How To Get Rid Of Skunks

how to get rid of skunks

Skunks – you either love them or you hate them. When you minus the foul-smelling defense mechanism, a skunk can actually be a very charming creature. Maybe you can think back to Pepe Le pew – the fictional, charming cartoon character that many of us knew as a child.

It would be nice if real-world skunks could sit down and have a charming conversation with us, but the reality is not quite as enjoyable. In fact, you probably wouldn’t want to come face to face with a skunk.

A quick spray with their special fluid can send just about anyone running like their life depended on it.

The good news is that we’re going to teach you how to get rid of skunks, and we hope that you’ll see that it’s not nearly as difficult as some people would have you believe. With that said, let’s jump right into it.

The Skunk Back Story

Did you know that every skunk has a back story? The shy, adorable little bugger that keeps showing up in your backyard has probably been looking for shelter. He probably wasn’t kicked out by his parents as a child, but he requires shelter when he’s most vulnerable.

If you ever ask an exterminator how they do what they do, they’ll tell you that to catch a bug; you’ve got to think like a bug. Skunks are no exception, and you really have to get inside of their head. Since they’re nocturnal animals, you’ll almost always see them at night.

They like to use your property to forage for food and dig holes. However, problems can arise when they destroy your plants, cause lawn damage and leave that horrendous odor.

What the Skunk Likes To Eat

They like to eat tomatoes, and most skunks actually change their diet to match the current season. Since they’re not picky, they’ll eat human garbage, rats, eggs, small rodents, insects and plants.

Some farmers actually like skunks because they love to eat cutworms, moles, white grubs and agricultural pests.

Did you know that almost all of the skunks in existence live inside of the United States? A lot of people don’t like skunks because they can kill poultry and eat the eggs.

What About The Skunk Spray?

The awful smell that skunks like to spray consists of a blend of sulphurous oils. It can cause partial blindness and make the skin sting.

If you’re dealing with a skunk problem, don’t be surprised if your pets get sprayed. Now that we have the back story – let’s talk about how to get rid of skunks.

How to Remove Skunks and Keep Them Away

If you’ve become aware of a skunk problem on your property, it’s time to take action. There are several different methods that you can use to control the issue. Depending on your unique situation, you might need to employ one or several of the strategies discussed below.

Use More Lighting

A typical skunk hates light. He likes to come out when there is almost no ambient light, so one of the best ways to keep skunks away from your property is to add more lighting.

You might consider a few high-powered, motion-sensing flood lights, or you can go with a low-intensity option, such as walkway lights.

Seal the Damn Holes

If you’re unfortunate enough to have skunks digging under your yard, deck or house, it’s crucial to make sure that you seal any open spaces. The skunk loves to make these areas their nesting grounds.

For great results, you should consider installing some solid-mesh flash wire with quarter-inch screening, which serves as a great way to cover the holes.

Don’t Entice Them

As mentioned previously, skunks are attracted to human garbage because it’s an easy way to get a bite to eat. Most animals are lazy like us, so they don’t mind getting a free meal out of your garbage can.

You should make sure to never leave fruits, vegetables, water bowls, garbage bags and pet food where skunks can get to them.

Sprinkler System

A great non-lethal way to keep the skunks away involves installing a motion-activated sprinkler system. The sprinklers serve as natural ways to fight back against the problem, so you don’t have to kill the little buggers.


Some of the best ways to keep the skunks away involves the application of repellents. If your decide to go this route, you have several options to choose from.

An effective repellent is predator urine. By misting hot spots with urine from coyotes, dogs and similar predators, you can avoid having to kill the little creatures.

The only downside of using urine is that you must apply it every 24 hours, so it’s not the most practical option. Another repellent that you can use is ammonia.

If you want to go the home remedy route, you can use some moth balls and soak them in ammonia.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the most effective method. Some other people have recommended using hot pepper spray, cayenne pepper and citrus peels to keep Pepe from entering your yard. However, the major downside with repellents is that they must be applied quite often.

Last Resort

If you don’t have any luck with these non-aggressive methods, you might have to consider trapping the skunks, killing them or calling in the professionals.

If you decide to trap or kill them, you’ll need to make sure that your local state laws don’t prohibit the practice. These are some of the easiest strategies that you can use to get rid of skunks.

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