How to Get Rid of Skunks

This is another excellent article from Mike McGroaty.  For more from Mike, go here: The pics are my addition.  I personally prefer a more humane catch and release.

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How to Get Rid of Skunks

Skunks tend to live as close to a food source as possible,
so be careful to not inadvertently provide food sources
for them.  Skunks eat insects, grubs, garbage, bird seed,
fruit, vegetables and small mammals.

In a residential area skunks usually make a home under
a garden shed, in a wood pile, a rock pile or in a
ditch.  Skunks are nocturnal and are rarely seen during
the daytime hours.

Skunks mate in late winter, early spring with a gestation
period of 63 days.  A litter of skunks can be as
few as two or as many as ten babies.  The babies are
usually born in late April or early May and will remain
with the mother all summer long.  They finally leave
home in the fall.

Skunks foraging for food can do a lot of damage to your
lawn digging up clumps of grass at a time or rolling
back large areas of sod.  Skunks really like Japanese
Beetle grubs so if you have a skunk doing considerable
damage to your lawn chances are you have a grub problem
and the grubs are quietly doing as much if not more
damage to your lawn.

Treat your lawn with an grub control product to eliminate
Japanese Beetle grubs.  Skunks love fruit that has fallen
to the ground, keep the area under fruit trees raked up.

Fence in your vegetable garden, skunks are poor climbers
and won’t be able to scale the fence.  However, they can
dig under the fence so bury the fence about 12″ in the

If you suspect you have a skunk under a shed or in a
wood pile you have a few options.  You can catch them
in a live trap, but in most states it’s illegal to relocate
them because they carry rabies and other disease.  Consult
with your local animal control office for advice in this
area.  Skunks are fairly easy to trap because they will
go to great lengths when they smell peanut butter, bacon
or any other food with a strong aroma.

Use a trap designed for skunks so they don’t have enough
room in the trap to get into a spraying position.

Another option is to make them feel unwelcome.  Skunks
do not like bright light.  I’ve heard of people shining
bright lights under the shed and or playing talk radio for
them.  However, lights are a fire hazard and an electrical
shock danger.

The better option is to wait until the skunk has left
the den and then you can seal the den off with wire screen
that closes off the opening and is buried at least 12″ into
the ground.  Skunks typically come out right at dusk and stay
out most of the night.  Think about the timing of your
efforts.  From May until late August there could be young
in the den all night long.

Not sure if the skunk has left yet?  During the daytime
sprinkle baking flower around the area then you can check
for tracks after dark and know that the skunk is out and

I hope this helps!

My book, Easy Plant Propagation” makes an excellent
gift for the gardener in your life.  Surprise somebody
with a signed copy!

Chris, do me a favor and send this newsletter
to at least three of your gardening friends and tell them
why you like me,or why you don’t like me.  Okey dokey?

Take care, have a great day and by all means stay inspired!
-Mike McGroarty


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