How to Get Rid of a Skunk Problem

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Skunks are a smelly and potentially dangerous pest to houses built close to forests or brush areas. As humans have built onto their territories, skunks have adapted, learning to live with--and take advantage of--humans. Skunks can live under houses and porches, and might even live in attics. They love to eat our garbage and often travel for miles to raid trash cans. If you have a skunk problem, a few important steps can eliminate these squatters.

Things You'll Need

  • Skunk traps
  • Skunk repelling solutions
  • Fencing supplies

Instructions

  • Your skunk problem probably started with a (skunk) food source like garbage cans, open pet food containers, compost heaps or bird feeder spills. Clean these up. Put garbage, pet food and compost in metal trash cans with lids that can be secured.

  • Skunks are nocturnal animals and don't like bright light or shocking water. Flood your yard with light and motion sensors. Run your sprinkler system when skunks enter your lawn, or hook up a single sprinkler to a motion sensor.

  • Use anti-skunk sprays like pepper spray and commercial skunk repellents. Spray these around the boundaries of your yard and refresh every couple days.

  • Erect barriers around your yard or the area you want the skunks to stay away from. Skunks can't jump or climb, so this is another effective repellent. Fill in the areas under your house so skunks aren't tempted to make homes there. Fences 3 feet high and taller will keep skunks out.

  • If it's legal to trap skunks in your area, set box traps. Bait the trap with something that has a strong smell, like fish. These traps are too small for the skunk to raise its tail, so it won't be able to spray you once it's trapped. When you catch a skunk, cover the trap with a blanket or towel, drive the skunk out of town and release it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Skunks are good diggers and can fit through holes bigger than 4 inches. Keep your fences maintained, and consider sinking them a couple of feet into the soil to discourage digging. Always make sure skunks are out of the area when you're building a barrier, so you don't trap them inside your yard rather than out.
  • Skunks may be infected with rabies. Never approach a skunk or put yourself in a position to be bitten.

References

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