How To Deter Skunks From Your Yard


How To Deter Skunks From Your Yard

Would you like to know how to keep skunks out of your garden?

In order to assist keep skunks out of your yard, you must come up with solutions.

Skunks are a good addition to your yard. However, they can also be very damaging and cause issues for you and your home. You may save time, effort, and money by learning how to keep skunks out of your yard and away from the mess they leave behind.

This manual will walk you through 14 simple, all-natural ways to keep skunks out of your yard.

Let’s first examine why skunks can cause serious issues if left unchecked.

Why you need to keep skunks away

Skunks build dens

Skunks could mistake your property for an inviting spot to establish a den, which is one of the dangers of having them on your home. Skunks typically spend a lot more time than at any other time of the year in their winter and breeding dens. Once they’re present, getting rid of them without doing any damage can take some time.

Skunks can give birth to up to 7 young every year. The issue is that they frequently return to a den that has worked well for them in terms of giving birth or surviving the winter.

Skunks smell

Skunks are quite odoriferous, which is something we can all agree on. They do this because their protection mechanism is an offensive spray. The problem is that they lug that smell about with them.

Nobody wants such odor to be there in their yard. And when they feel threatened, they’ll keep replenishing their foul odor. That might have happened as a result of you surprising them when you put out the trash or even an encounter with your family pet.

If a skunk has been outside or very close to your property for a long period, the smell is difficult to get rid of.

Skunks are destructive

Skunks are quite obnoxious animals. In your yard, they will go on the hunt for food, eating your plants and even robbing your trash cans. Skunks are excellent diggers as well. To find delicious grubs, they won’t hesitate to dig holes all over your yard.

Skunks carry disease

Numerous diseases that can be harmful to humans and your pets are carried by skunks. Bite wounds, scrapes, and excrement are all ways in which these diseases can spread. They are most frequently seen to carry leptospirosis, distemper, and rabies.

Skunks cost you money

Skunks will eventually cost you money if you let them go free in your yard. That could come from cleaning supplies, veterinary care, medical expenses, or cleanup services. Even if you handle some of these problems on your own without hiring a professional, it will still take time.

The most effective approach to avoid any of these issues is to prevent skunks from entering your yard in the first place.

You’ll be relieved to find that there are several gentle methods for keeping skunks out of your yard. Making your yard as unpleasant as you can can prevent them from wanting to build a den there or forage in it for food.

Let’s look at the approaches that will be most effective for you.

How to deter skunks – 14 Ways

1. Create Physical Barriers

Using a physical barrier to prevent skunks from entering your yard in the first place is one of the best ways to keep them out.

Skunks can be prevented from entering your yard by using fences, which can be a very effective deterrent. Due to their limited climbing abilities, striped skunks can’t climb fences higher than 2 feet. Although spotted skunks are excellent climbers, it will still be helpful to identify the species that is visiting your yard. Thus, no matter how large the fence, it won’t stop them.

You must think about the foundations when constructing a wall or fence. Skunks with stripes are excellent diggers and will dive when they can’t climb. Use scat mats, chicken wire, or digging spikes to prevent them from digging burrows (this Doniks one is a great option). These will prevent them from penetrating the ground.

2. Don’t invite them in

It’s crucial to think about how you might be luring skunks onto your home. Consider any entry points into your properties that are open, such as garages, chimneys, open windows or doors, or even pet doors. Skunks might be able to fall into window wells and be unable to climb out.

The skunk can enter your home and then find a hiding place in your basement or even in your attic.

Making sure all windows and doors are closed at night, when skunks are active, will stop this. If you have to leave windows or doors open at night, a mesh screen can stop the skunks from getting any further inside. Spotted skunks can’t access your roof space by climbing up your chimney, so you should cap it.

3. Use light and sound

Skunks seek for food at night because they are nocturnal creatures. This indicates that they favor quiet, gloomy environments.

Loud noises and sudden bright light can easily frighten skunks.

Use motion-activated security lights around your yard to easily scare skunks away. The finest ones for this are big, colorful ones like these.

The movement of the skunks will cause the lights to turn on. They will flee since they won’t enjoy the sudden bright light. They will begin to believe that your yard is not a secure location to forage if this occurs every time they enter.

Aside from the initial installation of the light, this solution is straightforward and requires no work.

You may also try setting up a radio close to areas that skunks frequent. The chattering noises won’t appeal to the skunks. The only issue is that perhaps your neighbors won’t like it either.

4. Don’t Leave out food

Food scraps left out in your yard are a certain method to draw skunks in. Skunks have a keen sense of smell and will consider your yard to be an ideal location for foraging. It should go without saying that you never want wild creatures to devour your leftover food.

You should also think about the food you might unintentionally leave out. One of the most typical sources is overnight storage of outside pet dishes. Skunks will find it by scent and consume whatever they can.

The best course of action is to bring any pet bowls inside for the night.

If you’ve been hosting events in your yard, you might also turn it into a skunks’ favorite feeding ground. The skunk may locate a lot of food crumbs and odours after a yard party or barbecue.

Try to do as much cleanup as you can after eating outside before you leave the yard at night. This includes cleaning any outdoor cooking appliances, such as smokers or BBQs, which may retain the aroma of mouthwatering food.

5. Deter Rodents

Rodents are a favorite food of skunks, especially in the winter. A effective way to prevent rodents in your yard is to limit their access to food.

Using a mint spray or even mint-scented garbage bags is a really fantastic technique to avoid rodents from getting drawn to your trash cans.

Rodents avoid these regions because of the fragrance of mint. Your yard will become less of a magnet for skunks to eat if there are fewer rodents around.

6. Be mindful of birdseed

Bird feeders are another food source that skunks may be drawn to. The spotted skunks can access them to empty them; the striped skunks cannot. Utilizing a raccoon baffle is one option (this one will work on any existing feeder poles you have). Spotted skunks won’t be able to climb or jump onto your bird feeders thanks to this equipment.

Any bird seed that is on a ground feeder or raised at a level lower than 2 feet will be easily consumed by striped skunks.

Using a no mess bird seed is another excellent approach to prevent skunks from gaining access to bird food. In this manner, the bird will leave much less of a mess beneath your feeders, which prevents skunks from removing it at night.

7. Smell Deterrents

Skunks are amusing creatures because they dislike items that have a strong odor. Although they have a keen sense of smell, harsh odours can irritate them.

To prevent skunks from foraging in your yard, plant these odors there.

Skunks dislike the aroma of the following plants:

  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Cloves
  • Garlic

The fact that you may use these fragrances without growing the plants is a plus. The scents can be spread over your yard with the use of a spray bottle.

Making your own smell repellant has the drawback of requiring regular reapplication, especially after rain.

This technique can be used in conjunction with the others on this list to deter skunks permanently.

8. Sprinkle the spice

Kitchen spices are a cheap deterrent that you most likely have on hand. Spices irritate the delicate nose of skunks to such an extent that they detest being around them. The skunks become too uncomfortable to remain and search for additional food once they smell the spice.

Spices can be scattered around the public spaces where skunks leave messes or the entrances to your yard.

To keep skunks away, try using these spices:

  • Chili pepper
  • roasted pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • flakes of chili

Skunks respond nicely to anything that contains capsicum. Even plants in your yard that skunks are consuming can be treated with hot sauce. Your plants won’t be harmed by the hot sauce. If your pets or kids will be touching the plants, stay away from this procedure.

9. Spray predator urine

Skunks want nothing more than to avoid becoming a meal for a more powerful predator. They will try to avoid the area if they believe there is one nearby for their own safety.

A excellent approach to fool the skunk into believing there is a large predator in the neighborhood marking their territory is to spray predator pee around your yard.

Use coyote urine wherever possible (I recommend this one). But you can also use wolf, bobcat, or red fox urine. Skunks may not return if two predator urines are alternated since they won’t become accustomed to one scent.

Spraying the predator pee around the perimeter of a skunk’s access place or den comes highly recommended.

10. Secure Your Garbage

Skunks find abundant food in trash. They frequently attempt to break into trash cans at night in urban areas. Once they have control of the garbage, they will create a mess while attempting to gather as many food scraps as they can.

You should make an effort to keep the skunks as far away from your trash can as you can. The simplest method to accomplish this is to wait until the morning of collection to put out your trash.

If that isn’t feasible, at least attach a trash can strap to the lids (the strong strap brand is highly recommended). If the can is pushed over, this will stop the skunk from getting to the trash bags.

To prevent the skunks from coming too close to the trash can, you can also lock the trash can in an outside storage container. This may lessen the rubbish odors that skunks will seek out.

11. Clean up your yard

Keeping your yard neat and tidy is a fantastic strategy to deter skunks from visiting.

By removing debris off trees, such as fruit and leaf heaps, the skunk will be discouraged from looking for a place to detach and a source of food.

Keeping up with your lawn will also assist to stop June bugs from laying their eggs there. Skunks adore digging for these enormous, juicy grubs that hatch from them. You have numerous skunk holes in your grass because of this.

See my guide for information on how to keep June bugs out of your yard.

12. Skunk repellent

To keep skunks out of your yard, you can purchase skunk repellent spray.

Depending on the brand you choose, the sprays may include different components. However, they will typically consist of pungent ingredients like mint, castor oil, fish, garlic, and strong-smelling meats like salmon. A bestseller from Repel All is this one.

Egg whites are a common ingredient in the majority of commercial repellent sprays. This extends the spray’s outdoor shelf life even when it rains.

I advise spraying frequently until the skunks disappear. Then keep spraying sporadically to permanently deter skunks.

13. Try Electronic repellents

Install an electrical repellent to make the skunks want to avoid your yard like the plague.

These gadgets operate by emitting loud noises, flashing lights, or water sprays. Here are some of the most well-known brands available for purchase.

You want to surprise the skunk and make it uncomfortable for it to remain around to forage or build a den.

The best hassle-free choice is these gadgets. Solar-powered models require no maintenance at all. Additionally, they are fairly cheap to purchase.

The majority of models are motion-activated and will typically cover a 30- to 35-foot area. You might want to place a few in various locations if you have a very large yard or skunks that frequent different areas.

14. Use cleaning products

You may use a few cleaning supplies to keep skunks away of your yard. You probably already have a number of them in your home, I bet.

Irish spring soap is the first one. Because it has a strong aroma, this can help deter skunks. You can cut up big pieces or scatter grated soap on your yard.

Ammonia cleaning is another technique you can employ. I advise sprinkling it all over your yard. You can also hang soaked cotton balls or rags throughout your yard in various locations.

These products bother skunks in the same way that they do other strong odors. They won’t want to remain for lunch.

Removing skunks

You might have noted that in a tutorial about keeping skunks away, I didn’t mention capturing or hiring a specialist to get rid of the animal.

Not because it is ineffective, though. It has more to do with the fact that taking care of the initial issue doesn’t include getting rid of a skunk. That means the skunks are attracted to your yard in some way.

If you don’t take care of this problem, a new skunk will just appear and take the place of the previous one. Until you take action to stop them in the first place, you’ll be running in circles.

Additionally, the cost of expert skunk removal services can range from $150 to $200 each eradication. Consider how much it would cost to have a skunk removed on a regular basis.

Final thoughts

You’ll discover that there are several gentle techniques to deter skunks from entering your yard. The purpose is to irritate the skunks by making it difficult for them to create a den or want to eat.

The skunks shouldn’t be hurt because they will just go to another location where they may forage peacefully.

They’ll steer clear of your yard as much as possible after they understand it isn’t very inviting to stay there.

All other techniques are easy to use and maintain. For the greatest outcomes when dealing with a skunk that is persistent, I strongly advise combining several of them.

You will quickly rid your yard of skunks if you apply these routinely.


How do you get a skunk to leave?

Skunk deterrent may also benefit from repellents. Utilized cat litter, as well as professional or home-made capsaicin or castor oil repellents, may be used as mild deterrents that must be passed by the skunk in order for it to exit the den.

What smells do skunks hate?

Ironically, skunks don’t like some smells (as if they have room to judge). Skunks can be scared away by the aromas of citrus, ammonia, mothballs, and predator urine (dog, coyote, etc.).

Does peppermint oil repel skunks?

Skunks and some rodents, such as squirrels, may be deterred by peppermint oil, but it can also be fatal to cats and is typically not beneficial for dogs.

Will skunks go away on their own?

Skunks are generally timid and private animals, so they will eventually go on their own. Skunks, however, are less likely to depart on their own if they have established a home on your land. The best course of action is to initially block any potential hiding places for skunks.

What is the best skunk deterrent?

Utilize skunk deterrents Skunks can be scared away by the aromas of citrus, ammonia, mothballs, and predator urine (dog, coyote, etc.). Keep mothballs and cotton balls drenched in ammonia away from youngsters if you use them.


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Sarah Green

Wildlife and Nature Fan & Author