How to Get Rid of Skunks
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How to Get Rid of Skunks

What to do when a skunk is living under your house. How to get rid of a skunk. How to deter skunks from entering your property. What are some tips to keeping a skunk from returning to your yard. Who do I call about getting rid of a skunk living under my house? How to stop skunks living under my deck?

Although some people do keep skunks as exotic pets, most people are a little less trusting of them. Skunks have the ability to spray a foul smelling substance, but do so only when threatened, nonetheless most people do not want skunks in their yard or setting up home under their deck or shed.

The first sign of a skunk in your yard may be the smell of one, or perhaps finding that your dog or cat has been sprayed by one. It should be noted that dogs are far more likely to be sprayed by a skunk, while cats typically do not get that close to a skunk for it to feel threatened.

Skunks are nocturnal, they come out at night, your best chance of seeing one will be just after dark. It may look for food, even being so bold as to come up onto your deck to steal your garbage. If you set food outside for your pets the skunk will surly try to get that.

If you have noted skunks in your area you will want to take some action to discourage them from sticking around. As skunks can have a fairly large range, over 1.5 sq miles (4sq km) for females, and 7sq miles (18sq km) for males – there is no reason they have to stay at your home unless you have encouraged them inadvertently to do so.

Store all garbage so skunks cannot get at it, or smell it.

Do not leave cat food, or dog food out where skunks could smell it. If you leave cat food out in the day, bring it in at night.

Walk around your home, garage, and shed. Look for indications where a skunk may have gone under the home. You will need to wait until night fall, when the skunk has left the den, and then should block these entrance areas.

Be aware that skunks will also eat berries and fruit, apples that have fallen on the ground are an easy food source, so clean up under your apple trees when fruits are falling.

Skunks will also eat spilled bird seed so you will want to prevent this.

Motion sensitive water sprinklers can work, but can also be a problem as they do not necessarily chase the skunk "away". 

It is possible to make your yard less skunk-friendly by chasing it off. The key is to stay a fair distance back, noting that skunks have poor vision, and avoid cornering it (which would cause it to spray). Allow it an escape route from your yard and “herd” it that direction.

There are some scented skunk repellents, even things such as wolf urine, which may deter skunks from coming onto your property.

It is often said that leaving bright lights on will scare off skunks, but this is not always effective, in some areas skunks have become so accustomed to getting food that they have developed daytime habits of coming out for food. From experience of having skunks come onto my deck for food I know that turning on the outside light does nothing to scare them away.

If chased off repeatedly the skunk should give up and not return as long as their is no reason to do so. 

You may have to resort to trapping a skunk. In some areas the local by-law enforcement officers will set traps out for skunks, often baited with sardines (they sometimes catch cats by mistake). The officers will remove the traps once the home owner has reported that a skunk has been caught.

In other areas pest control companies will remove skunks.

Never touch a skunk, they have been known to carry rabies.

Once the skunk is gone, seal all areas around your home to prevent another from moving in. Continue to store garbage and pet food in a way that does not attract other skunks.

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Comments (6)

Great article, I read a skunk account in an novel called 'Hachet'

This reminds me of a funny story. I am an early riser, always up way before the crack of dawn and one of the first things that I always do is take the garbage out. Well, one morning I happened to glance down in the barrel as I dropped a huge bag of garbage in and looking up at me were these two beady eyes of a skunk. I think that he/she was as surprised as I was because he/she never gave me a shower. I guess that having a bag of garbage dropped on him/her taught him/her a lesson about the dangers of sleeping in my garbage barrels because I never found a skunk in one of them again after that.

Our neighbor puts out cat food every night for stray cats, and it unfortunately also sometimes attracts skunks. I've bought and put out both coyote and fox urine, and it does help keep them away most of the time.

Skunks can make beautiful pets. Id never try keeping a wild one though.  I've had skunks under a home before'  It's a horrible experience.

What memories this article brings to mind. Previously in New Jersey it felt like our home was a haven for a family or two of skunks. LOL We were told loud music with a very heavy bass beat drives them away but before we got a chance to try it out, we moved away. They really fouled our air. It was very apparent they viewed our home as their private territory. I am so glad to be away from all the stinky le pews as I often called them. Glad you are able to offer so many good suggestions for getting rid of them.

My dog was recently sprayed by a skunk and it was terrible. I didn't even know there were skunks where we lived and so it came as a surprise to me. I think I will buy some wolf urine to get rid of the skunks, but I'm not sure where I can purchase it? Thanks for the article.