How To Stop Skunks From Coming In Your Yard

Are skunks useful or bothersome?

  • 70% of the skunk’s diet consists of insects and small rodents that are a nuisance to humans.
  • Skunks tear open garbage bags and knock over trash cans.
  • When one of these vicious creatures feels threatened, it raises its tail and sprays a foul-smelling liquid at its enemy — from up to 6 m away!
  • Skunks can carry the rabies virus. If you notice a skunk acting aggressively — such as moving away from its burrow in broad daylight — move away immediately.
  • Like raccoons, skunks tear up turf in yards in search of white grubs; they leave cone-shaped holes 7 to 10 inches wide in the turf.

Skunks in the USA

Skunk Prevention and Control

Skunk Exclusion

If skunks are already living under a building, they can be forced out as follows

Shooting Skunks

Note type=green] Shooting skunks is not recommended as it often releases their odor. Shooting skunks is not recommended if the skunk must be captured for rabies testing. note]

Skunks or raccoons?

Although we’re mainly talking about skunks here, you may find that the culprits responsible for the after-hours dig are actually raccoons. So how can you tell which one is the culprit? Well, until you see them, it can sometimes be difficult. Tracks can help — both animals have five-fingered tracks but sometimes a skunk’s tracks only have four, because the fifth doesn’t always press down. If a skunk splashes, you’ll definitely know about it — the infamous smell can be detectable up to a mile away. Note type=yellow] However, somehow, the question isn’t that important because raccoons and skunks are both after the same thing and can be treated in mostly the same ways. We’ll continue to talk about skunks — but keep in mind that most of what follows also applies to raccoons. note]

See also:  How To Keep Skunks Away

Deal with the grubs and you deal with the skunks

This means that to prevent skunk activity in the spring, you need to make sure your lawn is free of grubs that they can eat — and the best way to do that is with beneficial nematodes. Nematodes are tiny, almost microscopic creatures that burrow into the soil and feed on grubs, but are completely harmless to larger animals and humans. If you live in an area that is particularly susceptible to skunk activity, you should consider using nematodes — you can spray them on your lawn with water — every year in late summer. With nothing to attract them to your lawn, skunks will hopefully dig holes in your neighbor’s grass. An added bonus is that the lack of grubs will allow the grass to grow thicker and stronger, which in turn will make it harder for skunks to dig holes at all, doubling their defenses.

What to do if you come face to face with a skunk

Note type=yellow] If you find yourself face to face with a skunk, don’t panic. You really don’t want to get sprayed — but the skunk doesn’t want to spray you either. Their spray is their last line of defense, and they’ll just try to move away first. note]

Skunk Odor Control

A bath in tomato juice will help treat odors on dogs. Pour it on the dogs straight and massage and shampoo.

Skunk Habits, Diet and Biology

Mating occurs in late winter (February and March), and cubs are born from mid-spring to mid-summer. There are generally 4 — 6 cubs per litter. Young skunks are weaned at 2 months of age and usually leave to establish their own den by fall. [/note].

See also:  How to Get Rid of Skunks?

Skunk FAQ

How To Stop Skunks From Coming In Your Yard

Trapping and removing skunks is a good thing. But given the danger of being «skunked,» I would use a Live Skunk Trap with a lid. To be safe, take the skunk at least 6 to 8 miles away. Check with the animal department before trapping and releasing the skunk. To avoid being sprayed by a skunk, use a spray-proof skunk trap.

Skunk Identification and Facts

Both the striped skunk and the spotted skunk have sharp claws on their front paws used for digging. Their tracks are unique compared to other animals of similar size because their front and back paws look completely different. Skunks do not hibernate in the winter, and often create communal burrows under decks, porches, or buildings for shelter. Skunks mate in January and February to have 4-6 young skunks, or «kits,» per litter. Skunks are most commonly known for their repulsive odor. It can be caused by a frightened skunk, a dead skunk, or a male skunk spraying to fight another male for a female skunk during mating season. Skunk spray can reach up to 10 feet, and skunks usually give a warning that they are about to spray. This warning includes stomping its front paws, arching its tail forward over its back, and hissing. Avoid the stench! Get rid of skunks and their stench now!

Public Health Concerns and Safety Risks

Keep in mind, however, that skunks are generally not aggressive animals unless they feel threatened. This means that scaring your pets may frighten a skunk, increasing the chance of being bitten or sprayed. Skunks are especially dangerous to pets because their spray can cause burning eyes, as well as temporary blindness. Fortunately, skunk spray itself has not been found to transmit disease. If your pet has been sprayed, it does not mean that they will contract the disease unless they have also been bitten. Regardless, it is still recommended that you have your pet examined by a veterinarian after spraying a skunk. If you do encounter a skunk, avoid sudden movements as these can startle the skunk and cause it to spray.

See also:  How to Get Rid of Skunks?

Helpful Tips for Skunk Odor Removal

If this happens, here is a solution for skunk odor that has been proven effective:

  • 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of liquid soap or detergent

Top 8 Signs of a Skunk with Rabies

While not all skunks have symptoms of rabies, they can carry the disease. Symptoms of rabies in a skunk include:

Over the Counter Skunk Prevention Solutions and Limitations

Here are some of the stated ways to prevent skunks, as well as some measures that may actually work:

Ground Control

A good way to make your property unattractive to skunks is to manage the amount of insects and small animals. Skunks dig for grubs and other insects, and will leave if they don’t find any.

Blockade & Exclusion

Note type=yellow] Block entry points once you make sure there are no skunks inside. To do this, you can use a one-way swing gate so that skunks can leave but cannot enter back in. note]

Habitat Modification

Habitat modification is a more precautionary way to deal with skunks because it requires limiting or completely removing skunk access to food, water, and shelter. This will be discussed in detail in the next section.

Damage Control Tips to Prevent Skunks and Future Infestations

To avoid future problems with skunks, there are several prevention tips you may want to use:

Wildlife Damage Management

After learning about the skunk control methods available on the market, it may seem like a good idea to take matters into your own hands. However, even if wild animals are causing property damage, it is important to consider the legal status of any wild animal in your area. There are certain wildlife that are protected by law, so it is highly suggested that you consider this factor when using critical control methods and products (such as live traps) in your home instead of control companies. Moving skunks is not legal because skunks are one of the most common carriers of rabies in California, and this puts other people and animals at risk for infection and spreading the disease.

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1 Comments
  • 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.

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