Effective Ways to Keep Skunks Away from Your Property

Skunks are fascinating creatures, but they can be a nuisance when it comes to your property. They have a strong sense of smell that makes them attracted to food and shelter, which can result in unpleasant encounters with humans. Skunks are not only known for their pungent odor, but they can also cause damage to your yard, garden, and even your home. In fact, according to the National Pest Management Association, skunk infestations have increased over the last few years due to urbanization and habitat loss. Therefore, it is important to know how to keep skunks away from your property in a humane and effective way. This article will provide you with some useful tips and methods to prevent skunks from becoming a problem on your property.


Skunks are adorable creatures with their bushy tails and distinctive stripes. However, despite their cute appearance, they can be a nuisance to homeowners and businesses alike. Skunks can cause damage to property, dig up lawns, and pose a health risk due to their strong odor and potential for carrying diseases like rabies. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore effective ways to keep skunks away from your property. From understanding skunk behaviors to eliminating attractants, sealing your property, using natural repellents, or calling a professional, we will cover all the essential information you need to know. By the end of this article, you will have the knowledge and tools necessary to protect yourself and your property from these pesky critters. So, let’s get started!

Understand the Behavior of Skunks

Skunk Habits and Behaviors

Skunk Habits and Behaviors

Understanding the habits and behaviors of skunks is essential in keeping them away from your property. Skunks are known to be primarily nocturnal animals, meaning they are most active during the night. During the day, skunks usually rest in their dens or burrows.

One of the most common reasons skunks venture into residential neighborhoods is in search of food. Skunks have a very keen sense of smell and can detect food from a distance. They will often search for food in garbage cans, compost piles, and bird feeders. Skunks are omnivorous and will eat almost anything, including insects, small animals, fruits, and vegetables.

Skunks are also known for their defensive mechanism – spraying a foul-smelling liquid when threatened. This spray can cause temporary blindness, nausea, and irritation of the skin and eyes. It’s important to note that skunks will only use this defense mechanism as a last resort.

When feeling threatened, skunks will usually give a warning sign by stomping their feet or hissing. If these warnings are ignored, they will then turn around and lift their tail to spray. Therefore, it’s crucial to give skunks ample space and avoid getting too close to them.

By understanding these habits and behaviors, you can take preventative steps to keep skunks away from your property. Eliminating attractants such as garbage and securing your compost pile can significantly reduce the likelihood of attracting skunks to your property.

Eliminate Attractants on Your Property

Disposing of Garbage Properly

Disposing of Garbage Properly

Skunks are attracted to the smell of garbage and food waste, making it important to dispose of it properly to keep them away from your property. Here are some tips for disposing of garbage effectively:

  • Seal trash cans: Make sure your trash cans have tight-fitting lids and are securely closed. This will prevent skunks from accessing the contents inside.

  • Use animal-proof containers: Consider using metal or heavy-duty plastic containers with locking lids to further deter skunks from getting into your trash. You can also purchase specially designed animal-proof containers that are designed to keep skunks and other animals out.

It’s important to note that even if you dispose of your garbage properly, skunks may still be attracted to the scent. If you continue to have issues with skunks on your property, it may be necessary to take additional measures such as sealing your property or using natural repellents.

In addition to keeping skunks away, proper garbage disposal has numerous benefits for the environment and prevents unwanted pests from invading your home. By taking these simple steps, you can help maintain a clean and safe living space for you and your family.

Remove Bird Feeders

Remove Bird Feeders

Bird feeders are a common feature in many backyards, attracting a wide variety of birds and providing them with a regular source of food. However, these feeders can also attract unwanted wildlife, such as skunks. Skunks are opportunistic feeders, and they are attracted to the seeds and other foods found in bird feeders.

Skunks are known for their nocturnal habits, so bird feeders left out overnight can be an easy target for these creatures. Skunks have a keen sense of smell and can detect food sources from long distances. Once they find a bird feeder, they can easily climb up a pole or jump onto a hanging feeder to access the food inside.

Removing bird feeders is one effective way to keep skunks away from your property. If you must have bird feeders in your yard, it is recommended that you bring them inside at night when skunks are most active. This will reduce the chances of skunks being attracted to your yard and potentially causing damage.

Another option is to switch to different types of bird feeders, such as those designed to prevent larger animals like skunks from accessing the food. These feeders often have mechanisms in place to keep the feeder closed when heavier animals step on them.

In addition to removing bird feeders, it is important to clean up any spilled birdseed regularly. Skunks are attracted to the smell of the seed, so cleaning up after the birds can help to prevent skunks from being drawn to your yard.

Overall, removing bird feeders or taking steps to make them less accessible to skunks can be an effective way to keep these creatures away from your property. By doing so, you can reduce the likelihood of damage to your yard and home, as well as avoid potential conflicts with skunks.

Composting the Right Way

Composting the Right Way

Composting is an excellent way to reduce waste while creating nutrient-rich soil for your garden. However, improper composting techniques can also attract pests like skunks to your property. In this section, we will discuss proper composting techniques to avoid attracting skunks and other unwanted wildlife.

Firstly, it’s essential to know what should and should not be composted. Do not compost meat, dairy products, or fatty foods as these items can attract skunks and other animals. Stick to composting fruits, vegetables, leaves, grass clippings, and other plant-based materials. Also, avoid adding pet waste to your compost pile as it can carry harmful bacteria that can contaminate your soil.

Secondly, ensure that your compost pile is properly maintained. Turn your compost regularly to provide adequate aeration and distribute moisture evenly. A well-maintained compost pile should have a balanced ratio of green and brown materials. Greens contain nitrogen and include items like fruit and vegetable scraps, while browns contain carbon and include things like leaves and twigs. A proper balance between greens and browns ensures that your compost heap doesn’t become too wet or too dry and reduces unwanted odors that can attract skunks.

Thirdly, cover your compost pile with a lid or mesh material to keep skunks and other animals from accessing it. Skunks are attracted to the smell of decomposing organic material and will dig through your compost heap to get to it. By covering your compost pile, you make it less accessible to skunks and other wildlife, reducing the likelihood of them rummaging through it.

In conclusion, composting is an excellent practice for reducing waste and creating nutrient-rich soil for your garden. Proper composting techniques are crucial to avoid attracting skunks and other unwanted wildlife. Remember to only compost plant-based materials, maintain a balanced ratio of greens and browns, and cover your compost pile to keep skunks away. By following these tips, you can enjoy the benefits of composting without worrying about attracting skunks to your property.

Seal Your Property

Sealing Your Property

Sealing Your Property

Skunks are notorious for finding their way into homes and other structures in search of food or shelter. However, with some simple steps, you can effectively seal your property and prevent skunks from entering.

Cracks in Foundation

The first step in sealing your property is to inspect the foundation for any cracks or gaps that may provide an entry point for skunks. These can often be found near utility openings or where pipes enter the home. Use a sealant or caulk specifically designed for masonry to fill any gaps.

Ventilation Openings

Attic vents and other openings on the roof or walls are common entry points for skunks. To prevent these unwanted visitors, install screens over all ventilation openings. These screens should be made of durable materials such as wire mesh or hardware cloth.

Chimney Covers

Chimneys are another common entry point for skunks. Installing a chimney cover will help prevent skunks from accessing the interior of your home through the chimney. Make sure to use a cover that is securely attached and properly sized for your chimney.

Sealing Doors and Windows

Skunks can also enter your home through doors and windows that are not properly sealed. Make sure all doors and windows have tight-fitting screens and weatherstripping. Install door sweeps on exterior doors to prevent skunks from squeezing through small gaps.

By taking these measures, you can effectively seal your property and prevent skunks from entering. It’s important to act quickly if you suspect a skunk has already gained access to your home. In this case, it’s best to contact a licensed wildlife control professional who can safely remove the skunk and prevent further damage to your property.

Fencing Your Property

Fencing Your Property

If you have been struggling to keep skunks away from your property, installing a fence can be an effective solution. A fence can keep skunks out of your yard and provide a physical barrier that is difficult for them to climb over.

The first step in fencing your property is to choose the right type of fence. Wire mesh fencing is a popular option for keeping skunks out as they are unable to dig or chew through it. It is also durable, long-lasting, and easy to install. You can use wire mesh fencing to create a perimeter around your property or to enclose certain areas such as gardens or garbage cans.

Once you have decided on the type of fence, it’s time to start the installation process. Before you begin, check with your local government to make sure you are following any regulations or guidelines regarding fence installation. You may need to obtain a permit or adhere to specific height and distance requirements.

When installing a fence to keep skunks away, it’s important to bury the bottom of the fence at least a foot deep. This will prevent skunks from digging underneath it to gain access to your yard. It’s also a good idea to angle the buried portion of the fence outward to further discourage digging.

For added protection, consider adding an electric wire to the top of the fence. This will deter not only skunks but also other wildlife from trying to climb over the fence.

One thing to keep in mind when using a fence to keep skunks away is that they are excellent climbers and jumpers. Make sure your fence is at least four feet tall and that there are no nearby trees or structures that they can use to climb over it.

In conclusion, fencing your property with wire mesh is an effective way to keep skunks away. By selecting the right type of fence, burying the bottom portion, and possibly adding an electric wire, you can enjoy a skunk-free yard.

Preventing Burrows

Preventing Burrows

Skunks are notorious for digging burrows on your property, which can lead to structural damages, safety hazards, and unpleasant odors. To prevent skunks from creating burrows, you should take steps to modify your yard accordingly.

Burrow Prevention

Burrow prevention is an essential step in keeping skunks away from your property. You can start by removing any piles of debris or clutter that may attract skunks to your yard. Additionally, make sure to seal off any potential entry points, such as gaps beneath sheds, porches, or decks, with sturdy barriers like wire mesh fencing.

Gravel Installation

Another effective way to prevent skunk burrows is to install gravel around the perimeter of your property. This creates a barrier that skunks won’t want to dig through. To install gravel, follow these easy steps:

  • First, mark the area where you want the gravel to be placed.
  • Next, remove any grass or vegetation from the marked area.
  • Then, dig a trench around the perimeter, about 6 inches deep and 12 inches wide.
  • Fill the trench with gravel and smooth it out using a rake until it’s level with the ground surface.

By installing gravel, you’ll not only prevent skunks from burrowing but also improve drainage in your yard.

In conclusion, preventing burrows is a crucial part of keeping skunks away from your property. By removing attractants and installing gravel barriers, you can effectively eliminate the risk of skunks burrowing and causing damage. If you’re still having trouble with skunks, don’t hesitate to call a licensed wildlife control professional for assistance.

Natural Repellents

Plants that Keep Skunks Away

Plants can be a great way to keep skunks away from your property. Skunks have a strong sense of smell and prefer staying away from plants with pungent odors. Here are some plants that can help repel skunks:

Marigold Plants

Marigold plants have a distinct fragrance that keeps skunks at bay. The bright, yellow flowers not only add color to your garden but also serve as an effective natural repellent. Marigold plants can be grown in pots or planted directly in the ground, making it a perfect addition to any garden.


Daffodils are another plant that can help keep skunks away. These beautiful, trumpet-shaped flowers contain lycorine, which is toxic to many animals, including skunks. Planting daffodils around the perimeter of your yard or garden can help deter skunks from entering.


Alliums, including onions, chives, leeks, and garlic, have a strong scent that can repel skunks. These plants can be easily grown in containers or in the ground. Garlic, in particular, has been known to keep skunks away due to its pungent smell.


Garlic is one of the most effective plants for keeping skunks away. It not only repels skunks but also other pests like mosquitoes and ticks. You can plant garlic bulbs in your garden or grow them in pots. You can even crush garlic cloves and sprinkle the pieces around your yard to create a barrier that skunks won’t cross.

While these plants can help keep skunks away, they are not a foolproof solution. You should still take precautions like sealing entry points and removing attractants to further reduce the chances of skunk activity on your property.

Other Natural Repellents

Other Natural Repellents

While there are various effective ways to keep skunks away from your property, natural repellents can also work wonders. Two of the best natural repellents are citrus peels and hot pepper spray.

Citrus Peels

Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits can be used to deter skunks from your yard. Skunks are repelled by the strong smell of citrus, which they find unpleasant. To use this method, simply scatter citrus peels around your garden or any area where you want to keep skunks away. You may also rub the peels on trees, bushes, and other plants. This will create a barrier that will prevent skunks from approaching those areas.

Hot Pepper Spray

Another effective way to keep skunks away is to use hot pepper spray. Capsaicin, the ingredient responsible for the spicy taste of peppers, is known to irritate the eyes and nose of animals, including skunks. To make hot pepper spray, mix one tablespoon of cayenne pepper and one chopped onion in a liter of water. Let the mixture steep overnight and strain it the next day. Transfer the liquid into a spray bottle and apply it to the areas where skunks are likely to frequent.

It’s important to note that while natural repellents can be effective, they may not work for every situation. If you’re dealing with a particularly persistent skunk problem, it’s best to consult a licensed wildlife control professional who can assess the situation and recommend the best course of action.

In summary, using natural repellents like citrus peels and hot pepper spray can be an eco-friendly and humane way to keep skunks away from your property. With these methods, you can enjoy a skunk-free environment without causing harm to these nocturnal animals.

Professional Skunk Removal Services

When to Call a Professional

When to Call a Professional

While there are several effective methods for keeping skunks away from your property, sometimes it’s best to leave the task to a professional. Here are some situations where calling a licensed wildlife control expert is recommended:

Recurring Skunk Activity

If you have tried various solutions to keep skunks away from your yard, but they keep returning, it may be time to consult with a professional. A wildlife control specialist can provide a thorough inspection of your property to identify any areas that may be attracting skunks. They can also develop a customized plan to deter skunks and prevent them from coming back.

Damage to Property

Skunks can cause significant damage to your lawn, garden, or property. Their digging habits can create unsightly holes and patches in your lawn, while their burrowing activities can damage the foundation of your home or other structures on your property. If you notice signs of skunk damage around your property, it’s important to act quickly before the damage worsens. A professional wildlife control service can assess the extent of the damage and provide appropriate solutions.

Health Risks

Skunks are known carriers of diseases like rabies and leptospirosis, which can pose serious health risks to you and your family. If you or your pets come into contact with a skunk, or if you suspect there is a den or nest on your property, it’s important to seek help from a professional. A licensed wildlife control expert has the knowledge and experience to safely remove skunks and prevent any potential health hazards.

In summary, while there are many DIY solutions for keeping skunks away, there are times when it’s best to call a professional. If you’re dealing with recurring skunk activity, property damage, or health risks, don’t hesitate to seek help from an experienced wildlife control specialist.
Skunks can be a nuisance if they frequent your property, but with the right methods, you can keep them away. Understanding skunk behavior and eliminating attractants are important steps to take. Sealing your property and using natural repellents are also effective ways to keep them away. If all else fails, calling a professional skunk removal service may be necessary. Remember, prevention is key, so taking proactive measures can save you trouble and money in the long run. With these tips, you can keep your property skunk-free and enjoy your outdoor space without any unwelcome visitors.

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