How to Get Rid of Skunks

What do you do when a skunk decides to call your house home? This can be very unpleasant. There are several reasons skunks decide to move into your home. They could be looking for a home of their own, or it could be the presence of food and shelter. If you find that you have unwanted skunks in or around your home, then there are things you can do about it. This page will cover everything from keeping skunks out of your house to what to do if they’re already inside, and how to prevent them in the first place.

What are skunks and how do you recognize them?

Skunks are weasel family members and generally measure about 2-4 feet long, weighing between 10 and 20 pounds. They have long bodies, short legs, and a long pointed tail with a white tip. The skunk’s most distinctive feature is its black fur that covers its head and body except for a white underside. Its coloration provides it with both protection and camouflage as it blends into its surroundings to surprise unsuspecting prey—and predators. They have a long, pointed muzzle and a bushy tail. They can spray their musky scent up to 15 feet to warn predators.

Skunks use their front paws to dig holes in the ground where they live during the winter months and raise their young. They make their dens in abandoned burrows dug by other animals or dig their deep holes in open fields, along hedges, or near buildings. These dens offer an escape from extreme weather conditions and protect them from predators such as coyotes and foxes.

Skunks are generally shy creatures who would rather flee than fight, but they can become very aggressive when threatened or cornered. They can also spray a smelly liquid from their anal glands as a defensive measure. This liquid is highly corrosive and can cause skin irritation and blindness if it comes into contact with your eyes.

What do skunks eat?

Skunks are most active at night and usually forage for food alone or in pairs. However, if skunks have found a possible food source, they may begin to gather in the hundreds, becoming more visible during the day. Skunks are omnivores and consume many different foods, including insects, fruits, vegetables, and small animals. No matter what kind of skunk issue you have, some steps can be taken to deter their presence.

What should you do if you encounter a skunk?

Skunks are nocturnal creatures that like to wander around in the dark. When you spot one, it’s important to remember that the skunk is much more afraid of you than you are of it.

If you see a skunk in your yard or neighborhood, don’t try to approach it. Skunks can be very defensive and may spray if they feel threatened. If you see a skunk inside your home, stay calm and slowly back out of the room. Close all doors behind you so the skunk can’t follow you. Once you’re safely outside, you can contact a professional animal control company to remove the skunk from your property.

If a skunk sprays your dog, you can treat your pet before taking him to the vet by using a mixture of warm water and dishwashing liquid as an antidote.

Skunk smell can be quite potent and linger even after weeks. This can be treated by using a solution of ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide and ¼ cup baking soda in two gallons of hot tap water in a two-bathroom house or up to four gallons in a one-bathroom house.

Why do you need to get rid of skunks?

Skunks are extremely unpopular animals. Not only do they stink and spray everything they touch, but they also carry rabies which makes them even more of a threat. While this is scary enough, nobody wants to deal with these nocturnal creatures or their foul-smelling odor during the night. What’s worse, there are still some people that stand in denial about the dangers posed by skunks.  

Skunks rarely ever bite people. If a skunk is exposed to someone, they usually run away quickly. They are more likely to spray people with their squirt. Unfortunately, the smell can stick around for days and is very smelly.

This can make getting rid of skunks difficult. While there isn’t a surefire way to get rid of skunks, there are ways to reduce the chance of them targeting your property in the future.

How do you keep skunks from getting into your house?

There are several things you can do to keep skunks from getting into your house:

  • Seal up any cracks or holes in your foundation, roof, or siding that might provide access to skunks
  • Install motion-activated lights around your property since skunks are less likely to come out in areas where there is light.
  • Install fencing around your property that’s at least six feet high and has a wire mesh bottom
  • Keep your garbage cans tightly sealed and stored in a garage or shed
  • Don’t leave pet food or water outdoors overnight
  • Remove any bird feeders from your yard

Preventing skunks from getting into your house in the first place is always the best solution. If you follow these tips, you can help keep skunks out of your house and yard.

What to do if skunks are already inside?

If skunks have already gotten into your home, here are some of the things you can do:

Eliminate their food source

Getting rid of skunks and keeping them away begins with eliminating their food source. Skunks normally eat insects, mice, and small rodents. They also enjoy eating dog food left outside for the family pet. Skunks are very good at getting into trash cans, so be sure to secure them properly. If you have a pet, make sure their food and water are not left out overnight.

Trap skunks with humane bait

Once you have eliminated their food source, the next step is to trap them. There are several humane bait traps on the market that will catch skunks without harming them.

If you must set a trap for a skunk, use a humane cage trap and bait it with peanut butter or cat food to increase the chances of catching it alive. Once you have captured the skunk, drive it several miles away from your home and release it.

Install a motion-activated sprinkler

Another way to get rid of skunks without harming them is to install a motion-activated sprinkler. These devices detect movement and spray the area with water, frightening away any animals that may be present.

Use Repellents

Skunk repellents have been proven effective in keeping skunks out of your yard. Planting rose bushes around the perimeter of your property will help protect your home from skunk infestation because they hate the smell of roses. Other plants that keep skunks away are marigolds and rue plants.


A fence made of chicken wire is another way to deter skunks from entering your yard. The fence should be at least six feet high, and the bottom of the fence should be buried a few inches below the surface to prevent skunks from digging their way in.

Ultrasonic devices

Some people have success using electronic devices that emit an ultrasonic sound that is unpleasant to skunks. There are also commercial products available that use this same principle, but they can be expensive.

Call a professional

If all of these measures fail, it is best to call a professional animal control company to remove the skunks from your property. They have the experience and knowledge to get rid of skunks without harming them safely.

The best way to keep skunks away is by using a combination of several methods. Skunks are intelligent creatures and will quickly learn to avoid traps if they are unsuccessful at first. Be patient and continue using the same method until the skunks are gone. Remember, keeping your yard free of food sources is important to discourage them from returning.

Here are some tips for getting rid of skunks:

  • Use Ammonia – Ammonia does work really well at removing the smell from your body, but it will also remove the smell from the air around you as well. You can dilute the ammonia with water and apply it using a towel, washcloth, or sponge onto your body – paying particular attention to your underarms, neck, and hairline.
  • Use Baking Soda – In addition to absorbing moisture, baking soda helps lift off the oily residue left by animals like possums, skunks, and raccoons. Sprinkle it on the area and let it sit for a few minutes before dusting it off.
  • Use Hydrogen Peroxide – Another common household item that can be used to get rid of skunk spray is hydrogen peroxide. Pour some onto a washcloth or sponge, scrub the affected areas, and then rinse with soap and water.

How to get rid of skunk spray smell?

Trying to get rid of the pungent smell of skunk spray is nearly impossible. It not only lingers on your clothes but gets into your hair and pores. The odor will cling to your hands and face if you handle it directly. It will soak into your shoes, leaving them permanently stinky even after they dry out. The smell can also linger in your car or home if you fail to take proper precautions.


Getting rid of skunks is easy, but it can be challenging if you don’t know what to do or how to do it. Skunks are only dangerous to humans when they become aggressive. If you do everything right, skunks can be discouraged from coming onto your property and will leave you alone.

In this article, you have learned about the different ways to keep skunks from becoming a problem. Skunks are an important part of the ecosystem, and they do not want to harm humans. Take precautions, practice prevention, and be sure that they are not around while you’re out.