It takes a lot to cause a skunk to use its potent-smelling defense—although the prospect of getting sprayed may be scary, skunks are actually rather non-aggressive and peaceful animals. But having a skunk living close to your home may still make you a tad uneasy, so in hopes of averting an encounter with that awful smell, you have landed here, searching for “skunk removal” tips. Fear not… the advice you need is at hand.
Do keep in mind skunks’ good deeds, though—like consuming insects and rodents that we tend to think of as pests. When opting to keep skunks at a distance, you’ll want to keep timing in mind. Gentle harassment techniques—applied when extreme cold or dependent young are not part of the circumstances—can be all you need to get the skunk to move elsewhere. Then, to keep others from filling the “vacancy” left behind, try eliminating or altering the things that attract skunks to your property.
You’ll get the results you want without causing unnecessary harm to animals—after all, they are simply seeking shelter from the cold or for raising their young. Check out the practical tips below—the results you seek are easily within your grasp.
Skunks under porch, deck, or shed…
If there is a musky smell coming from under your porch, deck, or shed; it may be a skunk. If you find shallow holes in your lawn in the morning (grub control); it may be a skunk. You can convince skunks to get out of Dodge by using harassment.
When applying harassment techniques, it’s vital to wait for warm weather or to wait for any young to be mature enough to follow their mother out of the den, otherwise the stench of rotting corpses (and accompanying flies, maggots, etc) or sight of starving young is the likely result .
- Loosely fill the den entrance with straw, leaves, or soil. If it is undisturbed for three nights, the skunk has moved along, and you can proceed to close off the opening with heavy-gauge wire mesh.
- Put a blaring radio into the den a couple hours before dusk and let it play all night..
- To determine if the skunk family has left, block the hole loosely with wadded up newspaper. Leave in place for two to three days. If it remains completely undisturbed after that time, it is safe to assume they have vacated the area.
Skunk in a window well…
A combination of poor eyesight and weak climbing abilities means that skunks sometimes fall into window wells and then have trouble getting back out. If you need to remove a skunk from a shallow window well, you can do so by making a ramp and lowering one end into the window well, so that it is at a 45-degree or less angle. Use a rough board, or attach a piece of carpet, towels, or chicken wire to the board, to give the skunk some traction for climbing out. Pets and people should stay away until the next day, giving the skunk a chance to leave during the night. Prevent another occurrence by putting covers (inexpensive and available at most hardware and home stores) to all your window wells.
Skunk in the garage…
A skunk may wander into open outbuildings and garages. The simple solution—after you check to be sure there is not a den with young inside—is to simply allow the skunk to wander back out. Sprinkle a 12-inch band of white flour across the end of the garage so you can tell when the skunk leaves. Open the door a couple hours before sunset, and close it once you see tracks in the flour.
Reducing skunk attractants on your property…
There are many possible attractants for skunks, so look around to see which ones are present, and make some adjustments to reduce or eliminate them.
- Are bags of pet food, birdseed, or trash left unsecured? Use tightly sealed containers for all potential food sources.
- Does birdseed pile up under your feeders? Keep seed waste cleaned up or use a “no-waste” seed mixture.
- Do you tend to overwater your lawn or water it at night? Reduce watering and water in the morning, so grubs are not near the surface at night, causing skunks to smell them and dig them up.
- Do doors to your shed or garage get left open at night? Keep them closed when you are not present.
- Are there openings under your porch, deck, or shed? After checking to make absolutely sure no animals are present(ie seal up openings with crumpled newspaper, check to make sure it hasn’t moved after 2-3 days), seal up openings to these spaces.
In most cases, discouraging skunks from choosing your property and encouraging them to move along are both relatively easy things for homeowners to do on their own. If you feel professional assistance with skunk removal on your property is necessary, follow these guidelines for finding a responsible wildlife control company—one that that will handle the problem effectively, but without causing unnecessary harm to animals in the process.