Skunks are usually harmless creatures who know to steer clear of humans; unfortunately, pets and other wildlife will sometimes attack or provoke a skunk with unpleasant results. Skunks can spray up to 15 feet and their odour can last for days. If you want to avoid problems with skunks, some of the best methods for how to get rid of a skunk involve prevention. However, if you already have a skunk living somewhere in your yard, getting rid of it can be tricky. Before we discuss how to get rid of a skunk, it is important to note that skunks carry rabies and you should never approach a skunk.
As scavengers, skunks are likely to eat anything they come across; so, if they find food on your property, they are likely to return or even to make a home for themselves. As such, you need to take some time to ensure that garbage is sealed properly and that there are no sources of food for skunks in your yard. Never leave pet food outdoors as this will also attract skunks, and likely racoons and other creatures as well. Nut, berry, and fruit trees may also attract skunks, so be sure to walk your yard and remove any fallen foods. Spills from bird feeders, bones in your compost, and easily accessible sources of water also make your yard more attractive to skunks, so get rid of them.
There are also a number of skunk repellents that will keep the skunks from moving into your yard. While it may not be possible to get consistent results, bright lights and automatic sprinklers will usually keep skunks away. Alternatively, commercial and homemade repellents may also be effective. Pepper sprays work well but must be applied regularly to maintain their effectiveness. Similarly, commercial repellents that can be sprayed around your yard will provide some protection against skunks. Finally, skunk barriers are also useful from preventing skunks from entering your yard. Skunks cannot climb or jump well, but will fit through openings as small as 4 inches, so barriers must be well constructed.
How to Get Rid of a Skunk
If you are dealing with a skunk that is already living in your yard, it is time to find its den. It is best to do this work at night when the skunk is out foraging in order to avoid being sprayed or bitten by the skunk. Seal up the entrance to the den with whatever you have available, keeping in mind that skunks need only a small opening. You can also wet the skunk den with a hose, as skunks do not like a wet habitat. Similarly, you can spray the den with pepper spray or a commercial repellent to encourage the skunk to leave. If these less invasive methods are not effective, you may want to get your hands on some skunk traps. Box skunk traps are small enough that the skunk cannot spray effectively. These traps should be baited with odorous foods such as sardines, tuna, or canned cat food. Once trapped, you should call animal control to collect and remove the skunk.
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