How to get rid of skunks

Keeping the skunks away… far away

Skunks are scavengers and will eat anything from bugs to garbage. If a skunk finds a tasty morsel on your land, chances are it will start visiting you more often. This section will guide you through some steps to repel skunks from your property.
Eliminate the skunk fools

Skunks are nocturnal, so you’re more likely to see…er…smell them at night and early morning when they’re foraging. Skunks can and will eat anything; bird eggs, insects and larvae, human waste, small rodents, you name it, they will eat it. The following is a list of the most common foods that attract skunks to human property:

unprotected garbage
When you take your trash outside for pickup, store it in sturdy metal or plastic trash cans with lids that will stay on even if the can is tipped over. Never place unprotected bags on the sidewalk.

grubs and larvae
Skunks love grubs! Larvae are beetle larvae that live under your lawn. Skunks are known for digging small holes in people’s yards while hunting them. Fortunately, beneficial nematodes also love to eat larvae and are easily spread across your lawn and garden to remove this attractant.

pet food
Never leave animal food outside unprotected at night, it’s like preparing a place at your table for Pepé le Pew. I once had a neighbor who left table scraps and cat food for the neighborhood strays. He ended up with a family of skunks living on his property.

Nuts, berries and fruit Fall apple
If you have bushes or trees that bear fruit, nuts, or berries, you should periodically walk through your garden and remove any that have fallen to the ground. Skunks will happily feast on them, as will rodents…which skunks will happily eat too.

other attractants
While the above food sources are the most common culprits that attract skunks, there are (of course) more. If any of these exist on your property, do your best to minimize or eliminate them.

* Compost piles containing bones, fruit peels, and eggshells.

* Lots of insects that live in the soil under dead leaves and foliage.

* Easily accessible water sources.

* Bird feeder spills.

skunk repellents

Many people use this or that to repel skunks, but there seem to be few things that deliver consistent results across the board. Here is a list of the most effective repellents we have been able to find. If you know of any that are not listed here, please add them using the ‘tips’ form at the bottom of this page.

* Bright light – Skunks are nocturnal and prefer to stay hidden, flooding an area with light can be an effective deterrent. Use flood lights in combination with motion sensors.

* Automatic Sprinklers: Contech makes a device called ‘The Scarecrow’ which is essentially a sprinkler connected to a motion sensor that will spray any animal wandering into your yard.

* Hot pepper solutions: Pepper sprays are reported to work well, but must be reapplied every few days to remain effective.

* Commercial repellents: There are many types available, people have also reported success with commercial dog and cat repellents.

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