spray proof skunk trap. If you do not have a spray-proof skunk trap, there is a way you can protect yourself from being sprayed as you move the skunk.

First, you will need to dress properly. Make sure you wear heavy clothing that does not leave any part of your body exposed.

Ideally, wear two thin layers so you can quickly get out of your clothes and dispose of them if you are sprayed.

Once you are ready to move the skunk, you need to use a large towel or blanket.

As you approach the trap, hold the blanket outwards to cover the skunk’s vision as you walk towards it.

Blocking the skunk’s vision is a method used to confuse the skunk and stop it from spraying.

Since it takes a long time for skunks to build up the liquid to spray, they usually do not spray unless they see the object they will be spraying.

By covering their vision, it prevents them from spraying. This method does work, but it is not 100% effective so do so with caution.

As you approach the cage, do not make any sudden movements. Move slowly with smooth motions.

Once you reach the cage, drape the towel over the cage covering each side so that the skunk can not see outside.

The next step is to decide on a location to relocate the skunk. The ideal location is a wooded area that is around between 5 and 10 miles from your home.

You must put careful thought into relocating the skunk in your area.

The first thing you must consider is if a permit is required to relocate skunks where you live. In certain states or cities, relocating skunks requires a permit to do so.

Second, you need to choose a far enough location away from your home that they won’t return but also a location where the skunk will not invade other nearby homes.

Finally, its also important that you relocate the skunk to its natural habitat.

This natural habitat should have a water source and food source nearby to sustain the skunk and facilitate the transition.

For example, avoid relocating skunks to a dry area or desert where you live. Doing so will ultimately result in the death of the skunk.

Call A professional

The easiest way to get rid of a trapped skunk is to call a professional.

Professional wildlife removal companies or animal control agencies in your cities are well equipped to do so.

Professionals typically have designated and proven locations where skunks can thrive during relocation.

One of the downsides of calling a professional is that there is no guarantee that they will relocate the skunk.

There is a chance that the skunk may be euthanized.

4. Use Rodent Repellent

Another alternative to getting rid of skunks is using a repellent. There are several different types of repellents that you can use against skunks.

The best repellent will depend on your needs and budget.

Natural Chemical Repellents

The first and most common type of repellent is a chemical repellent.

There are two options for using chemical repellents: liquid or granules.

Chemical repellents typically use natural chemicals to repel skunks.

Two common approaches to repel skunks include using essential oils such as peppermint, clove, and garlic essential oils.

The second method includes using extracts such as capsaicin, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and chili peppers.

These ingredients are known to repel skunks.

While natural chemical repellents are effective, their shelf life is not very long. Also, these repellents need to be reapplied often and lose their effectiveness after it rains.

 

Lights and Lasers

One of my favorite methods of skunk repellents includes lights and lasers. Skunks are nocturnal, which means they will shy away from light.

One way to do this is to use motion-activated floodlights. Any time skunks approach your home; the lights will turn on to scare them away.

These lights can be disruptive to you and your neighbors, especially since they will turn late at night.

To avoid this issue, you can use a flash ultrasonic repellent. These repellents are motion activated.

When a skunk crosses the path, the lights will flash, scarring the skunk away and protecting your property.

When using lights and laser repellents for them to be effective, you need to make sure you purchase enough devices to cover your home’s entire perimeter.

If you do not set your perimeter up properly, there can be gaps in your coverage where skunks can get in without setting off the motion sensors.

Motion Activated Sprinkler

Another way you can repel the skunks around your home is using motion activated sprinklers. 

These are sprinklers that spray water every time the sensor is triggered. 

This is a natrual and discrete alternative to keep skunks away from your home. 

Be sure to strategically place the sprinklers so that the perimeter of your house is covered. 

Without a full perimeter skunks may find ways to get close to your house without getting wet. 

The downside to this is that the sensor will go over for motion or animals. 

This can make your house more attractive because it might provide skunks with a source of water. 

Use these with caution and be sure to test your sensors before you set them out for the night. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does chocolate repel Skunks?

Chocolate does not repel skunks. There is no smell or chemical that will cause skunks to stay away from your home if you create a perimeter. 

Chocolate is deadly to skunks if it is consumed. 

In particular, the chemical theobromine inside chocolate and some teas is toxic to skunks. 

If the skunks consume chocolate will attach the heart and central nervous system of the skunk. 

Over, time the skunk will experience diarrhea and increase urination causing it to dehydrate. 

Depending on the dosage, death will take place between 12 and 72 hours. 

When Do Skunks have babies?

Skunks typically have between 2 and 10 babies during each pregnancy. They are typically born between May and June. 

Baby Skunks are born without fur and stay in the den for eight weeks before leaving. 

During that time they rely completely on the mother. 

 

What Home Remedy Will Keep Away Skunks?

There are many natural options to getting rid of skunks naturally.

This includes traps, exclusion or barriers, and chemical repellents. 

Some of the best home remedies include using spices such as red peppers or capsaicin to drive away skunks. 

You can also use essential oils to keep skunks away. 

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