Have a family of skunks hanging around? Here are the best ways to get rid of skunks, safely and humanely.
Skunks are generally pretty timid and gentle and often give you a solid warning before resorting to their pungent spray. But skunks, like most wildlife, are living their best life when they’re in their own natural habitats; which is probably not on your property or living underneath your woodpile.
Here, we have outlined basic preventions to keep skunks away, as well as ways to remove skunks from your property safely and humanely.
How to know if skunks are living on your property
The tell-tale signs of skunks living on your property are smelling them! You may not see skunks too often since they are mostly nocturnal, but you will smell them. Persistent, musky smells under buildings or a woodpile may suggest that a skunk has taken up residence.
Other signs a skunk is visiting your property may include small, shallow holes in the lawn, similar to those made by squirrels, which are a result of a skunk foraging for grubs. Occasionally, you may even find plants knocked over or damage to the lower leaves ripening garden vegetables.
Why Skunks are Attracted to your Property
The number one reason why you may have skunks or a family of skunks taking up residency on your property are the obvious reasons; food is easily accessible and an easy place to camp out is available.
The first step in making your property as undesirable as possible to skunks or other nuisance wildlife is to remove food or water sources. Skunks are insect and grub lovers, but they won’t discriminate against other food options if they’re available.
Tips to Keep Skunks Away
Remove any unsealed garbage bins, compost bins, outdoor pet food bowls, bird baths. Keep in mind that bird food, fruit trees and berry bushes can also attract skunks and other wildlife. Your garden is also a buffet of goodies for skunks, so make sure you have a secure fence around your garden. Skunks aren’t real good climbers, so a fence least 3 feet high with about 12” underground should keep them out. Skunks are excellent diggers and can easily burrow under a shallow barrier.
Dispose of garbage bags immediately and store in metal garbage cans with tight-fitting lids. To discourage skunks and wildlife from your property, install bright floodlights or lights with motion sensors. Skunks are generally pretty timid, so sudden light movement may scare skunks away at night.
Other ways to discourage skunks from hanging around can include skunk repellants in pellet form as well as electronic skunk deterrents. Whatever you do, don’t use your dogs to chase away skunks! When frightened, a skunk will spray its foul scent that will linger on your dog and you for days or weeks to follow! Although a skunk’s spray is known for its strong smell, it can also cause intense discomfort if it gets into a person or an animal’s eyes.
Get Rid of Skunks on Your Property
The most humane, legal, safe and effective way to get rid of skunks on your property is to call a wildlife removal specialist to trap or remove the skunk, or family of skunks. A wildlife pro will come out to your property and safely trap and release the animal away from your home. Because skunks can carry rabies, among other diseases, it’s definitely not worth it to try and do this yourself.
Skunks have become vulnerable to extermination or unnecessary, lethal relocation by wildlife control. Skunks thrive in urban and suburban settings, but if they’re moved to unknown turf, they will struggle to survive.
Some wildlife control companies inject chemical solvents into skunks’ chests using a long pole syringe, causing a painful death. It is important that you go with a wildlife removal company such as Xceptional Wildlife Removal that practices humane relocation of wildlife, not extermination methods.