How To Keep Skunks Away

How to Keep Skunks Out of Your Yard

Skunks can carry rabies, so if you do see one, be aware of the warning signs. For example, they’re nocturnal animals, so activity during the day could indicate the animal is infected. Also, skunks rarely approach humans, so if they’re aggressive, beware.

Why Should You Get Rid of Skunks for Good?

Before we learn how to get rid of skunks, let’s find out why you should shoo them away from your property forever!

Thus, if you have a wild skunk in your home or yard, it is important to remove it, although you must use caution to avoid being sprayed.

Use Traps to Capture Adult Skunks

The best way to deal with this problem is to find their entry point, use traps to capture the adults.

If there are kits which are capable of leaving their den, you may use exclusion tactics, such as a one-way door, to remove them from your home. However, if the kits are too young to leave on their own, then you will need to hire a professional.

Seal Up the Entry Points Post-Eviction

Once the skunks are safely removed, be sure to seal up any entry points. Chemical sprays are available to remove any musk, which will otherwise permeate your home and last for six months or more.

See also:  How to Get Rid of Skunks?

Use the Exclusion Method

If there are kits present who are too young to leave the burrow, then you should call a professional.

  • Place your traps near the remaining exit to capture the skunks as they leave to find food.
  • Once you are sure they are gone, you may seal the remaining entry point.

Discouragement Methods

Sheds and other low clearance structures are often difficult to see into. Check for signs of kits, if possible, or hire a professional to be safe.

How to Get Rid of Skunks: Alternative Removal Methods

  • repellents
  • live traps
  • professional removal
  • automated sprinklers (the experience scares skunks and other animals away).

Common Skunk Repellents and Their (Moderate) Effectiveness

Predator Urine

  • You will still need to take precautions, such as installing a fence, in order to keep the skunks away.
  • Be warned that your dog’s urine may attract stray dogs if they are not fixed.


Many home remedies call for mothballs or ammonia as a means to repel skunks. While skunks do have a sensitive sense of smell, these methods are not very effective.

In addition, ammonia may be washed away by rain and must be reapplied frequently. If you choose to use ammonia to turn away a skunk, your best choice is the aforementioned predator urine.

Deter Skunks Effectively with These 7 Steps

1. Remove Skunks’ Food Sources and Shelter

How do you deter skunks naturally? Get to the bottom of their food source and some of the foods skunks like are are nuts and berries.

Skunks are scavengers, so they’ll eat anything nutritious they can find in your area.

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See also:  How to Get Rid of Skunks Fast & Humanely

2. Protect Your Waste to Deter Skunks

We all know that dreaded skunk smells, but how can you deter skunks? Chances are if you live in a rural area, you know the scent of a skunk – and they are stinky!

The scent of their spray can linger for days, so don’t fall victim to skunk activity. If you want home remedies to keep skunks away, start with your garbage disposal.

Like raccoons and other stray animals, skunks can survive on garbage alone. So it’s important to keep your trash cans properly sealed.

  • If possible, store your trash bins in a shed or in your garage at night to deter skunks
  • Use an enclosed compost bin, since skunks like to eat old fruit and vegetable peels, egg shells, and other items that you may be composting.

3. Close Off Hiding Places

Skunks like to make their homes under decks, porches, and in other sheltered areas. With that in mind, put these skunk removal tips into action.

  • Close off spaces that may be appealing to skunks using rocks, fencing, or plywood.
  • Log piles and piles of lumber or building materials can serve as shelters for skunks.
  • Store the materials in a shed or bin to prevent skunks from moving in.
  • Large bushes are also good shelters for skunks so if you see skunks hanging out in bushes or low vegetation, you might want to trim back the branches.

4. Install Skunk Deterrent Lights in Your Yard

Skunks shy away from bright lights because they are nocturnal. If you light your yard at night, it will be a lot less appealing to skunks.

5. Use Different Scents to Deter Skunks

There are a few different scents known to be offensive to skunks. If you place them around the edges of your yard and in areas where you suspect skunks like to spend time, the skunks will start avoiding those areas.

See also:  How to Get Rid of Skunks Fast & Humanely

6. Install Motion-Activated Sprinklers

These automatically turn on when an animal wanders too close and are a safe and natural way to keep the skunks away from your property. Place them strategically close to areas where you suspect skunks might want to shelter.

While skunks are generally harmless creatures, it’s best not to get too close to them. You risk getting a dose of their noxious spray, or worse, a bite from a skunk carrying rabies.

Be sure to follow the abovementioned steps to successfully deter skunks from your home.

Do you have a deterrent method not listed here you would like to share? Please tell us your ways to deter skunks in the comment section below.

What in your yard could be attracting skunks?

Say so long to this stinky beast with these smart moves.

PART 1: Stop the smorgasbord!
Insects are a skunk’s favorite dish, but the opportunistic animals will dine on pretty much anything. Completely cut off their food supply, and they likely won’t stick around.

• Cover trash cans with tight-fitting lids and place them in a secure location where they can’t be easily tipped over.

• Regularly tidy up fruit and nuts that have fallen from trees on the property to keep skunks from scavenging.


• Avoid putting kitchen scraps in your compost and keep it well covered until the skunk moves on.

• The seed you offer to attract songbirds can inadvertently make a tasty snack for skunks. Secure feeders to ensure they can’t be turned over, and be conscientious about cleaning up any spilled seed.

• Need another reason to mow the lawn? Skunks love the insects that live in tall, lush grass.

PART 2: Deter like a demon.
After removing all food sources, employ the following techniques to get skunks to vamoose even more readily.

• Skunks are nocturnal, foraging at night, and are scared of bright lights. Leave your exterior lights on or install motion sensors that will turn on when pesky prowlers cross their path.

  • VernVision Intel Net Live says:

    Um No you are wrong skunks don’t climb they have very poor eyesight and that makes them unable to judge distance very well.. There claws are adapted to digging rather climbing as well and they dig very well… The only way to stop them from getting under a fence is to pave or cement directly under the fence and to the outside or set the wood which will then rot or attract termites into the ground a good foot or 2.. The cement however if applied right will discourage them from even trying to dig at all…

  • VernVision Intel Net Live says:

    Um No you are wrong skunks don’t climb they have very poor eyesight and that makes them unable to judge distance very well.. There claws are adapted to digging rather climbing as well and they dig very well… The only way to stop them from getting under a fence is to pave or cement directly under the fence and to the outside or set the wood which will then rot or attract termites into the ground a good foot or 2.. The cement however if applied right will discourage them from even trying to dig at all…

  • SkylineToTheSeaAndMe says:

    The problem with lights (and there are several), is bats. I have a bat problem. And even with only motion sensor lights, bats will turn them on, then insects will be attracted to the lights. Pretty soon, bats are instinctively turning them on (seemingly), because of the insects.

    • Insect Farmer says:

      Santa Cruz Mountains (above Silicon Valley/Santa Cruz), -Redwood forests. They tell me they are endangered so I can’t kill them (not that I would want to). But they are more than a nuisance. They in my master bathroom. As a result it and the master bedroom can’t be used. They are in a gabled roof/ceiling above another room 80 feet away. There is guano everywhere. It has become a nightmare (and trying to figure out how to get rid of them). There are skunks under the house. They are also a nightmare. I have raccoons routinely (also go under the house), possums, ringtail cats, carpenter bees, bore into the roof beam, termites, carpenter ants (which also nest in the house), wasps/mud daubers, cougars on my property which walk up literally 50 or 60 feet away under cover, and silently stare. One time I rounded a corner of a building and a Puma was rounding the far corner on the same wall about 20 feet away. Scared the hell out of me. It turned around and went down the hillside. I ran after shouting/ yelling obviously not wanting any confrontation (where I would lose). There is all manner of animals, insects, spiders, and scorpions (in my house) up here. I think they like the weather.

  • George Minton says:

    I disagree with the light idea.. We are the only house in our cul de sac that has four flood lights on each corner of the house and they burn all night. They come by all the time. I woke up one night to the aroma of a skunk coming into my house from around the ac unit. If skunks are light sensitive in your area they are not in my area. Trap them and kill them. They have babies like minks. If you don’t want the whole family to dig a hole under your porch, in your shed or under your air conditioner that is the only thing to do with the little varmits. They also crap in your shed and make a big mess. I was cleaning out my shed in April and the last thing I did was raise a pallet up to see if there was anything under it. Whoa and behold, the mother and five little babies had me boxed in the shed behind the upraised pallet. They scattered. I waited and beelined it out of the shed and did not get sprayed. That was lucky. They didn’t run. They just sauntered out like I dare you to do anything human. Needless to say my heart was in my throat. Kill them so they don’t come to my house. A note skunks like sheds especially well between February and May because they are having more little stinkers. Spray around your shed with Ammonia. Put moth balls down or you can even try Critter Ridder. The best thing you can do is dig a trench and put hardware cloth in the hole running it up the side of the hole next to the shed and fill it back in to hold the hardware cloth up. Do this around the AC too. Make sure no holes are under your steps as well. Good Luck my friends. They like bird seed and grubs. Don’t leave the bird bath full overnight.

    • Insect Farmer says:

      Good advice. Had skunks digging under my shed, too! I dug a trench all around the shed & put medal lath nailed to bottom of shed to keep them from digging underneath. Worked like a charm. Then I trapped at least 12 to 14 skunks over the next 2 years or so. Re- located them all. Didn’t like giving someone else the problem, however, didn’t know what else to do with them.

  • C romana says:

    Some good information here, but you should not trap. Toronto Wildlife Centre has good recommendations. Basically, you should wait until September before using methods to evict a skunk…they usually have babies and if you relocate, they usually die of starvation. Or the babies get left behind and that is inhumane.

  • Tom Thomas says:

    Melanie Hammons Im kind of disappointed cause a skunk just came in my small patio snd the lights were on. I took a chance and hit the window to scare it and he just ignored me. Lol I guess it was better that he just ignored me. .. Good luck!

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