What prevents skunks from your yard?
How to Get Rid of Skunk
Skunks under the house or a shed, deck, or porch
If there are skunks under your shed or home, you need to first look at your property and decide just what lured the animals to that location. Most skunks come to a home because there is more food in the yard than there is in the forest. Skunks like all the insects that live in tall, lush grass, and they’ll raid vegetable gardens, garbage cans, and compost piles. If you have an abundance of edible products handing out in your yard, it’s time to pick up and reorganize. Once you’re sure no new skunks will be joining the party, you can think about how to remove the skunk living under the shed or home. This isn’t too complicated of a process, but homeowners tend to be fearful of getting sprayed. If you’re using a cage trap, all you need to do place a heavy blanket or a tarp over the enclosure. This will prevent the skunk from spraying and will keep the animal calm. The trap itself can be set up in any location around the yard but should be placed where you have seen the skunk spending its time, or near the location of the den entrance. You can also use a makeshift fence to funnel the skunk out of its den and into the set trap.
How to get rid of skunks in yard
Removing skunks in the yard involves trapping, unless you own a .22 rifle and know how to shoot it effectively. That being said, a dead skunk usually smells worse than a live skunk, so cage trapping and removal might be the best option if you don’t want skunk scent through your property and on your home. Before you set out to trap the skunk, make sure it is a repeat offender first. This means you’ve seen the skunk more than three times on your property. The animal probably hasn’t had enough time to create a den around the yard yet, but you’ve seen it enough to know it feels like staying. While the trapping process takes place, you also need to clean up the edible items around your yard. Keeping grass and vegetation short will encourage fewer insects, the animal skunks eat the most. Now you can think about trapping the skunk. Purchase a cage trap from your local garden center or farm store. If you cover the device with a tarp, you won’t need to worry about getting sprayed. The tarp will prevent the animal from seeing you, and a skunk won’t spray unless it has a target in sight.
Do It Yourself Tips for Getting Rid of Skunks
Almost everyone in North America can tell when a skunk is around because it emits a horrible smell unlike anything else that will carry for miles and stick to your clothing like lint. However, even though the smell of a skunk is undeniable, so is the way it looks. A skunk is usually all black with a single white stripe running from the top of its head to the tip of its tail, but skunks can also be a brown/chocolate color as well as all white. These creatures are very shy and like to stay away from areas that are heavily populated with humans or other animals. However, skunks have to eat and find somewhere to live too, and this may be a reason that you have them in or near your property. While the pungent scent of a skunk is not damaging in any way, it smells absolutely horrible and is specifically designed to stop a potential predator in its tracks. The skunk may not be particularly interested in you or your pets, but they are interested in the vegetation in your yard. Skunks will dig holes in your lawn and in your garden, and have been known to completely ravage all the food in your garden, bushes as well as eat the bark off of your trees. Skunks will also burrow their way under your house, porch or shed to reproduce. If you have a skunk infestation, you can be certain that they will be reproducing and dying on your property. If they die in a hard to reach place, they will create a smell that is almost impossible to get out. Follow some of these do it yourself tips to get rid of your skunks.
Trap and Remove:
Trapping is one option available to you to get rid of the skunks on your property. Check with your local wildlife removal agency first, because trapping is not legal in every state. If you are allowed to trap animals where you live, you can buy or rent one at many local hardware or garden stores. Bait the trap with something like fruits or vegetables and then set it by a place they like to frequent. Check the trap everyday to see if you have caught any. You can also get a trap door that you put in front of their burrow that will allow them to get out, but not get back in. Once you have caught the skunks, relocate them to a nice wooded area at least 10 miles away from your home and patch up any holes that they may have created. You can also try filling in the holes they dig in your yard to discourage them from coming back.
Another thing that you can try to get rid skunks is to take away their food source. Make sure that your garbage cans are secured inside your garage, under the porch or in an air tight container. Pick up any trash that you may have loose in your yard and make sure that your pets’ food is kept inside the house. You should also pick up any fallen and rotting fruit and vegetables. If you take away their food source, they won’t be able live near you.
There are several repellents that are available that claim to drive the skunks away or to keep them from coming near your property. Most repellents are not very effective and need to be constantly reapplied to be effective. However, it is said that repellents such as predator urine, ammonia, moth balls and Tabasco work well to keep skunks away.
Go back to the main Skunk Removal page for more information about how to get rid of skunk.
About skunks — Biology, diet, etc.
Do skunks attack pets? — Sure! They spray them!
Should I feed a baby skunk I found?
Baby skunk removal — A nest of babies under the shed.
Do skunks burrow underground? — They dig, but don’t burrow.
Do skunks attack chickens? — Rarely.
City/County Skunk Removal? Not Likely. — The county won’t help for free.
Do skunks climb trees or fences? — They can’t really climb well.
Damage Skunks Cause under a House — Odor problems, mostly.
Do skunks come out during the day? — Sometimes. May not be rabid.
How to Get Rid of Skunks from Your Property (And Prevent Them From Coming Back!)
Do you have a skunk living on your property? Despite their generally gentle disposition and effectiveness at keeping down small-rodent populations, very few people want a skunk living around their house. Their famous defensive odour can pose a real hazard for dogs and small children, they wreak havoc on vegetable gardens and poultry, and they can be a rabies carrier as well. Fortunately, skunks are usually fairly easy to get rid of, even if approaching them head-on is not recommended.
Unlike raccoons, skunks can take a hint. If you know where they’re nesting, you can loosely fill the entrance to their burrow with leaves or newspaper. You’ll know that they’ve left if you see the paper shift, and, when that happens, go ahead and refill it. Don’t pack it too tight though – you don’t want to inadvertently trap a mother skunk’s babies inside. Be extra cautious about this during breeding season (May-June). If you aren’t sure if the skunk is still in there, sprinkle a little flour around the entrance. Any tracks will let you know what’s going on.
Skunks are actually pretty sensitive to odours (ironic, right?), so a few simple, smelly, steps can go a long way when trying to evict a skunk. One easy solution is to make a homemade pepper spray (boil one yellow onion, a jalapeno pepper, and a tablespoon of cayenne in two quarts of water, then strain) and spray it around the areas you want the skunk to stay away from. You can even soak old rags in the solution (bleach works for this too!) and use a straightened coat hanger to push them into the skunk’s burrow. This trick works especially well if they’re nesting in the crawl space beneath the house or other hard-to-access spots. Used kitty litter (although gross) works well too, sprinkled around the perimeter of your yard, garden, or chicken coop. There are also several effective repellents available for sale, available at most garden centers and big-box stores.
If these basic remedies don’t work, there are more drastic measures available. If you know where the skunk has its burrow, you can invest in a one-way door excluder. Skunks are poor climbers, so a relatively short metal fence will keep the stinky little rascals out of your garden. They do dig though, so make sure you dig a trench to set the base of the fence into. Live traps, baited with cat food or canned sardines, are an option – although it’s a risky strategy from the skunk-spray-avoidance standpoint. And of course, you can always bring in the professionals. Almost every city and town has its own market for humane pest removal, so a quick Google search or trip to the yellow pages can help you there.
Keeping Your Property Skunk-Free
Now that the skunk has moved along, make sure you aren’t inadvertently attracting a new one. Trash bins with a latch will make your garbage less appealing. Also, avoid leaving leftover pet food lying around, since skunks love dog and cat food. Bird feeders can attract them as well, so it may be wise to empty those for a while.
Another way to keep skunks off your property is a motion-activated security light. Skunks are nocturnal, and shun bright light, so an unexpected blast from a floodlight is likely to send them scampering. You can also try to eliminate habitats they find appealing by filling in holes and clearing away overgrown brush and woodpiles. Ultimately, skunks, like most animals, are going to take up residence in the area most convenient to them. A few simple steps should be enough to make sure that residence isn’t yours.
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