You may think a skunk is cat-like and friendly when you first see their adorable little face and fuzzy white and black stripped coat with that long bushy tail and small paw like hands, but you will think different once you have a pet or yourself sprayed by one of these fuzzy creatures. The smell they leave behind after spraying takes days and even weeks to rid from pets, you and even a home. This is why so many people look for methods on how to deter them away when they first notice a skunk in their yard. Usually when you spot, a skunk hanging out in your yard it means they live close by so figuring out how to rid them away is essential for knowing how to prevent them from spraying the heck out of pets, people and anything else that might spook them.
Remove Food Sources and Shelter
When skunks move into your yard it is typically because you have a good food source near by and a cozy shelter for them to hangout inside and sleep in during the day. This is why it is essential too clean up after grilling, pick up picnic areas after feasting and place trash bags in garbage cans that seal up tightly. Keeping areas skunks might use as shelters tightly closed off such as garages, crawl spaces, attics, and garden sheds helps too. Skunks also love living under decks and in spacious doghouses that are not in use too. If you have a doggie door leading to the outside, it is wise to lock those at nighttime since skunks are nocturnal animals and will adventure into your home without thinking twice. This can lead to you being spooked and them being spooked and you and your house being sprayed, which by the way is a stinking hard to clean up mess you will never forget.
Keep Yards Neat and Clean and Free from Food
Skunks love tall grasses they can hide in and any yard that has a lush garden with tons of vegetation, which also includes bird feeders, nut and fruit trees and pinecones. Mowing and raking up your yard weekly or even a few times per month can go along ways to preventing skunks from even entering your yard to begin with. It is also wise to keep any water sources away from them too such as buckets that fill up with rainwater or empty flowerpots you forget to put away when they are not in use. Water sources such as this not only collect water for the skunks to drink out of by they also collect insects, which skunks love dinning on too.
Stack Woodpiles in Closed Off Areas
Leaving a woodpile outside for long periods can attract a skunk to build a home underneath it or within it. When you go to stack the logs, you just might be surprised and sprayed by the unhappy and scared creature living within it too. Always stack logs of wood in garages, woodsheds or any other closed off area as soon as it is delivered to your home as a natural heating source so skunks do not have time to make the pile their new move in spot.
Install Yard Lighting Systems
Skunks love the dark, but once again, they are nocturnal animals. Placing a lighting source outside your home such as motion sensor ones or UV yard lighting is a great way to deter them in a harmless manner. Even if you see, a skunk in your yard flashing your yard lights on and off using manual indoor switch is enough to scare these little furry babies off and away.
Install Motion Activated Lawn Sprinklers
Just like cats, skunks hate getting wet. Installing a motion activated lawn sprinkler system into you yard is an outstanding harmless method for riding them and keeping them gone for good. Just remember though, when you have the sprinkler system on because if you walk across the yard you will activate the motion sensor to spray water and you will get wet too. Maybe consider placing your sprinkler system on a timer so it goes off at particular times such as nighttime when skunks are most active.
Use a Skunk Trap to Physically Remove the Skunk
If you have a skunk in your yard or home that just will not go away it is time to trap that fuzzy being using a spring-spring loaded skunk trap with bait such as peanut butter, cat food or other tasty treats skunks tend to love. Once the skunk is caught, you can safely take it to another location preferably into the woods away from your home and neighbors to release it. However, you may want to leave this kind of job to the professional fish and game team since being sprayed by the skunk is still possible even when it is trapped inside one of these enclosures.
Call in Professional Skunk Removal Services
If you have a skunk that has not only built a home, but a whole family of little ones it is time to call in the professionals to get this situation taken care of. Some of the best professionals to call who are experts at handling and removing skunks properly are fish and game services, exterminators and animal wildlife rescue services. It is never wise to try to take care of this situation by yourself since mama will be protective of her babies and will spray if you get too close.
Keeping Skunks out of the Garden
If you are trying to keep skunks out of the garden the best way to do so is by placing tin foil along the sides of your garden. When the skunks steps upon the tinfoil it will spook them and cause them too run off instantly, which will help keep your produce and plants safe. Tinfoil also reflects and sometimes a skunk seeing a reflection off the tinfoil is enough to keep them away from garden areas too. If you don’t have tinfoil, placing old mirrors within a garden does the reflection trick, and it works great from keeping other creatures out of your garden too.
Bottom Line for Riding Skunks from Home
Remember, the main sources that attract skunks to your yard are food, water and shelter, but keeping yards nicely mowed and trimmed up also helps keep, the skunks away too since hiding spots are necessary for these beings. Overall, skunks are not aggressive animals, but when they do get scared or feel threatened in any way they will spray and leave a long-lasting nasty odor behind that is hard to rid. Thankfully, products like hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, baking soda and vinegar do go along ways to minimizing skunk odors if spraying does occur on pets, yourself or your home.
Further Resources for Skunk Removal and Prevention:
Living with Skunks – Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife