How to Get Rid of Skunks And Keep Them Away

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Skunks are mammals that we know as pests. Many people fear the animal as well for good reason.  Skunks spray when they feel threatened or scared. This smell is almost impossible to get rid of. Skunks are known for their black and white color that warns other predators off. What people do not realize is that skunks are sometimes brown or even a ginger color. These colors are to warn predators to back away. If they do not they will be sprayed. Even though skunks are known for their colors and spray they are not normally a concern for disease. Rabies can be carried by skunks but is unlikely. Another disease that could be more common in skunks that transmits to pets is Leptospirosis. This disease will occur in pets but not humans if your animal comes into contact with urine or feces of the animal. Skunks are very protective and will spray and that is how most pets come into contact with infected feces or urine. However, even though Leptospirosis is more common, it is not likely your animal will get it.


How to Get Rid of Skunks

Skunks are pests to many people and can cause damage and a lot of commotion making them a nuisance. So how do you get rid of skunks? First, you will need to rid your house/yard/garage of any natural foods. If there are nuts, berries, or seeds make sure to discard these items. Skunks will also eat bird seed that is dropped from the feeders. Make sure your bird feeder has a tray to catch the seeds birds drop and make sure to pick up seed that is dropped. Another thing you should do that most people do not realize will attract skunks is clean up grass clippings if they are in a pile. Skunks could find food in this pile such as seeds. Lastly, make sure if you have a garden to harvest your ripe fruits and vegetables as soon as possible to prevent damage and eating from the skunks.


Like raccoons, skunks could live on garbage alone and are attracted to the smell of your garbage. If possible, make sure you take your garbage cans in the garage at night so that the smell does not attract skunks. If you cannot put your cans in the garage, make sure the lids cannot come off. Use bungee cords or other means to make sure the can is secure.


If you are using a compost bin and making compost make sure that it is fenced off. You will want to make sure that a compost bin is enclosed due to the fact that skunks like eating old peelings and food. This will be key to making sure that skunks do not enter your compost bin.


Skunks like to hide under decks, porches, and even in the bushes. If you have areas that are accessible like under a deck or porch make sure to block that off with fencing or mesh wiring. This will keep skunks out of your deck and make sure that they do not reproduce, causing the mother to become aggressive. If you have bushes that skunks seem to hang around, make sure to trim them back to make the bush less appealing. Lastly, make sure that if you have log piles or any pile of building materials that you move them indoors. Places like this make for a good hiding spot for skunks.


To remove a skunk humanely if you have tried all these tips to rid yourself of skunks and still experience the presence, use a live trap. These traps are going to catch the skunk alive. You may be worried about them spraying but when they see you and are in the cage they are not likely to spray. If you are worried about being sprayed there are special traps that are made especially for skunks to trap them and make them unable to spray you while keeping them alive to release.


How to Get Rid of Skunks in Your Backyard

Skunks like the dark, they are most active during the night hours which makes them nocturnal. If you have a problem with skunks in your backyard you may want to install motion sensor lights. This will scare off the skunk. If you do not want to install motion sensor lights you may install solar lights or any light that stays on all night. Skunks prefer dark locations so if your yard is well lit, a skunk is likely to stay away from that lit area.


Like said above the most appealing thing to a skunk is a hiding place or nesting place. Make sure to seal off all entrances that a skunk may find easy to hide in.  Seal decks, porches, and any holes that lead into a garage or house. At night make sure dog and/ or cat doors that go into a garage or house is locked. If skunks smell food they will enter these doors and get into the house or garage and may become trapped.


Make sure you do not have anything that may attract a skunk. Garbage bins that are unsealed are a huge attraction. Make sure to seal off garbage cans as well as compost bins. It is important that your garden has a fence that will help block a skunk as well as making sure to pick ripe produce as soon as possible.


Skunks do not like sprinklers so the best bet would be to install motion activated sprinklers. These will scare the skunk away once it enters your yard. If you do not want to install sprinklers you may use a repellent that will irritate the skunk’s senses if it touches or smells the substance causing them to stay away.


How to Get Rid of Skunks with Chocolate

Chocolate is very poisonous to skunks. It will not kill them if they eat it but it will make them extremely sick for a period of time. If you set out a chocolate bar or pieces of chocolate around your yard, house, garage, or anywhere skunks seem to be, it will make them sick once they eat it. Once they get sick, they most likely will not return.


The reason that chocolate is poisonous to animals is because they cannot digest the chemicals in the chocolate. The chemicals in chocolate will make the animal vomit and sick. If an animal eats too much it may cause death.


How to Get Rid of Skunks with Mothball

For those who do not know what a mothball is, it is an ammonia-soaked cotton ball. This is a very effective method that can repel skunks. Skunks hate certain odors and are sensitive to them. If you soak a cotton ball in ammonia, put it in a mason jar that is open, then set it where there is a high traffic of skunks, it will repel them. The skunk will most likely not return if you do this for several weeks. If you do this method, make sure your children stay far away from this. It is very toxic to humans, so make sure that your children know that it is poisonous and dangerous.


How to Keep Skunks Away

There are many ways to keep a skunk away. If you have troubles with skunks make sure to follow these steps of precaution to ensure your yard is skunk free from now on. What you should do first of all is eliminate anything that may attract skunks. This includes your garbage, your garden, or natural growing berries or nuts. If you have skunks make sure your garbage bins are secured tightly or taken in the garage at night. When you have naturally growing berries or nuts in your yard this is a hot spot for food so make sure that if possible rid your yard of these opportunities for food. If you want to keep these berries or nuts, fence them or enclose them so that a skunk has no access to this food source. Same thing that goes for a garden, fence it in, enclose it. If you are still experiencing skunk traffic with a garden, another tip would be to make sure that you are picking the vegetables and fruits as soon as they are ripe. This takes away another food source making the skunk have to search somewhere else for food.


The next step is to make sure that all hiding places are eliminated. If you have a deck ensure that there are no entry points to get under it. Skunks like to hide under decks and porches. If there is an entry point make sure it is blocked with fencing or wire mesh. It is important that you block off areas that may be hiding areas or nesting areas.


Lastly, you may want to use repellents that would irritate a skunk’s senses. There are many different repellents that you can use to keep skunks away. There are many different repellents that can be purchased as well as made.


Natural Skunk Repellent

When you have a skunk problem many people do not realize that there are natural ways that will eliminate skunks from your yard forever with just simple household items. One way to eliminate a den of skunks would be to sprinkle urine near the den. Using dog or coyote urine near the den will make a skunk think a predator is near. This will make them feel unsafe and leave. The only downside to using urine is that it needs to be reapplied to the affected area every 24 hours. Urine can be washed away easily when it rains so this method is not fully effective used alone. Also, if you use dog urine and your city has a lot of stray dogs, it may attract a dog if he/she is not fixed.


Another option if you do not want to use urine or to use with urine is cayenne pepper. If sprinkled near a den it will make a skunk feel unsafe. You will have to reapply after it rains. The cayenne pepper will irritate the senses and make them feel like they need to find a better place to make a den.


If your household has citrus peels like an orange or lemon this is quite effective. If you sprinkle pieces of the peels around the den or high traffic skunk areas, they will start to avoid these places. The upside of using this method is that it lasts longer than anything else because it lasts until it decomposes.


Another use of cayenne pepper is to make a repellent spray. To make this pepper spray you will need one yellow onion and jalapeño peppers. If you mix these ingredients with one tablespoon of cayenne pepper and boil in two quarts of water for 20 minutes, you will have a homemade natural skunk repellent. You will want to strain the mix with a cheesecloth and then put it in a spray bottle. A skunk will avoid anything that was sprayed with this liquid. This repellent has to be reapplied every three to five days but is very effective. You will also need to reapply after it rains.


How to Get Rid of Skunk Smell in the House

Many people think that using tomato juice will rid anything of that skunk smell, however, this is a myth. This method of getting rid of that nasty skunk smell does not work. However, there are some things that do work in getting rid of the smell that are easy to make. This home concoction was made in 1993 and has been a useful skunk odor eliminator. All you need is hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and liquid laundry detergent. To make this you will need a large open container. First you will want to make sure your peroxide is 3%. You will want to mix 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide with ¼ cup baking soda and 1 teaspoon of liquid laundry detergent. Once mixed you will want to use immediately and if you have leftover mix dilute heavily with water and pour down the drain. This mixture cannot be stored because in a closed container it is likely to explode.


If you experience a person or pet coming into the house smelling like skunk you may notice that the smell of skunk lingers in the air. To eliminate this lingering odor, you will want to boil vinegar in a pan. The smell of vinegar will be lingering for a few days but after the vinegar odor is gone, your home will be skunk odor free.


There are many different ways to also prevent the smell from coming into your home. You will need to make sure that you eliminate the odor as soon as you notice it because the longer that the smell is on something/someone the harder it is to get off. Another tip to help keep the house smelling clean and not like skunk is to work outside if possible to keep the skunk oil off carpet, furniture, and other household items. The next tip is to shower in hot water after using de-skunking solutions. Lastly, if clothing or other items have been heavily sprayed, just throw them away if possible. This is because fabric can hold the stench of a skunk for a long period of time.



Skunks are known for their smell and nuisance. If you follow these simple steps you will have no worries with skunks any longer.  No skunks means no issue with smells in the house from people or pets. Just remember if you do get sprayed and use de-skunking solutions it may not work completely the first time. You may need to use it several times to eliminate the odor. These solutions do work just make sure you are patient and use them as needed. With these tips you should be skunk free in no time.


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