How to Get Rid of Skunks in the Backyard: Expert Tips & Tricks

how to get rid of skunks in the backyard

Do you have a skunk problem in your backyard? Skunks are attracted to yards that provide food, water, and shelter. Unfortunately, they can also cause damage to your property and emit a pungent odor that’s hard to ignore. But don’t worry, there are humane and effective ways to get rid of skunks in your backyard.

Post Summary:
  • Skunks are attracted to food, water, and shelter in your yard.
  • There are natural and commercial skunk repellents that can help keep them away.
  • Humane methods, such as live trapping, are recommended for removing skunks from your yard.

Understanding Skunk Behavior

Before you can effectively keep skunks away from your yard, it’s important to understand their behavior and what may be attracting them.

Skunks are omnivores and are attracted to food sources such as garbage, pet food, and birdseed. They are also drawn to areas with dense vegetation and spaces to hide.

Skunks are known for their distinctive odor, which they use as a defense mechanism when they feel threatened. They may also spray their odor to mark their territory.

Skunks are nocturnal and prefer to stay in one area for a few days at a time. They may create a nest in a burrow, under a deck, or in a crawl space.

To keep skunks away from your yard, it’s important to eliminate any potential food sources and make sure your yard is not a desirable habitat for skunks.

Preventing Skunks from Nesting in Your Yard

To prevent skunks from nesting in your yard, it’s important to seal off any potential entrances to burrows or crawl spaces. Use wire mesh or another sturdy material to prevent skunks from digging or creating new entrances.

You can also discourage skunks from nesting in your yard by removing any clutter, such as piles of leaves or debris, that may provide a hiding place for skunks.

Natural Remedies for Skunk Control

If you’re looking for natural ways to keep skunks away from your yard, there are several methods you can try. These DIY skunk deterrents are not harmful to the animals or the environment, making them a safe and effective option for skunk control.

Homemade Skunk Repellent Sprays

One of the most popular natural skunk deterrents is a homemade spray. This mixture can be made with common household ingredients such as vinegar, hot peppers, and dish soap. The strong odor of these ingredients will repel skunks and keep them away from your yard. To create the spray, mix one tablespoon of cayenne pepper, one chopped jalapeno pepper, one chopped onion, and one tablespoon of dish soap with one gallon of water. Spray the mixture around the perimeter of your yard and any areas where skunks may be nesting.

Skunk-Repelling Plants

Another natural way to keep skunks away from your yard is by planting skunk-repelling plants. These include herbs such as mint, lavender, and rosemary, as well as flowers like marigolds, daffodils, and alliums. These plants release strong scents that skunks find unpleasant, making them less likely to come near your yard. Plant them around the perimeter of your yard, near potential nesting areas or wherever skunks have been spotted.

Removing Food Sources

Skunks are attracted to food sources such as garbage, pet food, and birdseed. To prevent skunks from coming into your yard, make sure to secure your garbage cans and remove any leftover food or spills from your outdoor eating areas. If you have pets, feed them indoors or pick up their food bowls after they finish eating. If you have bird feeders, make sure they are secured and cleaned regularly.

By implementing these natural skunk control methods, you can keep skunks out of your yard without causing any harm to the animals or the environment.

Effective Skunk Repellents

If you’re looking for an efficient and safe way to keep skunks out of your yard, there are plenty of commercial repellents available that can help. These products work by emitting scents and flavors that skunks find unpleasant, deterring them from entering your property.

Product Description
Motion-activated sprinklers These can startle skunks with a sudden burst of water, causing them to flee.
Ultrasonic devices These produce high-pitched sounds that are inaudible to humans but can be uncomfortable for skunks.
Ammonia-soaked rags or cotton balls These emit a strong scent that can repel skunks, but be careful not to place them near openings in your home, as the fumes can be toxic.

It’s important to note that while commercial skunk repellents can be effective, they should never be used as the sole method of skunk removal. Instead, they should be used in conjunction with other techniques, such as humane trapping and prevention measures.

If you’re dealing with skunk odor in your yard, there are also safe and effective products available for eliminating the smell. Look for enzyme-based cleaners that break down the odor-causing compounds instead of simply masking them with fragrances.

Humane Skunk Removal Methods

If you have a skunk problem in your backyard, it’s important to remove them safely and humanely. Here are some tips for humane skunk removal:

Live Traps

Live traps are an effective and humane way to capture skunks. These traps allow you to trap the skunk and then release it in a safe location away from your property. When using live traps, it’s important to check them regularly to ensure that the skunk doesn’t remain trapped for an extended period.

Contact a Wildlife Control Service

If you’re not comfortable handling the skunk removal yourself, or if the skunk has made a burrow on your property, it’s best to contact a wildlife control service. These professionals have the experience and equipment to safely remove the skunk without causing harm to the animal. They can also help you identify potential entry points and offer advice on preventing skunks from returning to your yard.

Getting Rid of Skunk Burrows in the Backyard

If you suspect that skunks have made a burrow in your backyard, it’s important to remove it as soon as possible. Here’s how:

  1. Locate the burrow entrance. Look for holes measuring approximately 3-4 inches in diameter and surrounded by loose soil. Skunks typically dig their burrows in shaded areas, such as under bushes or decks.
  2. Wait until nighttime when skunks are most active, and cover the burrow entrance with a piece of sturdy mesh or chicken wire. Be sure to anchor the edges of the mesh with bricks or rocks to prevent skunks from pushing it aside.
  3. Monitor the burrow entrance from a safe distance to ensure that no skunks are trapped inside. Once you’re certain the burrow is empty, fill it with soil and pack it down firmly to prevent skunks from returning.

It’s important to note that filling a skunk burrow while the animal is still inside can be dangerous. Skunks are known to spray defensively when threatened, and getting sprayed can be a smelly and unpleasant experience.

If you’re uncomfortable handling the removal of a skunk burrow yourself, don’t hesitate to contact a professional wildlife removal service for assistance.

Tips for Skunk-Proofing Your Yard

If you want to keep skunks out of your yard for good, there are a few steps you can take to make your property less attractive to these animals. Follow these tips to skunk-proof your yard:

  • Secure your trash cans: Skunks are attracted to food, so be sure to keep your trash cans tightly sealed and out of reach. Consider using animal-proof trash cans or storing your trash cans in a garage or shed.
  • Remove potential food sources: Skunks will eat just about anything, so be sure to clean up any spills or crumbs around your yard. Don’t leave pet food out overnight, and avoid feeding birds or other wildlife on your property.
  • Install motion-activated lights: Skunks are nocturnal animals, so they are less likely to venture into well-lit areas. Consider installing motion-activated lights around your home and yard to deter skunks from coming too close.
  • Eliminate potential nesting sites: Skunks prefer to nest in dark, quiet places like sheds, decks, and crawl spaces. Be sure to seal off any potential nesting sites and keep these areas well-lit to make them less attractive to skunks.
  • Use fencing: Fencing can be an effective way to keep skunks out of your yard. Be sure to bury the fence at least a few inches into the ground to prevent skunks from digging underneath.
  • Consider skunk-repelling plants: Certain plants, such as marigolds and alliums, are said to have a repellent effect on skunks. Consider planting these around the perimeter of your yard to deter skunks from coming too close.

By following these tips and tricks, you can help ensure that your yard remains skunk-free all year long. Remember, it’s important to use humane methods and avoid causing harm to these animals whenever possible.

Are the Methods to Kill Squirrels in Your Backyard Safe and Humane?

Are the methods to kill squirrels in your backyard safe and humane? It is crucial to prioritize safe and humane squirrel control methods. Killing squirrels may not only raise ethical concerns but also pose potential risks to other wildlife, pets, and even humans. Instead, consider implementing deterrents, such as motion-activated sprinklers or barriers, that encourage squirrels to find alternative habitats without causing harm.


Congratulations! You now have the knowledge and tools to get rid of skunks in your backyard. Remember to always use humane methods and prioritize the safety of both yourself and the skunks. By understanding skunk behavior, using natural and effective repellents, and implementing preventative measures, you can create a skunk-free environment for you and your family. Follow the tips and tricks outlined in this article and enjoy a skunk-free yard!


Q: How do I get rid of skunks in my backyard?

A: There are several effective methods for getting rid of skunks in your backyard. You can try using natural remedies such as homemade deterrent sprays or planting skunk-repelling plants. Alternatively, you can explore commercial skunk repellents or contact a wildlife control service for assistance.

Q: What are some natural remedies for skunk control?

A: Natural remedies for skunk control include homemade deterrent sprays made from ingredients like garlic, vinegar, and hot peppers. You can also try planting skunk-repelling plants such as marigolds or lavender. These methods are environmentally friendly and can help keep skunks away from your yard.

Q: Are there any effective skunk repellents available on the market?

A: Yes, there are commercial skunk repellents that are safe and effective. Look for products that use natural ingredients like essential oils or predator urine. These repellents can be sprayed around your yard to deter skunks from entering.

Q: How can I remove skunks from my backyard without causing harm?

A: There are humane ways to remove skunks from your backyard. You can use live traps to capture the skunks and then release them in a different location away from your property. It’s also a good idea to contact your local wildlife control service for assistance in safely removing skunks.

Q: How do I get rid of skunk burrows in my backyard?

A: To get rid of skunk burrows in your backyard, you can start by identifying the entrances to the burrows. Once identified, you can seal off the entrances with wire mesh or rocks to prevent skunks from using them. It’s important to ensure that all burrow entrances are sealed to discourage skunks from returning.

Q: What are some tips for skunk-proofing my yard?

A: To skunk-proof your yard, you can start by securing trash cans with tight-fitting lids to prevent skunks from accessing food sources. It’s also important to remove any potential food sources from your yard, such as fallen fruits or pet food. Implementing fencing strategies, like burying wire mesh around the perimeter of your yard, can also help prevent skunks from entering.

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