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How to Get Rid of a Skunk

Black with a white stripe. That should be indication enough. Skunks are known for the horrible stench they can release in the air. Homes have been built by destroying their natural habitat, so it’s logical to run into one on your property from time to time. With plenty of available food and denning opportunities, these pests can find their way into your homes.

They dig holes in your garden to find insects when they don’t have clear access to your house. They burrow underneath to establish their dens. This can spell trouble for your home’s foundation. If one of these stinkers burrows under your house to establish a den, your home’s foundation is at risk from rain and other natural disasters. Here’s what you need to know about them.

About Skunks

Skunks are furry creatures known for their ‘hard to get rid of rid smell’ and black and white coloration. The word skunk is derived from a southern New England language that literally means: “to urinate”. They have 4 clawed paws to help them dig holes. The commonly recognized skunk species is the striped skunk. Other species less common are the spotted, hog nosed and hooded skunks. They’re found across the United States and in some parts of Canada and Mexico.

The horrible stench that they release is from a gland that is located just under their tails. This is a defense mechanism for when they feel threatened. The range of this spray is just a little over 3 meters (10 feet), according to National Geographic.

They’re extremely adaptable animals; able to live anywhere as long as there is food and shelter in a 2-mile range. They can live in hollow logs and trees, but their dens have been found inder porches and in other animal’s burrows as well.

The good news is that they typically have a short lifespan of about 3 years. Baby skunks, called kits, are born blind. Their eyes remain closed for the first three weeks. They’re weaned their food by their parents till they’re 2 months old. That’s when they can leave the den. They’re ready to have their own kits at the age of one year.

They have a likeness for the taste of insects but these stinky creatures are actually omnivores. This means they can eat plants as well as meat on occasion. Their favorite foods are usually berries, beetles, worms, mushrooms, mice and even frogs. If you live on a farmland and raise poultry, you might need to check for skunks if you see that eggs are missing. They may steal a hen or two on occasion.

You need to watch out for some signs that mean you may have a skunk living nearby. This includes overturned garbage cans with bags of garbage thrown, holes in the garden or yard and skunk footprints. The last one is unique as these little menaces have 5 clawed toes on each foot.

So how do you get rid of these creatures if you find them on your property?

Getting rid of Smelly Skunks

  1. Nature’s Skunk Repellents

Go natural. Use citrus fruits such as lemons as natural repellents for skunks. Citrus fruit peels have a long lasting effect and are also a great way to ward of some insects as well. Skunks will start avoiding areas where these peels are placed. Once you’re sure they’re out of the area, put up a fence as a barrier between the skunks and your home. Cayenne pepper is also effective when placed near the den entrance. The strong smell of this spice will discourage skunks from going near the den.

You can alternatively buy skunk repellants from a store and drive them out by spraying the areas they frequent. Any contact with these repellants and it’s skunks-bye-gone.

  1. Territory Marker

Dogs, coyotes and other animals usually hunt skunks when there’s no other option so their urine can be used as a repellent to drive the skunks away. Skunks are sensitive to smells, but this method still may not be as effective without a proper fence. Stray dogs or coyotes may come up out of nowhere without proper fencing of your property due to the urine.

Urine has ammonia so a strong scent of ammonia could drive skunks away. Many animals are conditioned into thinking that a predator is nearby when they smell ammonia. If you read out article on how to get rid of raccoons, they can be chased away in a confrontation by throwing ammonia soaked tennis balls at them. You cannot deal with skunks the same way as raccoons. If you employ a similar tact with skunks, you’d end up with a stench on you that’ll take days to get rid of.

  1. Keep the lights on

Garden lights can be your friend in a skunk situation. When you and your family are asleep, the garden or yard floodlights will keep the skunks away. This is because skunks generally avoid going into well-lit areas when it’s nice and dark. They will avoid making a den in your back or front yard with your lights on.

  1. THEY move, THEY get sprayed

Another way of getting rid of skunks is to have motion detecting sprinklers. As soon as the motion sensor detects activity, it goes off spraying the skunk with water with high pressure. Talk about turning the tables! They’ll leave your house alone as long as they don’t find any reason such as leftover food scraps near your house.

Use What the Pros Use: Professional DIY Skunk Removal Products

At Solutions Pest & Lawn, we provide solutions for any pest problem you have, including skunks. For skunks, we have several options which can effectively ward them off of your land such as Critter Ridder and Nature's Defense: All-Purpose Animal Repellent. These products come in granule form which you can scatter out in your yard. A skunk will come into contact with the granules and taste them and will be hit with a disgusting taste that will make them not want to step foot anywhere near your property.

We also carry Detour Rodent Repellent which contains a hot pepper extract that if skunks come into contact with, they will feel the unpleasant burn of hot peppers. This comes in tube form which you can apply like you would caulk.

You can also invest in a professional live trap such as the Havahart Live Animal Trap to capture a skunk on your property. Leave an appealing piece of food in the trap and before long they will go in to retrieve it and that’s when they get stuck.

As for what to do about the smell after they’ve been eliminated, Solutions also has an answer in the form of the Earth Care Odor Removal Bag. You’ll be amazed how quickly this deodorizing bag can eliminate an odor as strong as the stench of skunks.

Preventing Infestations

Keep these pests away from your house by avoiding the lures that attract them in the first place. Leftover food scraps, unlocked trash cans and the like, can attract these foul animals to your house. Keep your house clean and any food or water that is not being used should be kept out of sight. This includes pet food and water bowls.


Skunks are definitely an animal you don’t want lingering around your property. With the solutions we’ve provided above in the form of home remedies and high quality professional DIY products, your can skunk-proof your yard successfully.

If you would like any more pest advice, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800-479-6583 or email us at askapro@solutionsstores.com.


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