Skunks are very unexpected animals. If they feel dangerous around them, you risk being sprayed with the toxic substances. A skunk can spray you, your house or yard, or your pets, which will then emit an unpleasant odor. However, no need to be afraid because you can always get rid of both the smell and the animal.
I will share with you interesting information about what the “skunk secret” is, why this animal is considered the smelliest, and how to scare away a skunk. Besides, I will tell you about the dangerous outcomes after meeting with this animal.
Also, I compiled a review of 6 best skunk traps and repellents, so you don’t have to bother yourself anymore with the issue of how to get rid of skunks quickly.
The Buyer’s Guide
To know how to repel skunk as soon as possible from your household, you should be aware of the basic characteristics of skunks. I will tell you about how to determine these animals on your territory and why they are dangerous.
What Are Skunks?
Skunk is a small animal whose size is approximate to a cat’s. The length of the body is 13-18 inches, the tail is 7-10 inches, and the weight of an adult skunk is, on average, up to 15 lbs. Males are slightly larger than females.
Skunks have a triangular muzzle with small rounded ears and small black shiny eyes. They have a white arrow on the black muzzle, wide white or yellowish stripes on both sides of the body.
You can easily recognize a skunk by its “signature” white and black colors. Just remember that the white spots or stripes and/or spots are located on a black background.
Skunks are very strong physically. They have short legs with sharp claws for digging. Skunks have poor eyesight, but this deficiency is more than compensated by the sense of smell and hearing. You can use these features to solve the question of how to repel skunks. Their maximum life expectancy in captivity is 13 years. In nature, skunks live much less — an average of 5-6 years.
Skunk vs Badger vs Raccoon: Main Differences
Raccoon, badger, and skunk are animals that belong to different families, nevertheless, there are certain similarities between them. Controlling nuisance skunks, raccoons, and other critters may seem a difficult task. However, if you study everything about these animals, you will successfully fight them. To understand how to deter skunks, you need to familiarize yourself with a brief description of these animals.
A raccoon is considered a predator, however, its diet includes quite a lot of plant foods. This animal prefers to hunt at night. Reptiles, small rodents, frogs, birds, and their eggs, fish, as well as crabs and crayfish, become its prey. Besides, raccoons eat insects. If we take into account plant foods, the main sources of raccoon energy are fruits, vegetables, berries, nuts, and mushrooms.
Badger hibernates in winter. To somehow survive this season without food, it needs to have a large amount of fat. A badger uses burrows as housing and digs them exclusively on its own. The structure of the badger den can be quite complicated.
Initially, the animals dig one entrance, a long tunnel, and a nesting chamber, then build additional inputs/outputs. The total number of various manholes can be more than 10.
A raccoon has a striped tail, but a badger does not. Its stripes are smaller in comparison with the badger, and its legs are more developed and resemble the legs of primates. Animals can climb trees and grab the necessary objects. The badger is called a predator, although, in fact, this animal, like a bear, is an omnivorous creature.
Skunks are intelligent animals. They are also extremely inventive. Skunks are very strong for their size. If it’s needed, they can move almost any object in the house. Besides, skunks are extremely curious. They will knock over trash bins, drop flower pots, pull out drawers, and tumblers just to see what is inside.
Comparing raccoons with a skunk, the first one a very viable animal. In the USA, raccoons are sometimes kept as tame animals. They are immune to many infectious and invasive illnesses and aggressively defend themselves from predators. Raccoons run through trees better than squirrels!
How do Skunks Appear in Your Home and Yard?
Wild skunks differ from other animals by their small size and unique colors of wool. They protect themselves by spraying a dangerous substance from their anal glands. They can cause problems with domestic animals that do not accept skunk warning signs.
For instance, a skunk can spray your pets, and at this moment, removing the skunk odor process becomes more complicated than you think. In such case, you will need to use special skunk odor removers or a potent mix of home remedies.
As with most pest problems, preventing skunks’ disposal is easier than completing the full skunk elimination. You can scare skunks away using bright lights, ammonia, noise, and traps. To know how to keep skunks out of your yard, you should examine the territory:
- Look for holes in farm buildings. Hangars, garages, balconies, and all basements are prone to skunk infiltration. If you have openings in the foundation or between the panels, they must be closed immediately, until the female skunk has settled there and brought offspring.
- Particularly important is the examination of farm buildings in the fall. When the weather gets cold, skunks usually look for safe and dry places.
- Create L -shaped obstacles near the porch. The lower part of these constructions will stop the skunks from digging under the porch to get into their den.
- Treat larvae on your lawn. If you have beetles already in June, then skunks will try to have them as food. While the larvae are at their growing stage, it is necessary to water your lawn minimally, because too watered and damp areas of the lawn help raise the larvae to the surface.
- When you lay a freshly rolled lawn, pay attention to skunks.
- Small holes in the lawn are the first signs of a skunk infestation.
- Remove food for pets from their feeders. These are food sources for the female skunk and her offspring.
- Protect your trash heap. Put all the rubbish in a metal bin. In the open bin, a lot of garbage is very attractive for a skunk as a food product.
Are Skunks Dangerous?
Striped skunks are modest, inconspicuous, and conflict-free animals. They lead a mostly solitary lifestyle, except for the short mating season. However, they are calm about the presence of representatives of their species.
Skunks give off a secret with a caustic and hazardous substance. The smell resembles sulfur because it consists of sulfur-organic compounds. The main components of the secret are ethanethiol and butyl mercaptan. These substances are not only disgusting in smell, but also toxic: they can act like tear gas, so beware of getting musk into your eyes.
The toxicity of this substance is also the cause of why skunk smell is so hard to get rid of. This oily liquid will cause a temporary loss of vision for approximately 15 minutes. A person may immediately feel dizzy (up to a swoon), with nausea and vomiting appear.
By the way, not all people can smell sulfur. It seems to some people that the skunk smells of burnt rubber, rotten garlic, and even spoiled meat. So the soiled clothes and the stinking dog’s hair is not the worst case (unless your dog got skunked). If you notice that the skunk begins to lift its tail and wave it, you should get back immediately. But don’t do it roughly, and try to make slow and careful motions.
How to Deal With a Skunk that is in Your Yard?
Acknowledging yourself with information about how to scare skunks away from your house is the best way to get rid of them forever. Following these instructions will help you in this process:
- Initially remove attractant food from reachable places and skunk-friendly housing. Skunks like to live in dark places, such as under the floor, porch, and other protected areas. Close skunk-friendly places with anything hard like stones, fences, and plywood.
- You should take care of closed and difficult to approach places because these are the first ones where skunks will want to set up their home for further colonization.
- Most often skunks eat carrion. If you have fruit trees in the household, pick the fruits as soon as they ripen to prevent carrion appearance.
- Other vegetation, such as mowed grass, must also be disposed of since it contains a source of nutrition that skunks like.
- If possible, store garbage bins at night in a garage or barn so skunks are not attracted by these smells.
- Use a closed compost tank, as skunks like to eat spoiled peels from fruits and vegetables, or eggshells, and other waste that may be in compost.
- It would be better to set up traps only during the non-breeding season. Otherwise, you will crucially harm the skunks’ family if you trap an adult female. Probably, its babies will die of starvation.
How to Get Rid of Skunks?
Let’s say that you discovered where skunks made a den in your household. I recommend you follow these steps for successful dealing with skunks.
- The first thing in a skunk’s eliminating process is removing your pet’s food and trash because this food works as an attractant for them.
- By the way, raccoons also like to eat such food.
- Find a place where skunks’ families live. Watch the animal from home or at a distance.
- You better not to bump or scare a skunk because you risk being sprayed. Therefore, use only efficient skunk repellents that work.
- To make the proven by years natural repellent mix, combine cayenne red pepper, Cajun seasoning, and other hot condiments that you have.
- Fill approximately 1/4 of the sandwich zip bag with the mixture. Mix it well until it reaches the smooth consistency.
- When the skunk is not nearby, sprinkle the contents of the package right in front of the entrance to the den.
- The skunk will eat or smell this mixture and gets uncomfortable in the den. Soon after this, the animal will leave.
Important! Since skunks can eat garbage, keep it out of reach, otherwise, you will have to constantly clean it. Skunks are super sensitive to light and noise, so you can make every possible noise and enhance the outdoor lighting when getting rid of skunks under the house so that the animal feels uncomfortable and leaves.
There are plenty of ways that will help you to cope with skunks in your territory, and each is effective by its characteristics. So, here I selected some tips about the right use of traps and sprays, for the results to be more efficient.
Start with the most innovative repellents and try an ultrasonic one. Usually, these repellers have automatically built-in motion sensors that will turn on when a skunk approaches. Also, these devices have a flashlight that also will come on when a skunk is nearby.
Try to use skunk repellent chemicals. There are several well-known skunk deterrents with active chemicals. You should spread the chemicals wherever you think skunks live at the moment. As soon as they smell these scents, they will begin to avoid your areas. You should remember that chemical repellents are required to be updated every few days.
The interesting repellent is fox and dog urine. These odors scare skunks away, as these are their natural enemies. You can buy deterrents that contain dog or fox urine in specialized stores. Pepper or peppermint sprays are also great helpers in skunk prevention. Spray these in areas where you notice skunks.
The citrus plant sprays also have the qualities of a repellent. Though spreading orange or lemon peels around your household is not the best way to eliminate skunks.
TOP 6 Skunks Treatments for Your Safety
There are plenty of various skunk treatments offered by different manufacturers. I want you to choose wisely the best trap or repellent to make the right choice.
1. Tuff Trap — Best Skunk Trap
- Lifetime Warranty
- Material: Alloy Steel
- Item Weight: 8.9 pounds
- Target Species: Cat, Opossum, Squirrel, Skunk
- Length: 24 1/2 inches
- Pipe: 6 inch diameter, 3/16 inch thick PVC pipe
- Door: Guillotine style with viewing holes. The guillotine style door allows you to place the trap right up to the hole
The skunk trap is a great solution to safely get rid of skunks. Tuff trap is suitable for your household and farm use. You can install this device anywhere in your territory where you suspect skunks to be. For example, in the garage, backyard, garden, or it is also great for Animal Damage Control professional workers.
This trap is safe for the person who uses it because when a skunk falls inside the device, it cannot spray you. Due to the construction of the device, the skunk cannot lift the tail, arch its back or make any move or. The company provides a lifetime warranty for cases when the Tuff trap is broken and you need the repair.
2. JT Eaton 475N Catch-Humane No-Harm Skunk Trap
- Material: Plastic
- Color: Black
- Item Weight: 9.12 Pounds
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 30 x 7 x 8 inches
- Target Species: Skunks
This is a no-harm trap that catches all small critters, including skunks, squirrels, or opossums. The mechanism allows you to trap animals and release them without violence and harm. Besides, this is completely safe for the person who uses it since the trapped skunk is not able to spray you anymore.
The JT Eaton skunk trap is dark inside, so the animal stays calm while being there and does not become angry. The easy-to-set latch door provides fast and safe trapping of the animal. The Eaton company gives every customer a 1-year warranty in case something happens with the device. You can request the repair anytime.
3. Clever – Ultrasonic and Flash Smart System Repellent
No products found.
Clever repellent is an innovative device to get rid of the annoying pests that visit your household. With the ultrasonic device, you will safely deter every skunk that wants to get into your territory. The mechanism works very easily. You just have to insert it in the ground and activate it.
The battery works for 10 hours and you can recharge it with the USB cable. The durable polyester material protects the device from any occasional damages.
The Clever natural skunk repellent uses both flashlight and sound ultrasonic vibrations to make the skunk leave your territory. This device can be used in the fight with different animals, such as deers, skunks, opossums, squirrels, cats, or dogs. Clever ultrasonic repellent does not bring harm to people or any animals. It just scares animals away with the sound.
4. Bonide – Biodegradable Granules Repellent
- Active Ingredients: Garlic 0.00048%, Dried Blood 0.00240%, Whole Egg Solids 0.00240%, Clove, Fish Oil, Onion, Wintergreen
- Item Form: Granules
- Item Weight: 1 pounds
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
- Target Species: Deer, Rabbits, Squirrels, Chipmunks, Dogs, Cats, Raccoons, Porcupines, Armadillos, Birds, Rats, Mice, Beaver, Ground hogs, Skunks, Moles and Shrews
Bonide repellent consists of granules that obtain a strong scent blended from active ingredients. It acts instantly on the animal, such as a skunk, a rat, a beaver, a squirrel, a chipmunk, a rabbit, and many others.
The blend of ingredients triggers the instincts to avoid that particular place. It has a residual effect, too because animals would not want to come back to the place where they smelled this.
The granules cause a little irritation of the nasal passages of the critter. No harmful effects to people or home pets can happen if you use the repellent following the instructions. Besides, it does not damage your garden plants because it is not intended initially to bring harm to plants at all.
5. Armor Animal & Rodent – Eco and Pet Friendly Natural Spray Repellent
- Scent: Peppermint
- Item Volume: 128 Fluid Ounces
- Item Form: Spray
- Item Weight: 8.38 pounds
- Product Dimensions LxWxH: 12.44 x 8.07 x 5.67 inches
If you are interested in how to get rid of skunks naturally, the Natural Armor spray will solve your problem. This is easy to use indoor and outdoor repellent. It is produced only with natural active ingredients to provide full safety for the person who uses it and for others.
The spray can be applied in cellars, garages, basements, on furniture, trash cans, pool houses, and other places where you suspect the skunk to be. The spray has a peppermint smell which greatly deters almost all critters.
The Natural Armor skunk repellent spray can be used against skunks, chipmunks, birds, raccoons, squirrels, rats, and mice. The use of the spray is easy: you just have to shake it and spray at any place you find suspicious. It covers the territory of 1,000 ft approximately and lasts for 90 days. The residual action for almost 3 months will keep your place safe from skunks.
6. The Giant Destroyer – Biodegradable Instantly Killing Gas Against Any Critter
- Active Ingredients:Carbon 9%, Sodium Nitrate 50%, Sulfur 38%
- Natural Organic Substances
- Item Weight: 10.1 ounces
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 12.3 x 9.2 x 7 inches
- Target Species: Moles, Gophers, Woodchucks, Norway Rats, Skunks, and Ground Squirrels
The Giant Destroyer is one of the most effective skunk removals means because it instantly kills almost every pest that comes to your territory. They could be skunks, moles, rats, gophers, ground squirrels, and woodchucks. The action of this gas killer is based on the smoke bombs which activate immediately when dropped into burrows. The gas kills animals in an instant.
It is safe and easy to use if you follow the instructions. You can apply it in open areas such as parks, residential laws, open fields, and re-forested areas. The Giant Destroyer will not damage any of your plants or pets because the active ingredients are only organic and biodegradable.
How to Prevent Skunks in the Future?
Coping with skunks is a very intense problem, so it is better not to create conditions under which your household will become attractive to them. Do not leave food in the open, this also applies to canned food. If you do not want skunks to come to visit you, refuse from growing fruits. If there is no food for them on your site, you shouldn’t worry about skunk elimination.
The skunk repellent process is not the easiest one because it requires a lot of preparation and following the basic rules. We’ve talked about the main features of skunks’ life. I want to answer some of the questions that you may also be interested in.
Do Skunks Bite?
If the skunk is scared, the animal releases a trickle of the secret with amazing accuracy. At the same time, the nature of each skunk is manifested individually: some spray non-stop until the stock in the glands runs out, and then begin to bite. Others behave calmly and do not spray after they’re captured.
What Sound Does a Skunk Make?
Skunks are mostly silent animals, but they can make a few sounds, depending on the situation. In domestic skunks, most often, you can hear a loud hiss, which pregnant and lactating females make if they are disturbed.
When Do Skunks Have Babies?
By nature, skunks are loners. Only during the “wedding” period, they are looking for a mate, and a female can bring up to 10 cubs 2 months after mating. They appear in May, and already in August, move back to the independent lifestyle.
The period of active mating of skunks happens in early autumn, approximately in September. By October, sperm production in males ceases. Females become fully sexually mature a year after birth, and estrus in such an animal appears only in September.
Skunks belong to polygamous animals, therefore, males can mate with several females at once, but do not take part in caring for offsprings.
What is the Best Bait to Trap a Skunk?
Trapping a skunk is one of the easiest steps. To lure them, you need to put a trap right at the entrance to the skunk’s hole and put something tasty for the animal inside the trap. Skunks are very fond of peanut butter, food for cats or dogs, peeling fruits or vegetables, as well as canned sardines.
Thanks to this method, you can easily and effortlessly catch a skunk and take it to a place more safe and far from your site. This method is considered one of the most effective and humane skunk extermination methods.
When Do Skunks Come Out
The lifestyle of skunks is determined by the natural rhythms of their life. They most often live alone or in small families. They spend the winter period in their burrows, which they dig beforehand. Further, with the onset of spring, they emerge from the holes and become active animals.
They spend summer and autumn in search of stocks and safe burrows for wintering. Skunks prefer to be active at night and search for food after sunset and come back when it starts to lighten.
Don’t Be Afraid of Skunks-Defeat Them With TOP 6 Repellents
Skunks are very complicated animals to deal with because of their “smelly” feature. However, it is significant to know as much as you can about skunks and why they are dangerous before trying to get rid of them.
Only if you are aware of the skunks’ behavioral characteristics, you may successfully defeat them without harming yourself and others. I hope the knowledge that I shared with you will help in keeping skunks away from your household.
If you want to share your knowledge about what will keep skunks away, you are welcome to comment on my post! Also, I would like to hear about any interesting situations that you faced when you had to deal with skunks. I think this can help everyone with the skunk issue.
- Controlling Nuisance Skunks, Raccoons, and Opossums (San Bernardino County):
- Dealing With Skunks (University of Nebraska–Lincoln):
- Coping With Skunks (Colorado State University Extension by M. Cerato & W.F. Andelt):
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