How to Get Rid of Skunks from Your Yard and Deck

How to get rid of skunks

How To Get Rid Of Skunks And Their Scent

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You have a problem and you’re trying to find out how to get rid of skunks. There’s nothing more embarrassing than having guests stop by only to be greeted by the pungent aroma of a skunk. It can also be dangerous to have a skunk lurking around, as they are a wild animal and can carry diseases and parasites which can be transferred to your pets. Skunks may have dug up your yard, overturned your trash can, or robbed you of nuts and berries. Whatever the case, you probably just want “Pepe le Pew” out of your yard.

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Skunk Basics

skunks getting rid of them

Skunks can be a nuisance to Pet in Your Yard

Before you learn how to get rid of skunks, you should be aware of some simple facts. Skunks are territorial, solitary creatures, that usually only encounter one another for breeding. In cold climates, skunks may commune together for warmth, but will part ways again once the coldest part of the year has passed. Skunks usually breed once a year, giving birth to four to seven babies. These babies, or kits, may stay with their mother for a full year, leaving only when it’s breeding season.

When your mind thinks of a skunk, the first thing that pops into your head is the noxious odor they release when they’re in danger. This odor is so potent that it can be smelled as far away as a mile. If you’re close to the skunk when it expels its scent gland, you may experience irritation to your skin and eyes. This may be what has led you to find out how to get rid of skunks. If you have been sprayed by a skunk, use a peroxide based wash to get rid of the smell.  Peroxide breaks down the chemicals in the secretion and eliminates the odor quickly.

Legally Evicting The Skunk

Because of declining populations in recent years, skunks are protected in some states. Contact animal control to find out what your options are. Moving or killing a protected animal carries a large fine, and you’ll want to avoid this. If skunks are protected, an animal control officer can offer you advice on how to get rid of skunks safely and legally, or they may take care of the problem for you.

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If you get the thumbs up on getting rid of your skunks, there’s some non-lethal options that you should try first. Make sure your trash can’s lid fits tightly, and can’t easily be knocked off. Clean up debris and fallen fruits or nuts to reduce the food source. This may not be enough to rid yourself of the skunks, and you may wish to attempt to relocate them.

Set up a live trap with bait without setting the spring so that the skunk can come and go as they please for a few days. Once they used to the trap, set the spring and they’ll be captured easily. This is where it can get tricky. A cornered skunk may fight and spray their anal glands. Since skunks can carry rabies, this can be dangerous. It’s a good idea to call animal control after you’ve captured the skunk to ask them to safely remove the animal.

Eliminating The Pest

skunks how to get rid of them

Skunk Roaming Free

If animal control refuses to remove the skunk for you, and you don’t want to take a chance on the risky transport and release, a shotgun is a fast way to kill the animal. Make sure it’s legal before you do it though, or you could find yourself paying a fine. Try to kill the skunk with one shot. Shooting it in the head is a guaranteed way to get the job done. You should be aware however, that a skunk may expunge his scent gland when he dies. Try not to stand downwind, and shoot the animal from the furthest distance possible.

Now that you have a better idea of how to get rid of skunks, you can move forward and plan your attack. Deal with the animal in the most humane way possible, but keep in mind that it can be a danger to you, your pets, and your children. Never attempt to pet a wild animal or feed it. When all else fails, call your local animal control for guidance and assistance.

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