How To Get Rid Of A Skunk In Your Backyard
6 mins read

How To Get Rid Of A Skunk In Your Backyard

Getting rid of a skunk is undoubtedly more complex than you think. If you accidentally scare a skunk when shooing it away, you may get sprayed with that foul odor!

How To Get Rid Of A Skunk

Let There Be Light

Illuminate your backyard as best as possible without disturbing neighbors or skyrocketing your electric bill. Skunks are nocturnal animals; their eyes are susceptible to bright lights. By adding some outdoor motion sensor lights to your backyard (preferably a motion sensor light so that you don't waste power), you can prevent them from showing up again the natural way.


Position ammonia-soaked rags strategically throughout your backyard, focusing on the perimeter of your property to get rid of skunks. Ammonia is a natural repellent for skunks, but remember to resoak the rags regularly, as the ammonia tends to evaporate over time.

Leverage your dog's urine as a deterrent for skunks. Since dogs are natural predators of skunks, the scent of your dog's urine (or that of a neighbor's dog) will scare away the skunk. Transfer the urine into a spray bottle and evenly spray it around your backyard, ensuring reapplication in case of rain.

You can use citrus peels from oranges or lemons by cutting them into pieces and strategically placing them around your backyard and entry points. Citrus fruits' potent scents and taste act as effective repellents to eliminate skunks. If oranges are unavailable, lemon peels or juice can be suitable alternatives.

Clean Up

Clean up trash cans, pet food, food sources, bird seed from bird feeders, or fruits and vegetables in your yard to get rid of a skunk. Skunks will eat the food from the garbage cans if they can access it. As long as you have an available food source in your backyard, the skunk will continue trying to come back.

Get rid of the skunk's shelter or ability to make one. Close up any open space beneath your house, porch, or deck. If the skunk dug a hole, make sure the skunk (and its babies, if it has any) is out, then fill it in with dirt or rocks.

How to Get Rid of a Skunk That Has Already Made a Den

Skunks are burrowing animals known for their black-and-white coloring and distinctive odor. While sometimes feared and usually thought of as pests, skunks are pretty intelligent and shy animals. While usually nocturnal, skunks may occasionally be active during the day, posing a risk to children or pets that may take them by surprise. If an unwanted skunk has established itself under your porch or shed, there are options to remove it peacefully.

Check that it is a safe time of year to get rid of the skunk and remove it. Late summer to early fall is the best time. Skunks ejected from their burrows may die of exposure or starvation in the winter. Skunks that take up residence during the spring months may be mothers with babies, so it is humane to wait until the young ones are old enough to survive outside the den — about 6 to 8 weeks.

You can use noise and light at the den entrance to encourage the skunk to leave its den. A radio or electric light near the den may make the skunk uncomfortable and more prone to moving out.

Place a piece of balled-up newspaper at the den's entrance to ensure the skunk has stopped using it. If the paper is undisturbed for several days, proceed with the exclusion process.

Seal the skunk den opening with chicken wire or sheet metal from hardware stores to prevent reoccupation once the skunk has abandoned it. A galvanized screen is another option. Dig a trench around the entire porch or other occupied area or crawl space and bury the edge of the screen to prevent the skunk from digging under it.

You can unseal the entrance to the den if you notice the skunk pacing or digging to get back in, as young skunks are likely trapped inside. Once the babies are out, you can work on getting rid of the skunk.

How to Stop a Skunk From Spraying – The best way

Skunks are nocturnal small animals and excellent diggers, about the size of a medium cat, equipped with powerful scent glands in their hind end. They use these musk glands in self-defense.

Wild skunks gravitate toward residential areas because of the ready supply of food. Skunks are also sometimes kept as pets. Whatever the case, when you encounter a skunk that feels threatened, the animal will make a strange purring noise, lift its tail in full bloom, and stomp its feet. It may growl, hiss, or squeal. Unless you take appropriate action, you may be in for a stinky surprise and a skunk spray. That would be an unpleasant skunk encounter.

In the Wild

Stay quiet; don't make any loud or potentially startling noises. Skunks don't have the best eyesight, but they do have keen hearing.

Freeze. Stop whatever you were doing as a defense mechanism.

Back away slowly and get away from the skunk. An adult skunk can accurately spray ten feet and range up to 25 feet.

In a Domestic Environment

Determine whether your pet skunk has undergone descent. Usually, breeders perform this procedure between 2 and 5 weeks of age, but it's essential to note that not all breeders may have carried out the descending process before selling the animals.

Locate a nearby veterinarian open to working with skunks, as not all veterinarians may have experience dealing with them. Ensure that the chosen veterinarian has expertise in performing scent gland removal procedures, considering the potentially unpleasant smell associated with skunks.

Arrange an appointment with both your local animal control and the veterinarian to proceed with the removal of your pet skunk's anal scent glands. This coordinated effort will help address the issue effectively.

If you still need help removing a skunk after following all the recommendations, seek a professional to catch and relocate the animal.

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