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How to get rid of skunks?

Skunks are a menace, and this article will show you how to get rid of skunks. You will learn the most useful method to get rid of it.

December 29, 2021

17 min read time

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Introduction: Methods to get rid of skunks

Skunks are problems in places nearby to their dens and are mostly found in Pennsylvania.

A skunk digs circular holes in areas like lawns or gardens or even golf courses, searching for insects or other food forms.

The striped skunk is more popular than the spotted skunk.

Besides leaving holes on lawns, a skunk gives offensive odor from its musk. Though this is for defense from a skunk, it is nonetheless irritating to humans.

A skunk can extend the damage it does to farms too. A skunk is known to damage crops like corn, as it is their most preferred food source. They also feed on poultry, including their eggs, and can cause severe damage to beehives. The direct damage to corn by a skunk is to the lower stalk, leaving the stalk standing.

Skunks are a menace, and this article will show you how to get rid of skunks. Enjoy.

What to know about skunks

Skunks are members of the family Mephitidae, and they are mammals found in North and South America. They are related to polecats and some other members of the weasel family. However, skunks are most closely related to the stink badgers.

A skunk has varied skin coats ranging from brown to black-and-white, ginger to cream-colored, but these coats all have warning coloration.

Physically, a skunk has variations of sizes. It may be anything from 15.6 to 37 in which is 40 to 90 cm long. In terms of weight, it weighs from 1.1 lbs. which is 0.50 kg and unique to a spotted skunk, to 18 lbs. which is 8.2 kg and unique to a hog-nosed skunk.

As mentioned earlier, skunks have various skin coats from brown to black-and-white, ginger to cream-colored, and even grey skin coats. Skunks are omnivorous; they can eat plants and eat animals and include the two in their diets.

Specifically, they eat larvae, earthworms, beetles, crickets, honeybees, frogs, salamanders, rodents, poultry, moles, eggs, and yes, snakes. Their plant diet could be berries, leaves, roots, grasses, nuts, or fungi. Sometimes, they rummage through garbage left by humans in search of their daily bread. They could eat carcasses of poultry and rodents, usually left behind by animals like cats.

Remember I said earlier that they damage beehives too. It is possible, and skunks are known to be primary predators of flying insects. With their thick fur as defense, skunks proceed to scratch the hives and eat up any insect they see therein.

What home-remedy will get rid of skunks?

The primary place where skunks are known to be nuisances is in the home.

First, you need to locate the holes they are digging around your home, after which you proceed to find an effective method you will use to control them. Here are ways to remedy the situation:

One way to get rid of skunks is to have skunk repellents or skunk spray as they are useful in eliminating skunks or keeping skunks away from your property.

There are many skunk repellents or spray you may make yourself to get rid of them. They are ammonia, predator urine (you can get predator urine from an outdoor store closeby). Even pet(s) urine like that of a dog can serve as repellents.

If you do not own some pets, you can get one, especially a dog, because it is one of the best ways to drive skunks away and because pets are a cheap way of getting rid of skunks.

One can use homemade skunk repellent spray, a mixture of onion, jalapeno, hot peppers, cayenne pepper, and water. After mixing all the ingredients, you will then boil and strain the mixture.

Make sure that you spray the repellents around your garden, lawn, and other places that need it, like under your shed, for significant results.

  • Mothballs in cloth bags

When skunks are sleeping (usually during the day), you may sprinkle flour or chalk dust close to their burrow entrance and wait till the sunsets.

When it does, go back to the burrow’s opening and check for tracks left by them (you can also check for them in areas around the den). When you see the tracks, it means that the skunks are not in the hole anymore, and you can use the opportunity and put the cloth bag of mothballs inside the burrow to keep skunks away from your garden.

  • Traps

You can lay a trap about your area to catch them. You may want to lay the trap in your lawns, gardens, and shed.

However, suppose the situation is too much for you to handle alone.

You may call your local animal control to aid you in getting rid of skunks. Employing a professional’s services allows you to avoid being sprayed, as skunk’s scent is hard to remove. If you are sprayed, you will need a professional’s help to eliminate the unpleasant and pungent smell.

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How do you keep skunks out of your yard at night?

Ever gotten sprayed by a skunk while strolling through your yard at night?

Terrible, isn’t it?

Now let us go over a few effective tips to keep skunks out of your yard at night so you would not have to go through that again.

For those who are lucky not to have been sprayed by skunks while walking on their yards at night, these tips would help make sure you never get to experience that.

  • You may get one solution of castor oil and detergent (for dish-washing) and dilute it in water. Spray this solution of castor oil, detergent, and water around the openings in your yard where you have identified skunks’ scents; probably, they have made a home there. Use this spray control form as it would aid with the removal from its den.

  • Skunks hate light! Being nocturnal animals, skunks detest light, and this is, arguably, the most effective way to do away with skunks. You need to locate its den and fix the lights around it to aid its removal. However, to avoid a case where they hide somewhere else in your yard, you can set lights around your yard. Dark parts are possible hideouts for them, so fixing lights will help a lot.
  • Skunks hate the smell of citrus fruits, and you can use this to your full advantage. You can place orange peels in the opening in your yard or even lemon peels, and the skunks will never come close to your yard ever again.

  • You can get pet urine like that of a dog and sprinkle it around your yard to ward off skunks.

What attracts skunks to an area?

Unknowingly, you may have skunks’ attractions around your property, which draws them to your area.

Now, we will look at these attractions and see what they are. Some are irremovable but for those that are, do well to remove them.

  • Access to food sources

Now we know that skunks are fans of anything that crawls.

In search of food such as insects, earthworms, and other food sources, they could dig holes, bore tight-fitting ones at times, and invade your property to find them. It is known that the search for grubs is the main reason why skunks dig up holes on lawns and gardens.

Besides that, the berries, leaves, and nuts around your home also serve as food to skunks.

Therefore, skunks can invade your gardens in search of pet food. Skunks can be scavengers, rummaging through garbage left by humans for food. It is a common occurrence, as they search through waste by the door for dead rodents.

A sure way to avoid this is to dispose of your garbage and remove food leftovers regularly, to prevent the skunks from coming to your home, searching for food sources.

  • Shelter

Skunks can invade areas around your home to search for conducive shelters. An opening around your home could also be a hiding place for skunks against predators.

You may prevent this by limiting their options when it comes to finding shelters around your home. You can do this by fencing off any access to favorable sites like below your deck. You should also do well to keep certain areas like scrap piles and wood closed and inaccessible to skunks. Watch high traffic areas too to spot a skunk’s shelter and effectively get rid of it.

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How do you get a skunk out from under a shed?

A shed or a deck is an attractive place for a skunk to make a new home for itself on your property.

When this happens, there are various things you can do, but sometimes the best, the first thing to do is nothing.


Because skunks stay in a particular shelter for a short time as they move a lot.

So here, you give them the chance to escape before you decide to force them out of your house.

If they still stick to their homes after your time of grace towards them has elapsed, then here are some methods you can do to get them out. These methods can help scare the skunks away.

  • Light it up: One sure thing you may need to do to get rid of a skunk in this situation is to use a bright light (one is enough) outside the entrance of the skunk’s shelter below the shed of your home. They will scurry away and never come back there when they spot their hole all light up.

  • Turn the volume up: You can use your radio as a likely means to scare them away by getting it and tune to a station. Increase the volume and place the radio close to the entrance to the shelter when you find it. The sound of human voices scares skunks, and they will run away in fright, never to come back.
  • Another possible way is this: Get some clothes (or rags) and soak them in ammonia or apple cider. Make some holes in them to release the smell from the ammonia or apple cider. You can then hang them close to the entrance of the skunk’s shelter when you find it to repel it from coming there. It is one of the best ways of getting them out from under your shed.


Skunks are beneficial to the ecosystem and humans because they are natural pest control helpers. However, the unpleasant odor they release makes them one of the most hated animals by human beings. Their inability to correctly detect a predator makes them spray their stinking smell on any harmless human. And this is the reason you have to remove them from your house.

In this article, we discussed how to get rid of skunks, the things that attract them, and how to prevent them from taking over your space.

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