If you have smelled skunk spray before, you know it is an unpleasant, putrid smell that lingers for a long time. It is no surprise that the scientific name for the skunk species is mephitis mephitis, which originates from the ancient Roman goddess of poisonous vapors, and literally translates to “bad odor bad odor.” But bad odors are not the only threat skunks pose; after all, they are considered a nuisance species for a reason.
Continue reading to learn more about skunk control, including 3 easy steps to getting rid of them for good.
Nuisance Skunk Problems
Aside from odorous spraying, skunks will also cause property damage. They are well-known for digging up lawns in search of grubs to eat, which make yards look more like a construction site. Lawn damages caused by skunks can take several seasons to repair, which is incredibly frustrating for home and property owners who take pride in a beautiful and healthy landscape.
Another reason you don’t want skunks around is for safety. Skunks are known carriers of several infectious and transmissible diseases that can be passed along to both people and pets. For this reason, it is vital to always stay current on your pet’s annual vaccinations. Although less serious, you also do not want your curious little pet becoming a victim of a skunk spraying. If this happens, you can look forward to a tedious and smelly bath session. See our blog, “What To Do if a Skunk Sprays Your Dog” for some help on this matter.
As for getting rid of skunks themselves, try these three safe and humane approaches:
❶ Eliminate their Food Source
As mentioned, skunks will dig up lawns and gardens looking for juicy grubs and other worms to eat. Of course, they will also steal any yields they find in the garden. See our blog, “3 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Lawn Grubs” to learn how to get started. To protect your gardens, try growing a natural fence that repels skunks and other wildlife, such as cucumbers or marigolds. They hate the prickly stems and leaves, and will not cross through them to get to your crops. Other food sources to eliminate include water dishes, pet food, compost, and garbage.
❷ Eliminate Sources of Shelter
If skunks have several great hiding spots, they will prefer that area over others. The privacy and shelter gives them comfort because they feel safe from predators. If you have a lot of places on your property that would be perfect for a skunk hideout, you must get rid of them to thwart skunk activity. Things like log piles, hollowed tree trunks, and abandoned junk are perfect hiding spots for skunks. Make it harder for them to have privacy, and they will no longer feel safe on your property.
❸ Use a Repellent
You can make a homemade, non-toxic repellent that is safe and humane to use against skunks, other wildlife, and the environment. All you need is a plastic spray bottle, some household spices or essential oils, and fresh water. Use ingredients like cayenne pepper, black pepper, menthol, peppermint, spearmint, or eucalyptus. Skunks hate these scents and sensations, and will stay far away from them. Simply spray the solution around the perimeter of your yard, and more generously in the areas where you notice heightened activity. Be sure to supervise pets outdoors while making these applications because this solution will also irritate their senses.