How To Get Rid Of Skunks

Anyone who has ever had a skunk on their property knows that these animals can be a significant nuisance. They may eat pet food that is left outside or rummage through your trash cans. Skunks will also dig holes in your yard in search of grubs living near the surface and there is the risk of them spraying when threatened. While it is possible to coexist with skunks, most people simply don't have the patience to do so and it is not always wise. Luckily, there are multiple effective and humane methods to get rid of skunks so you no longer have to deal with their presence on your property.

The best way to get rid of skunks is to stop them from coming onto your property in the first place. If you have considered putting up a fence in the past, doing so can help keep skunks out. Simply keep in mind that skunks have forepaws and claws designed for digging. This means that you will have to bury your fence six to eight inches below the ground and create an L-shape at the surface that extends the same distance horizontally; doing so will stop skunks from digging underneath your fence.

Cleaning your yard and repairing your home can also help stop skunks from every becoming a problem. Examine your home to make sure there are no potential entry points where skunks can get in. Also take the time to block off the area underneath your porch, deck, or shed as these are ideal spots for skunks to seek shelter. Further prevention consists of removing possible food sources, such as pet food, unsecured garbage cans, and fallen fruits.

Provide An Exit
In some cases, a skunk will want to leave your property or home, but not be able to. One classic example is if a skunk is trapped in a window well. This is possible since skunks are much better at digging than climbing; in other words, it is easier to fall into a window well than to climb out. All you have to do get rid of skunks in this situation is give them a way to get out. You can lower a rough board that provides traction into the hole, placing it at no more than a 45-degree angle. Just try not to be seen as the skunk may feel threatened and spray you. In some cases, carefully lowering a baited trap then lifting it with the skunk inside may also work, but this is much more complicated.

Trapping And Relocation
The majority of wildlife experts will suggest that you get rid of skunks via trapping and relocating them. To use this method, you will need to buy or rent a live cage trap that can comfortably fit a skunk, such as those designed for raccoons. Place the trap in an area you know the skunk will be, such as close to their den entrance. Place a trail of bait leading up to the trap with a larger quantity of food inside. To avoid being sprayed, approach the trap from behind after the skunk is inside and cover it with a blanket. Now you can simply put the trap and skunk in your car and drive them to an area away from your home with food, water, and shelter.

In the case of skunks inside your home, you will want to try the exclusion method first. To do so, you will first need to find all of the potential entry points the animals are using. You can then seal up all of these entrances except for the main one and place a one-way door over that hole. This will allow the skunks to leave but not return. Wait a few days to a week and then check to make sure the animals are truly gone. When you are positive there are no more skunks inside, you can seal the final entrance and take other preventative measures to avoid repeat skunk problems.

Repellents Don't Work
You have probably heard about numerous skunk repellents, many of which seem like a tempting method to scare away skunks and keep them away. The majority of repellents, however, will be ineffective. Those that rely on smell will need to be reapplied at regular intervals as they fade and after every single rainfall. Both scent-based repellents and mechanical repellents are also frequently ignored by skunks if they do not see an immediate threat and know that food or shelter is available nearby. Using a mechanical repellent, such as a motion-activated sprinkler or lights, will typically only work temporarily. After the skunk realizes there is no danger, they will continue as normal.

Avoid Killing
At times, it may seem as if the only solution to permanently get rid of skunks is killing them. While this will be a permanent solution, there are other, more humane options as well. Relocation, for example, should permanently take care of your skunk problem while giving them a chance to live. If you ever feel as if killing the skunk is your only option, contact a wildlife expert instead and let them remove the animal for you.

Read the How to get rid of skunks page or these other pages:
About Skunks: Appearance, Biology, Life Cycle, Habitat, Diet, And Behavior
Skunk Prevention Tips: How To Keep Skunks Away
Skunk Trapping: How To Trap A Skunk
Skunk Repellent
How To Kill A Skunk
How To Get Skunks Out From Under A Shed Or Porch
Fastest way to get rid of a skunk
What are the common problems that skunks cause?
How to scare a skunk away
Why Do Skunks Have White Stripes?
How to remove a skunk in the basement, attic, or anywhere in the house
What is a Skunk’s Natural Diet?
Do Skunks live in Groups or Alone?
Home Remedies to Keep Away Skunks and Get Rid of Them
How much does skunk removal cost?
Do Skunks Dig in Lawns Looking for Food?
Can Skunks Jump?
How to Remove Skunk Smell from a House or Car
How to get rid of skunks without killing them
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