How to Kill a Skunk


Skunks can be a nuisance to humans in urban and suburban environments. According to the Montana Department of Agriculture, live-trapping nuisance animals in a solid metal or wire mesh cage is an effective way of removing them from your home. While you should not needlessly destroy a skunk you have trapped, conditions may make it necessary or preferable to terminate the skunk in a safe manner rather than re-releasing it in another locale.

Things You'll Need

  • Hose
  • Water
  • Large container

Solid Traps

  • If the trap used to capture the skunk is solid metal, stand the trap on end with the opening on top.

  • Fill the trap completely with water from a hose or large container.

  • Wait a minimum of three to five minutes while the skunk is submerged. Death as a result of drowning should occur during this time.

Mesh Traps

  • If the trap is made from wire mesh, fill a large container with water.

  • Submerge the trap fully in the container.

  • Wait a minimum of three to five minutes while the skunk is submerged. Death as a result of drowning should occur during this time.

Tips & Warnings

  • If skunks are living under a building you can block all openings to prevent their return. They'll usually find a new home elsewhere. See Resources for information.
  • Wear gloves and protective wear while handling skunks, carcasses and contaminated equipment.
  • Dispose of carcasses properly by placing them in a plastic bag and burying in the ground.
  • Don't kill skunks needlessly. They eat mice and insects.
  • Skunks can be vectors for rabies. Healthy skunks avoid people or will act defensively -- arched back, tail in the air, stamping front feet -- while rabid skunks will charge aggressively, face first, tail down, sometimes dragging their hindquarters.

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  • Photo Credit Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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