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Ways to Get Rid of Skunks

Skunks, who are infamous for their foul odor and nuisance to humans, can carry rabies too. Here are some tips to get rid of these smelly animals.
Sonia Nair Apr 29, 2019
Skunks can cause nuisance to humans by burrowing under buildings, feeding on poultry, and emitting a foul odor. They can damage vegetable gardens, lawns, and beehives. They can be carriers of rabies, and can also be infected with Aleutians disease, tularemia, and distemper.
Parasites, like fleas, lice, ticks, tapeworms, and flatworms, can affect these animals. Hence, it is important to get rid of skunks from your place.
Skunks are nocturnal scavengers, and they feed on anything, from garbage to insects and poultry. Once they get something to feed, from your place; it will encourage them to visit the place more often.
So the first and foremost thing is to remove the food source. Another way is to modify your habitat, to prevent them from making a shelter in your land. Use of repellents and deterrents may also prove effective. Finally, you can evict those who have already made a den, through fumigation and trapping.

Removal of Food Source

Skunks are omnivores, who can eat insects and larvae, earthworms, small rodents, birds, eggs, berries, roots, leaves, grasses, fungi, and nuts. In settled areas, they act as scavengers, and feed on garbage, bees, pet food, and animal carcasses.
As they are nocturnal, you must avoid keeping pet food outside, during nighttime. For the same reason, garbage should not be kept outside. If that is not possible, then secure it with a tight lid or by fencing, as skunks cannot climb tall fences.
You have to clean your vegetable garden and lawn regularly; to remove rotting vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries, and leaves. Such debris attracts rodents, insects, and larvae. The skunks can feast on the rotting waste as well as the rodents and insects.
Pest control programs to ward off insects and rodents are also beneficial. You should minimize the usage of easily accessible water sources and bird feeder spills.

Modify Your Habitat

Your habitat may have many places which can be possible shelters for skunks. You can enclose open areas with three-foot high wire mesh. The fence should be one foot deep inside the ground, to prevent the animals from burrowing.
Fence the areas which may interest skunks. They include garden, compost pit, and poultry farm. Fill in the holes and ditches around your home; and seal the ones underneath the house, sheds, decks, and other structures above the ground. Avoid keeping lumber and junk materials, as they may provide shelter to the skunks.

Repellents and Deterrents

Even though numerous commercial repellents are available, very few give consistent results. Clothes or cotton balls soaked in ammonia are found to be effective against skunks.
You have to replace the clothes regularly, as ammonia evaporates, and the skunks will come back. Even naphthalene balls in large numbers are reported to be useful for this purpose. There are reports that dog and cat repellents are also effective against skunks.
Some people use the urine of dogs, coyote, and other predators, as skunk repellents. They are now available in market, and the only thing to remember is to reapply such repellents, after rainfall. It is also said that, skunks cannot tolerate the smell of citrus fruits.
So, you can spread orange or lemon peels in your surroundings. Skunks are very sensitive to light, as they are nocturnal animals. Hence, using a motion sensor flood light can frighten these animals, and prevent them from entering the premises.

Eviction of Skunks

If skunks have already found their shelter in your land, you can evict them using these methods. Fumigate the burrows of these animals. Gas cartridges are available for this purpose, and fumigation can cause death of skunks due to suffocation or by inhalation of toxic gases. Always use it carefully as per the manufacturer instructions to avoid hazards.
If the law allows you to use traps for skunks, then you can resort to that method. If trapped, take the trap out of the town, and leave the skunk in a secluded place. You may evict skunks by placing repellents, like ammonia, inside their burrows. Eviction of skunks should be done with utmost care, because skunk bite is harmful.
The best thing to do, is to prevent them from entering your premises. Keep your premises clean, and get rid of skunks in a healthy way.