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17 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Skunks

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17 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Skunks

You’ve probably had a run-in with a skunk at some point in your life. They’re not the prettiest creatures, and their smell is…well, let’s just say it’s unforgettable.

If you’ve had enough of these smelly pests and are looking for natural ways to get rid of them, you’re in luck. We’ve compiled a few of our favorite methods below.

Keep in mind that some of these tips may require a little bit of patience and perseverance, but they’ll be worth it in the end!

Here’s how to get rid of skunks naturally.

1. Clean Up Fallen Fruits and Nuts

The best way to stop a skunk from coming around is to make your property undesirable to them.

Start by cleaning up fallen fruits and nuts. These are a favorite food of skunks, so if you take away their food source, they’re less likely to stick around.

2. Cover Trash Cans

Another way to keep skunks out of your yard is to make sure that your trash cans are covered.

These creatures are attracted to garbage, and they’ll often dig through it in search of food. If you can keep the smell of food hidden, it’ll make it less likely that they’ll venture near your home.

3. Cover Compost

You should also cover up your compost. Skunks are scavengers and they’re drawn to the smell of rotting food.

If you can’t cover your compost, try to disguise the smell by mixing in citrus peels or coffee grounds.

4. Pepper Spray

Pepper spray can deter skunks. All you have to do is make some and use it to spray the areas that you want them to stay away from.

To make a homemade pepper spray for skunks, put on a pot with a quart of water and add one hot pepper along with a tablespoon of cayenne pepper.

Let it boil up then remove it from the heat. When it cools down, use it as a skunk repellent for your yard.

5. Peppermint Oil

You can also spritz peppermint oil spray around problem areas to keep the critters away. Skunks hate the smell of peppermint, so this is a great natural way to deter them.

Just put a few drops on a cotton ball and place it where you’ve seen skunk activity.

You can also make a spray by mixing 15 drops of peppermint oil with a cup of water and spraying it at problem areas to repel skunks from your yard. This plant-based repellent will also keep away squirrels, groundhogs, and chipmunks.

6. Secure Bird Feeders

Make sure that bird feeders are not easily accessible.

Skunks love to eat bird seed, so if you have a bird feeder that is low to the ground or not secured, it’s likely that a skunk will find it and help itself to a meal.

7. Put Up a Fence

Another method is to put up a fence. Now, this won’t keep them out entirely, but it will make it more difficult for them to get into your yard.

The best way to build a skunk-proof fence is to make it at least three feet high, and bury the bottom of the fence about a foot deep.

8. Secure Pet Food

You might not think that your pet’s food would attract these critters, but it does.

Skunks are attracted to food in general, including that of your pet. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you keep your pet’s food secured.

9. Night Light

Try a night light. These pests are nocturnal creatures [1], so their eyes are sensitive to light.

If you install a night light in your yard, it might scare skunks away, especially if it’s motion-activated.

10. Predator Urine

I know, it sounds kind of gross, but this is actually a pretty effective method. Some animals prey on skunks. Their natural predators include coyotes, bobcats, and foxes.

So, when they catch a whiff of urine from one of these predators, it freaks them out and makes them think they’re in danger.

You can buy products containing predator urine online or at some hunting supply stores. Just be sure to choose the right kind. Coyote and fox urine work great.

They are also scared of dog urine and human urine.

To use, soak some cotton balls in the solution and place them in areas you expect the critters to show up. However, you’ll need to reapply every few days or after it rains.

11. Citrus Peels

You might not think that citrus peels would do much to deter skunks, but they actually can be quite effective. Just sprinkle some around the perimeter of your property and you should see a reduction in skunk activity.

You can also make a homemade citrus spray by boiling water and adding citrus peels to the mix. Let it steep for 24 hours and then strain out the peels.

Finally, add the citrus peel water to a spray bottle and spritz it at problem areas.

12. Chicken Wire

Another great home remedy is to use chicken wire.

Install chicken wire to seal off entry points that lead to under your house, shed, and deck to prevent them from living there. And if you have a garden, protect it with chicken wire, too.

13. Treat Lawn for Grubs

If skunks are coming around to your yard, it’s likely because they’re looking for food. And more often than not, that food is grubs living in your lawn.

This article highlights natural methods to treat your lawn for grubs. They are also safe to use around pets.

14. Remove All Food Sources

The best way to get skunks out of your yard is to remove all the food sources from your property. Skunks are scavengers and will eat just about anything.

If you can keep them from finding food, they’ll move on to another place.

15. Remove Shelter Options

To permanently get skunks out of your yard, removing food sources alone will not do it — you also need to remove their shelter options.

This means sealing up under the house foundation and getting rid of any piles of wood or debris. They also like to live under sheds and decks.

16. Motion Detection Sprinkler

If you have a skunk problem, you may want to consider investing in a motion-detection sprinkler.

These nifty devices can be found at most home improvement stores and work by spraying water at anything that sets them off.

By setting up a motion-detection sprinkler in your yard, you can stop the critters from hanging around.

17. Skunk Trap

Another method to remove a skunk from your premises without harming it is to set up a trap.

You will need a trap that has a door that springs shut when the skunk steps on a trigger plate inside the trap.

It is best to bait the trap with food that will not spoil, such as cat food, marshmallows, or dog biscuits. Place the bait in the back of the trap so the skunk has to step on the trigger plate to reach it.

Once it’s trapped, try releasing it somewhere else.

What to Do If You Get Sprayed By a Skunk

If you get sprayed by a skunk, the first thing you want to do is get away from the area as quickly as possible. The compound is incredibly pungent and can cause nausea and burning eyes.

Once you’re in a safe place, it’s time to assess the situation. If you have access to a hose, hose yourself down immediately, rinsing your eyes first if it got into it.

If you don’t have a hose, you can try using vinegar or hydrogen peroxide mixed with water to neutralize the odor.

But keep in mind that the spray smells like rotten eggs [2], so it’s not going to come off easily. You might need to shampoo your hair several times and wash your clothes separately from the rest of your laundry.

And if all else fails, you can always try one of the commercial skunk odor removal products that are available on the market.

Takeaway

If you’re unlucky enough to have a skunk take up residence in your yard, there are a few home remedies and natural things you can do to get rid of it. The list above highlights it all.

These DIY remedies will make them leave or scare them away without you getting sprayed. If all else fails, call a professional to help you out.

Picture via wikimedia.org

Sasha Brown

Sasha Brown is a blogger and lover of all things natural.

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