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How to Get Rid of Skunks


When the winter season rolls around, rodents aren’t the only ones looking for shelter. Raccoons might take over your attic, while opossums might snoop around your backyard. But nobody can forget the smelly fellas in the form of skunks.

Even though skunks aren’t as aggressive as rats or raccoons, they can still prove to be dangerous. From carrying deadly diseases, like rabies, to their well-known skunk spray, skunks aren’t the best of friends to have running around your backyard.

This raises the question of whether it’s easy to get rid of skunks or not. Also, is getting rid of skunks in your yard worth it, or are they practically harmless? Let’s find out!

What are Skunks?

Before going over some methods you can use to get rid of skunks, let’s learn a bit more about them. Skunks are omnivore mammals, meaning they eat almost everything and give birth to baby skunks, named kits. A fully-grown skunk will often be the size of a house cat, featuring their distinct black color with white strips or dots.

Contrary to popular belief, skunks aren’t aggressive. Their smelly spray is their defense mechanism which they’ll only use when protecting their young or being attacked. Plus, they’ll often give plenty of signs to stop disturbing them before they actually attack you.

That being said, to understand how to get rid of skunks in your yard, you need to know what damage skunks cause and some signs of skunk infestations.

How to Identify Skunks in Your Garden

Skunks are nocturnal animals, meaning they only roam around at night. So, if you’re not a night owl, you’ll probably never encounter one unless they’ve already built a den near your garden. However, there are some clear giveaways that you’ve got skunks hanging around your yard at night.

Your Yard Is Full of Holes

Skunks love grubs and worms as much as they love digging holes. Once these two traits are combined, the result is a yard full of holes measuring 3-4 inches deep each. Since their high season is during springtime, that’s also when you’re most likely to find your yard scavenged by skunks.

The Distinct Skunk Smell

While other animals could cause holes in your yard, like raccoons or squirrels, the distinct skunk smell will only be present if skunks are near. This musky, pungent smell is often a dead giveaway that skunks are hiding under your porch, in your garage, or close to your yard.

With that said, the question remains: what attracts skunks to your yard?

What Attracts Skunks to Your Yard

Most rodents and animals like skunks and raccoons are huge fans of a big mess. So, if your lawn is uncut or your yard is littered with trash, skunks will be your new neighbors. That said, here’s a quick list of what attracts skunks, in general.

  • Leftover Pet Food: If you feed your pets outdoors, remember to clean up after them. Skunks will smell leftover pet food from a mile away, and they’ll come running for it.
  • Dropped Seeds and Fruit: When skunks search for food, they’ll even be happy with some seeds or fruit. So, pick up any dropped seeds from bird feeders or fruit from your yard’s trees before you go to sleep at night.

What Food Attracts Skunks

If you want to get rid of skunks, you’ll have to entice them with the right bait. Here’s what food attracts skunks the most.

  • Canned Fish
  • Insect Larvae
  • Bread with Peanut Butter
  • Bacon
  • Chicken

How to Get Rid of Skunks in Your Yard

Now that you know how to prevent skunks from coming to your yard, let’s see how to get rid of them once they appear. Thankfully, compared to getting rid of raccoons, skunk infestations are easier to deal with.

  1. Spray your yard with homemade skunk repellant. Skunks hate pungent smells, despite emitting one. So, you can make a water-based repellant using onions, peppers, or citrus fruits to get rid of skunks.
  2. Install motion-sensor lights. Skunks hate bright lights as much as humans hate the skunk smell. By installing a couple of motion-sensor lights around your yard, they are sure to be deterred from coming back.
  3. Get some water sprinklers into the mix. If lights don’t do the trick, a water sprinkler will be more than enough. Just make sure to buy one with a motion and heat sensor so that it can get rid of skunks better.
  4. Add a fence around your yard. Once you’re sure there are no more skunks in your yard, add a fence around it; just ensure that it’s not just high but also deep. Skunks aren’t known for their high jumps, but they are really good at digging burrows.

Let Us Get Rid of Those Smelly Skunks

Getting rid of skunks is, generally, pretty easy. Since they aren’t aggressive animals, they’ll often just run away once they see you or you apply some of the methods mentioned above. However, if you’re dealing with rabid skunks or a mother skunk with her kits, you’ll most likely need professional help. That’s where our team can help!

At Green Rodent Restoration, we use the most humane ways to get rid of skunks in your yard. Feel free to contact us for a free quote.

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