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Skunk Prevention - How to Keep Skunks Away

How To Keep Skunks Away - Pest animals can be a nuisance at the best of time, but because of the notorious scent that skunks can squirt at potential threats, having them in and around your home or garden can be a nasty experience. Whether you have children who wanted to approach the cute furry animal or dogs who were looking to make new friends, if they bring the scent into the house it will be a difficult job to get rid of it again.

Along with this is the fact that skunks can carry diseases and these can be transmitted to people who come into contact with them. This is why it is important to deal with skunks quickly once you start seeing signs of them around your property, and why you should try to ensure your yard or garden doesn't attract skunks.

What Factors Attract Skunks To A Yard Or Garden?

Like many pest animals, skunks are opportunistic animals that will take advantage of any weakness that will give them access to a good food source or a prime nesting area, and these are the two main reasons why skunks will regularly visit a particular yard or garden. These resilient and resourceful animals can find many different food sources, and these range from pet food that is left out in the open or in a shed that they can get into easily, through to garbage bags and fruit that has fallen on the grass in a garden or orchard.

Skunks also like to make their nests in areas under decking or sheds, or even under the porch, so trying to reduce access to these parts of your property can also help to keep skunks away.

Changes That You Can Make That Will Repel Skunks

There are simple changes that you can make that will help to repel skunks, and one of the most important things you can do is to secure pet food and garbage sacks in cans or solid containers that will help reduce the spread of the food's scent, and also repel any pest animals like skunks. When it comes to dealing with skunks eating fruit, you can reduce the number of fruit trees and plants you have, or alternatively you can look to keep a wary eye and pick up any fallen fruit regularly so that it isn't allowed to rest on the floor.

You can also make changes to the plants in your garden, and choosing plants such as squash, pumpkin or anything with prickly foliage around the edge of the garden will also be a deterrent for skunks.

Fencing And Barriers

While there are a variety of things you can do inside the yard or garden to make it less attractive to the animals, the presence of a good solid barrier between the skunk and your garden is definitely a deterrent to these animals. As with all good fences, make sure you embed it a few inches in the ground to prevent the animals from digging underneath to get in, while using a chicken wire on the lower half of the fence will help deter many animals and are great for skunk prevention. While you don't necessarily need to go out and making a big purchase, you can often adapt or repair your existing fence so that it provides a barrier to protect your garden and to keep skunks away.

Trapping And Removing Skunks

In some cases, all of the measures mentioned may not be enough to stop the skunks from returning to your property, and if they are particularly persistent you can take more permanent measures to trap and remove the problem animals. You will need to examine your yard or garden to find out where they are most active, and then look to place a cage trap, the size suitable for catching feral cats, and place it near the high traffic area. Bait is not as vital as a good location, but sardines and marshmallows are both successful at catching these pest animals. It is also worth weighting the trap down with a rock or brick on top so that the skunks don't tip the trap over to get at the bait.

Precautions To Take When Dealing With Skunks

There are various diseases that can be carried and transmitted by skunks, along with the dangers that come with being bitten or scratched by the animal, so it is important to make sure that you wear thick clothes to help protect if the animal does become nasty. If you are going into a confined area where the den of the skunk is, it is also worth wearing goggles and a breathing mask, as dangerous conditions such as leptospirosis can be transmitted from the animal's feces. When you have trapped the animal, try to approach the trap quietly from where the skunk cannot see you, and then throw a blanket over the trap so the skunk cannot spray its scent at you.

You can read about Do baby or juvenile skunks spray?. Go back to the main Skunk Removal page for more information about skunk prevention, and more information about how to keep skunks away.

How to keep skunks away from your property: Keeping skunks away from your property will require making structural changes in and around your property. Skunks can jump over fences and may even hop on trees and jump into properties through the branches of such trees. You need to make sure that all trees within your properties are felled, or at least cut the branches close to the roof, or window and those close to the ground. If you have fruit trees, then you need to spend time to sweep and dispose such fruits that fell to the ground.

Secondly, skunks are known to hide under garbage collections, and heaps of debris, where they can scavenge for food or temporarily hibernate to gain access to the main house. You need to ensure that this debris are cleared and everywhere remain visible but inhabitable to skunks. Though, some people may rely on the use of scary techniques to get rid of skunks, these include; Ultrasonic devices, and the use of moth balls and ammonia. Ultrasonic devices can generate sounds that scare away skunks for a while, while mothballs and ammonia produce irritating smell to skunks. This problem with these repellents is that their efficiencies wear out after a while and the skunks return.

Exclusion fences can be a much more effective way to repel and control skunks. Such fences may include an electrical fence that sends mild electric shocks when skunks come in contact with the fence. You don’t have to use electric fences to exclude skunks; however, you need to ensure that the fences extend by more than 3 feet below the foundation level. Skunks can burrow through the ground; therefore exclusion fences must prevent this. Brick or wooden fences must extend beyond 6 feet because skunks can climb up to that level. Wooden fences must be made from treated hardwood to ensure that skunks don’t eat, gnaw and break down the fence.

Trapping is one of the most effective ways to keep skunks away from your property. A body-gripping trap is effective in trapping a skunk easily without causing any body harm. Lethal traps with hooks and springs can cause fatal injuries to a skunk or kill the animal eventually. Regardless of the type of trap you use , you need to make sure that it is concealed perfectly where it cannot be seen, and use a bait of fruit, seed or meat to entice the animal to the snap. A trap can be set inside a garbage can that is slightly opened to entice the animal.

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About skunks - Biology, diet, etc.
Do skunks attack pets? - Sure! They spray them!
Should I feed a baby skunk I found?
Baby skunk removal - A nest of babies under the shed.
Do skunks burrow underground? - They dig, but don't burrow.
Do skunks attack chickens? - Rarely.
City/County Skunk Removal? Not Likely. - The county won't help for free.
Do skunks climb trees or fences? - They can't really climb well.
Damage Skunks Cause under a House - Odor problems, mostly.
Do skunks come out during the day? - Sometimes. May not be rabid.
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