Although most people know skunks because of their spray, they can do more than create a foul odor. These animals may also tear up your lawn in search of grubs or worms or go through your garbage. The best way to deal with skunks is to make sure they never get on your lawn in the first place and this involves some simple prevention techniques as well as repellents. You can either buy a repellent or make your own, but in either case, the effectiveness will probably be around the same.
Do Repellents Work?
Depending on the repellent you use, it may work for a short amount of time. Most of the time, however, a repellent will simply be ignored by the skunk as they make their way to a source of food or shelter. Even scents to repel skunks that are effective will have their limitations. They will need to be reapplied every few days or weeks so their scent remains strong and you will also have to reapply them after every rainfall. In the case of electronic repellents, such as sounds or light, skunks may be initially afraid and stay away. After a short amount of time, however, they will realize that these repellents do not pose a threat and enter your property anyway.
There is a wide range of skunk repellents available from stores, including liquids you spray and granules or flakes you spread over an area. In either case, they are not typically very effective and if they are, they will have the problem mentioned above: the need for frequent reapplication. Another issue with many store-bought repellents is that they are typically chemical-based. This means that using them will pose a risk to you and your family and they may even contribute to environmental contamination.
Predator urine is one of the commonly recommended repellents for skunks and you can find this in various stores and online. The idea is that the skunk will smell the urine and assume a predator is nearby. They will then choose to find a different spot due to safety concerns. As with any other liquid repellent, you will need to reapply it frequently to maintain the smell and get it to keep working and it will not always be effective. This is particularly true among skunks who rely on their spray to discourage predators from attacking. The easiest way to try this particular repellent on a budget would be to have your dog go to the bathroom in the specific areas you want to keep skunks away from.
Some people will also tell you that ammonia is a natural way to keep skunks away from your property since they do not like the smell of it. To use this method, simply soak cotton balls or rags in ammonia and place them in key locations, replacing them regularly and after it rains. Keep in mind, however, that ammonia does pose a small risk to other animals, including pets.
Skunks, like many other animals, are not found of hot peppers. As such, many people recommend making a solution of hot pepper and spraying it around your property. If you choose to try this natural repellent, you should be careful when mixing and applying it as you will need to create a strong solution to see results and this can pose a problem if it comes in contact with your eyes.
In addition to hot peppers, skunks also dislike citrus fruits. This means that you can make a solution using citrus fruits and apply it. An alternative would be to collect peels from citrus fruits you eat and spread them around the areas the skunks are.
Water, Lights, and Sound
Mechanical deterrents for skunks including lights and sounds to repel them as well as motion-activated sprinklers. These methods will typically be effective for a short period of time at the most, at which point the skunks will realize they do not pose a real threat and continue onto your property. Also take the time to consider whether you will be annoyed by constant noise or lights on your property and whether it will be worth it to repel the animals.
While these natural and chemical deterrents are not typically very effective at repelling skunks, physical barriers can have better results. When using a fence, you need to set it up properly in order for it to be effective. This means it should go at least 6 to 8 inches below the ground and extend about the same distance horizontally at the ground's surface so skunks can't dig their way underneath. You can also simply take steps to make your property less appealing to skunks. This includes removing potential food sources and areas they can use for shelter, such as piles of wood.
Read the How to get rid of skunks page for helpful information and to learn more about Skunk Repellent
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