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Skunk Repellent - What deterrent works?

Skunk Repellent - Skunks can really become a problem animal if they are allowed access to a yard or garden, and they are known to try and steal food from garbage and pet food sacks, as well as being a threat to pets and domestic animals. Repellent products make big promises on the packaging about how effectively they will be able to deal with the problem animals, but in most cases the reality proves to be quite different. The types of repellent can also vary quite significantly, and these include chemicals that are sprayed or spread around the area where the skunks are getting in, through to sprinkler systems and audio devices that are also said to make the area unpleasant for skunks.

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Skunks

There are many different ways that homeowners and farmers have used over the years to try and drive skunks away from homes and crops, and many of these are home remedies that have developed a reputation as being unpleasant for skunks. Depending on how much you are willing to prepare, one of the recipes for home remedies involves boiling cayenne pepper, onions and jalapeno peppers in water to infuse the water, and then spraying this around the areas the skunk is using to get in and out of a problem area. Others will use mothballs as a repellent, either left in high traffic areas or near the mouth of the den, while rags dipped in ammonia are also used in this way.

Chemical Repellents

There are many different types of chemicals that are also said to repel skunks, and these can come in granule or liquid forms, which are then spread or sprayed around the areas where the skunks are causing the issue. Some of these will use essential oils that have strong scents to try and drive away the animals, with peppermint being a common ingredient with many pest animals said to dislike the smell. There are also repellents using harsher and more toxic chemicals such as naphthalene, but these should be used carefully, as they can be harmful to both domestic pets and to children.

Audio Skunk Repelling Devices

The audio repellent devices are marketed as being able to drive away almost every animal species possible, and there are the types that create a permanent tone that is unbearable to the animals, or motion activated devices that create the noise when it senses movement. The audio frequency is outside the range of human hearing, but this is said to be unbearable for skunks. This type of device can either be battery operated or connected to the mains, and the number of speakers will range from one for smaller gardens up to larger systems with multiple speakers that can cost a lot more.

Why Not Use Skunk Repellent?

The question that most people will consider when they look at the option of using a repellent is 'why not?', but the reality is that not only are repellents usually a waste of money, the fact they are rarely effective gives the skunk time to get comfortable in the area. The theory behind repellents is that they will make the area unpleasant for the animal, but in reality there are usually many other factors keeping the animal in that location. Urban areas provide a range of good food sources, along with plenty of opportunities to find an area they can use as a den, so a strong scent is unlikely to drive skunks away.

How Does Chemical Skunk Repellent Compare To The Skunk's Own Repellent?

Indeed, in many ways it is ironic that people try to use repellents that work by producing an unpleasant scent to try and repel an animal that produces one of the most effective repellents in the world of nature. Even in rural areas, few predators will want to hunt skunks if there are other options available, as the strong repulsive smell produced in the anal glands of the skunk can be squirted accurately over a distance of several meters. The skunk's own repellent, once you have experienced it once, is a far more effective repellent than those produced by people to repel animals.

Alternative Ways To Deal With A Skunk Problem

If you are having skunks that move into cavities under different parts of your property, or they are regularly returning to your yard or garden to find food, the best way to deal with the animals is to trap them and relocate them away from your home. Look to find the location where the skunk is most active, and using a cage trap, baited with marshmallows, cat food or any other smelly meat, place the trap in this location, and weight the trap with a stone or brick. Once the skunk is in the trap, throw a blanket over the trap to stop it from spraying or biting you, and then relocate the animal at least ten miles away in an area well away from any other domestic properties.

Go back to the main Skunk Removal page for more information about skunk repellent such as bleach, ammonia, mothballs. Can you buy something at Home Depot to repel skunk?
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