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How to Keep Skunks Away From House

Five steps to keep skunks away, involving habitat modification and food sources:
  • 1 - Keep pet food indoors and secure garbage cans. Food remains the greatest pull for wandering wildlife. If possible, store your trash bins indoors at night, so their smell doesn't attract skunks.
  • 2 - Remove fruit that has fallen from your trees, especially those that produce nuts, berries, crabapples, or other fruits. Pick them as soon as they ripen and rake your yard as often as necessary.
  • 3 - Remove brush piles; use gravel, fencing, or plywood to seal all holes and entrance points to locations that a skunk may find suitable for a home – like under an elevated house, a porch, sheds, decks, and foundations. Do same for barns and poultry houses.
  • 4 - Apply a topical application to your lawn grass to eliminate food sources for the skunk.
  • 5 - Skunks don’t usually make their own shelter but use dens that have been abandoned by other wildlife. Inspect your property and block all holes and burrows.
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SKUNK PREVENTION TIPS - Skunks are generally easy-going animals and their occasional presence in neighborhood area can mean well for the inhabitants because they would help in eliminating common insect and rodent pests. Despite this, the natural musky scent and the matter of their notorious defensive spray means that most home owners loathe having skunks around.

Skunks dig small holes in the lawn and eat low garden crops; they destroy landscape when they dig under grass to search for worms and insects to eat. They have also been known to wander into open outhouses, leaving their persistent smell everywhere they visit – under a building, woodpile, or shed. Needless to say, if you have had an encounter with a skunk in your home, you will do as much as you can to prevent their possible return! Here are some tips to prevent a skunk visitation in your house:

2. Skunk repellents – while wildlife experts insist that habitat modification and removal are the only effective ways of preventing skunks, several repellent substances are available commercially for preventing skunk. Most do not keep away skunks.
  • Predator urine. Skunk deterrents are sold commercially and most of them are based on fox and dog urine as they are major predators of the skunk. These products come in liquid or granule form and may require mixing with other ingredients. However, these predator urine based products do not exactly have a great track record in repelling skunk. If you can source it, straight dog urine has a slightly better chance.
  • Pepper sprays are believed to deter skunk and other wildlife. Spray them on trees and other areas where you've sighted the traces of a skunk.
  • Ammonia is reputed to work in repelling most wildlife due to its pungent smell. Placed old rags dipped in ammonia under your deck or porch to keep skunks out. Ammonia is particularly distressing to the eyes and nose of wildlife and has a better chance at being effective when applied in an enclosed space.
  • Citrus peels have natural repellent qualities. Scatter orange or lemon peels around your property and under your deck or porch. Click here to read more about skunk repellent
  • Install bright lights in your yard. This will discourage the skunk as it is nocturnal by nature, but certainly is not a foolproof way to keep away skunks.
  • Motion activated sprinklers: these are placed out in the yard and working with a motion sensor, would spray any animal that passes with water. This is meant to startle them into running away, but again, a sprinkle of water would scarcely drive a hungry skunk away for long. They usually find a way around it with time.
In all, the only way to really keep the skunk out of your property is to remove all traces of food and to proof your building by blocking all possible entry points as well as shelter options for the skunk. You could also kill the skunk if you don't want it around - read how to kill skunks - but that's not really necessary. For more information about how to keep away skunks, go to my skunk removal information page. More skunk prevention tips can be found there.



How to keep skunks away from your property: Skunks are generally easy-going animals and they help in eliminating common insect and rodent pests. In spite of this, the matter of their notorious defensive spray means that most home owners loathe having skunks around. They also destroy lawns and gardens with their digging habit.

Keeping skunks away from your property frequently requires a combination of prevention and exclusion strategies, with humane removal where the animal is already in residence.

Habitat Modification and Removal of Food Sources
Food is the major attractant for wildlife on private properties. Keep pet food indoors and secure garbage cans if they must be outside. If possible, store your trash bins indoors at night, so their smell doesn't attract neighborhood skunks.

Remove fruit that has fallen from your trees. Pick them as soon as they ripen and rake your yard as often as necessary.

Inspect your property and block all holes and burrows that are potential hideouts for the skunk. Block all accessible porches, sheds, decks, and under elevated houses and foundations. Be sure to remove brush piles; use gravel, fencing, or plywood to seal all holes and potential entries. Do same for barns and poultry houses.

Skunk Repellents
These repellent substances also exist and may be used in combination with other methods:

- Predator urine. Most of them are based on fox and dog urine as they are the skunk’s major predators. These products come in liquid or granule form and may require mixing with other ingredients. If you can source it, straight dog urine has a slightly better chance.
- Pepper sprays are believed to deter skunk and other wildlife. Spray them on trees and other areas where you've sighted the traces of a skunk
- Ammonia. Place old rags dipped in ammonia under your deck or porch to keep skunks out. It is particularly distressing to the eyes and nose of wildlife and has a better chance at being effective when applied in an enclosed space.
- Citrus peels have natural repellent qualities. Scatter orange or lemon peels around your property and under your deck or porch
- Install bright lights in your yard. This will discourage the skunk as it is nocturnal by nature.

A note of caution: skunks are rarely active during the day and while the sighting of one in daytime may only be due to hunger, it may also mean that the skunk is rabid! If you suspect that it is, do not attempt to get rid of the skunk by yourself, but alert your local animal department, a wildlife expert, or the police department for help.

Also read:
Do mothballs and ammonia help repel skunks?

Go back to the Skunk Removal page.

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