It is my goal to educate the public about skunks and other wildlife, and
provide tips for safe, effective, and responsible wildlife removal.
Summary of Step-By-Step Instructions:
|HUMANE HINTS: In some cases you can resolve a skunk problem without trapping the animal - for example, you can install fencing around a property you don't
want skunks to enter. If you use a cage trap, be sure to set it in the shade and relocate
the skunk as soon as possible. Never attempt to poison skunks. Unfortunately, there are no effective or registered skunk repellents. Read below for how-to hints.
Purchase large cage traps - rated raccoon size, usually about 10" x 12" x 30" or so.
Set traps in areas of high skunk activity. Bait with marshmallows, or, if stray cats are not a problem in the area, cat food works as well. Make sure traps are scent-free and flush to the ground, and set in the shade.
Relocate any trapped skunk at least 10 miles from capture site.
If you have skunk living under a deck, shed, or other structure, install an exclusion barrier - steel mesh around the perimeter, and down at least 12 into the ground, with bottom of mesh sloping outward.
If you need skunk help, click on my Nationwide List of Skunk Removal Experts for a pro near you.
How to Get Rid of Skunks - The best method, by far, is trapping and removal. Skunks are relatively easy to trap in cage traps, but they must be handled correctly to ensure that they do not spray you. Information about skunk trapping
- analysis and methods for how to trap.
Everyone can tell a skunk around by its look and its and even more so by its smell. Skunks are shy creatures that are about the size of a large alley cat and are all black with a white stripe that runs from its nose all the way to the tip of its tail. However, the smell that it secretes from its anal glands are much more recognizable than its looks, in fact you will smell a skunk a long time before you see it, and then it is too late. The scent that it sprays it pungent and extremely hard to remove and you will notice immediately if one has moved into your area.
One of the ways that you can try get rid of skunks is to use a natural repellent. Do not buy the repellent products that promise you that all your skunk problems will go away overnight because they simply do not work or they only work for a short time. The most
common repellents attempted are things like predator urine, any type of solution that has ammonia in it, moth balls, or spices like cayenne pepper and Tabasco. However, these items simply don't work. Information about skunk repellent
- analysis of types and effectiveness.
Clean up your yard and secure your garbage cans if you don’t want to attract every skunk in the neighborhood. Skunks will invade your yard and home if they have a readily available food source like the food in your trash cans. Do not leave your pets’ food outside and instead make them eat inside. You can also cut off a skunk’s food source by cleaning up any fallen fruit from your trees and building a fence around your garden. If the skunk does not have a food source, then it won’t stick around. Information about how to keep skunks away
- prevention techniques.
There are also specialized critter sprinklers that are extremely effective. These sprinklers are motion activated and can be set near any place that you do not want the skunks hanging around like your garden, your porch or by your garbage cans. This is a safe and humane way to solve your skunk problems, but using the sprinklers will usually trigger them to spray their scent. If this happens, here are some scent solutions that you can try.
The most effective way to get rid of the skunk smell whether it be on the side of your house or your family dog, is a simple solution that is a quart of hydrogen peroxide, a splash of dish soap and a quarter cup of baking soda. Rub this solution on whatever has been sprayed and leave it soaking for a few minutes, and then you can rinse and try it again until the smell is gone. Professional exterminators and decontaminators use a neutroleum-alpha epoleon for heavy duty jobs. You can find these products on the internet. You will have to do some experimentation and trial and error before you find out what works best for the skunks that have invaded your property.
More in-detail how-to skunk removal articles:
Information about how to kill a skunk
- with fumigants or poison.
Information about how to catch a skunk
- remove one stuck in the house.
Information about what bait catches skunks
- meat baits work best, but have drawbacks.
Skunk Information & Facts
Often mistaken for cats, skunks are small mammals, generally weighing between five and eight pounds. There is some variation in color, but the most common species of skunks have sharp contrasting shades of color, usually black and white. The stripe markings differ between the animals, but generally a black body with white stripes is characteristic of the animal. Some skunks are gray or off-white, but all species have a striped pattern. The most common skunks in the United States are the Striped Skunk and the Spotted Skunk. Both these species have strong front legs with ample claws well suited for digging.
Skunk Habitat and Behavior:
Skunks live in almost any habitat in the United States and Canada. They will live in suburbs, forests, fields, and any mixture of the above terrains. They are capable of creating their own dens, though skunks have adapted to be opportunistic creatures and will use other animals’ dens as well as live under or near human dwellings. Generally solitary, it is not unheard of for skunks to den together during the winter. While in the coldest months, the skunks will significantly decrease their activity level, though they are not mammals that enter a true hibernation state.
The defense mechanism for a skunk is well known. A potent spray is created inside the animal’s rectum within sacks known as anal glands. These glands hold a small amount of liquid—just enough for five or six discharges. The spray can shoot nearly ten feet, causing temporary blindness and local sensations of burning if it comes in contact with exposed skin. The smell emitted from the spray is difficult to remove from the body, and even more difficult to remove from any clothing it comes in contact with. This response to a threat is usually the last resort for a skunk. It can take up to ten days for more spray to be created, and during this time a skunk would be easy prey. These mammals are most often hunted by owls. Like most birds, owls have little to no sense of smell, and are largely unaffected by the skunk’s defenses.
Skunk young are born once a year. The babies are born covered in soft fur with their eyes closed until about three weeks of age. The mother skunk assumes sole responsibility for the young, and the male skunk will kept away for fear he may try to kill the kits.
Skunks favor insects, but they are opportunistic feeders and will consume anything from small amphibians to a variety of nuts and berries. If natural food supplies are limited, or if a skunk has grown used to urban living, the animal will often eat carrion and garbage. Thanks in part to their thick fur, skunks often prey on honeybees. By luring the guard bees out of the hive, the skunks will then take the opportunity and eat them.
Skunk Nuisance Concerns:
Most people are concerned when a skunk takes up residence around a home. While not overly confrontational, the potential for a skunk to spray is high. Domestic animals and people run the risk of antagonizing a skunk, and the resulting spray can linger for days before it reaches a tolerable level. Skunks are also diggers, though they are not as damaging as some burrowing species.
Skunks, even though their scent is harmless are not an animal that you want to have around. Not only do they smell horrible, they can rip of your yard by digging holes, eat all the vegetables in your garden and can burrow their way under your house. If a skunk burrows its way under your house it can cause immense damage to your plumbing and your electrical work. If they make their home under your house or your porch, you can be sure that they will be reproducing under there and perhaps dying in there which creates a smell that is unimaginable. If you have a skunk problem you probably already know how difficult it is to get rid of them and keep them away. Here are a few ways to get rid of skunks or get rid of the smell that they leave behind.
Skunks are a known carrier of rabies, and for years were considered the number one carrier in many states. Skunks are also carriers of leptospirosis, a bacterial infection that harbors in stagnant or still water. Domestic pets are also at a risk for Distemper, a virus that is not dangerous for humans but can cause death in unvaccinated house pets. Less serious issues revolve around the transmission of external and internal parasites, many of which can carry diseases of their own such as Lyme disease and Anaplasmosis.
This site is intended to provide skunk education and information about how to get rid of skunks, so that you can make an informed decision
if you need to deal with a skunk problem. This site provides many skunk control articles and strategies, if
you wish to attempt to solve the problem yourself. If you are unable to do so, which is likely with many
cases of skunk removal, please go to the home page and click the USA map, where I have wildlife removal experts
listed in over 500 cites and towns, who can properly help you with your nuisance skunk.