How to Get Rid of Skunks

How to Get Rid of Skunks

Keeping 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 good that he’ll start visiting more often. This section will walk you through some steps to repel skunks from your property.Trash
Eliminate skunk nummies

Skunks are nocturnal, so you’re most likely to see.. erm.. smell them at night and in the early morning when they’re out scavenging for food. Skunks can and do eat anything; bird eggs, bugs and larvae, human wastes, small rodents, you name it – they’ll eat it. Following is a list of the most common foods that attract skunks onto people’s property:

Unprotected garbage
When you transfer your trash outside for pickup, store it in heavy duty metal or plastic trash cans with lids that will stay on even if the can is knocked over. Never place unprotected bags out on the curb.

Grubs and larvae
Skunks love grubs! Grubs are beetle larva that live underneath of your lawn. Skunks are known for digging small holes in peoples yards as they hunt for them. Luckily, beneficial nematodes also love to eat grubs, and are easily deployed in your lawn and garden to eliminate this attractant.

Pet food
Never leave unprotected animal food outside at night, it’s akin to setting a place at your dinner table for PepĂ© le Pew. I had a neighbor once who would leave table scraps and cat food out for neighborhood strays. She ended up with a family of skunks living on her property.

Nuts, berries, and fruitsFallen apple
If you have bushes or trees that bear fruits, nuts, or berries you should periodically walk your yard and remove any that have fallen to the ground. Skunks will happily feast on them, and so will rodents… which skunks will also happily eat.

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 heaps containing bones, fruit rinds and egg shells.

* Large numbers of ground dwelling insects under dead leaves and foliage.

* Easily accessible water sources.

* Bird feeder spills.

Skunk repellents

Many folks swear by this or that for repelling skunks, but there seems to be little that delivers consistent results across the board. Here’s a list of the most effective repellents that we’ve been able to dig up. If you know of any not listed here, please add them with 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.

* Automated sprinklers – Contech manufactures a device called ‘The Scarecrow’ which is essentially a sprinkler attached to a motion sensor that will spray any animals that wander into your yard.

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

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