What is a skunk?
Skunks are small mammals with black-and-white striped fur. They have many adaptations that help them survive, but these same traits can make them unwelcome guests in suburban areas.
Where skunk lives?
Skunks live both in solitude and in family groups called “ranchers.” The size of their group depends on the amount of food available. Skunks are omnivores, meaning they eat plants and meat. During summer months, skunks eat lots of insects, larvae, worms, berries and wild fruit.
In winter months when there aren’t as many bugs to eat, skunks dig through snow looking for mushrooms, grubs or carrion (dead animals). Ranchers will also hunt for rodents like mice and voles, which are easy prey. Skunks also leave their scent in specific places to mark their territory.
Skunk’s coat and color
Skunks are well known for their distinctive black and white fur coat. Most skunks have jet-black fur with one or more stripes of white fur on their backs. However, skunks can also come in various colors and patterns, including brown, cream, and even albino. These variations in color and pattern are often dependent on the skunk’s geographic location, as well as its age and genetics. Some of the most common skunk coat variations include:
- Striped Skunks: These are the most common type of skunk, known for their black fur and white stripes.
- Hooded Skunks: These skunks have a hood-shaped white patch on their heads that extends down their back.
- Spotted Skunks: These skunks have a black and white or cream and brown spotted fur pattern.
In addition to their distinctive coats, skunks are also known for their potent scent. Skunks can release a strong-smelling spray from their anal glands when threatened, effectively deterring predators. Despite their reputation as a nuisance, skunks can benefit the environment by feeding on insects and other small animals.
The skunk’s coat is covered in overlapping colors that form a pattern that serves as camouflage when the animal is at rest or not moving. The color pattern can be black with white stripes, all black, brown with white stripes, gray with white stripes or two-toned (light on top and dark underneath).
How to get rid of a skunk in your yard?
It is important to determine where the skunk is getting into your yard. The body of a skunk can’t fit through most mosquito netting or chicken wire, so it has to be crawling through an open hole.
Start scaring the skunk away gradually, by making noise and movement in its vicinity. If there are no holes around, you might have to trap one end of the fence with something, then slowly push one side of an adjacent fence towards that object until it squeezes shut over top of the first fence. Now close the remaining hole with any type of fencing. When you hear scraping noises, stop pushing right away. Skunks do not like being closed in anywhere without an exit route, they will try to escape, and they will spray when cornered.
Make noise in their area. If you can’t make loud noises like banging pots and pans together (too much chance of the skunk actually approaching if it is comfortable), then use sound amplification equipment over their hole or entrance into your yard. A radio with a microphone could work but will need batteries consistently kept charged if there isn’t an outlet nearby. The best solutions though are:
- When playing back bird noises at night, occasionally play them backward so that the animal wonders whether it heard the real thing or not.
- Move speakers around constantly for this purpose, if possible, play back multiple versions of bird sounds such as mating calls and territorial defense calls.
Skunks are cautious by nature, so it is best to use a high pitched bird call rather than a low pitched one which would be better for scaring off a bear in your garden. This also goes for playback of coyote and fox sounds too.
After playing back the sound, leave the radio but keep any doors or windows closed overnight. If possible move speakers around like mentioned above because this may make him/her think the animal has returned.
The next day, if you feel safe enough to do so, continue making noise and movement in that area again. Be sure to check all the places skunks can get into your yard from. Also, consider putting several buckets of water around your deck at ground level just outside your house with the lids off if there is a chance they might come onto your deck.
In several hours or overnight the skunk may have moved on but you will have made it very uncomfortable for them to stay near where it feels threatened by these nocturnal animals. This method is best used in conjunction with a motion trigger sprinkler system because once a skunk sprays.
Try air freshener
Try air freshener. The scent from commercial air fresheners, especially ones with strong scents like vanilla or cinnamon will give skunks the impression that someone else has taken up residence there and will move away faster. Another option would be spraying some peppermint oil around the perimeter of your yard which also works well at repelling skunks.
Use ultrasonic device
Use an ultrasonic device. Some people swear by these devices at getting rid of skunks without the need for chemicals or traps. Simply plug one in and it will emit a high frequency sound which you can’t hear but skunks definitely can. As soon as they start to notice the irritating noise, they’ll hightail it out of there! You might still want to try some air freshener too since it may be more efficient than just using an ultrasonic device alone.
Use lights and sound
Scare them away with lights and sounds. Skunks are easily scared by bright lights, loud noises like sirens or even your kids banging pots like they do in old ghost movies so if any of those things happen near their burrow they will be more likely to leave.
Use strong smell
Use a long line of strong smelling objects like coffee grinds, cinnamon sticks or even some moth balls and place them along the walls near their burrow entrance. This may just be enough to force them out of your yard without having any permanent effects on the skunk since it won’t actually come into contact with the smelly items.
Use moth balls
Use moth balls near the entrance of their den. Skunks are easily offended by strong smells so they might just decide to move on in hopes that you won’t be using any more nasty things for them to smell. Make sure your area doesn’t get too hot since if it does, the moth balls could cause fires inside their den! If you live in an area where skunks do not reside, don’t put mothballs under decks or sheds since they might attract skunks into your yard after they wander through.
Try peppermint oil
Try peppermint oil around the perimeter of your yard. This is another great option because like the air freshener and even moth balls, it is natural and will not cause any permanent harm to pets or foliage. However, you should keep in mind that peppermint oil is a strong smell so don’t use too much or your yard might just smell like a candy factory.
Install a fence around your yard. If all else fails or maybe you are still worried about whether or not any of these methods are safe with pets and plants, then potentially the best way to keep skunks out would be by installing a fence.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is it easy to get rid of skunks?
Yes, you can do it easily. But this task is tricky.
- What is the easiest way to get rid of skunks?
Most easiest and simple way is by producing sound and smell also.