A skunk is counted among the most damaging of garden pests. Skunks are difficult to contain and can ruin the entire garden. They are also carriers of diseases like rabies. Skunks are infamous for spraying people and pets with a pungent-spelling fluid that can cause skin rashes. Skunk removal may prove tedious, as there are no straightforward solutions to the problem. Getting rid of skunks is possible by using one of the following methods or combining some of them.
1. Getting Rid of Skunk-feeding Sites
Skunks are typical scavengers and anything that can be chewed or has a rotting odor will attract them. If your garden has a vermin problem like small rodents, it becomes more susceptible to attracting skunks. The best way to eliminate skunks is to take effective pest-control measures and remove potential sources of food for them. Other things that should be taken care of include:
- Garbage—Trash dumped outside for pick-up should be stored in cans made form heavy metal or plastic with tight-fitting lids.
- Garden Grubs—Larvae found in plant leaves are the staple diet for skunks. Many varieties of garden worms can be reared for eating-away the larvae without harming the plants.
- Pets—Pet food or pet litter should be immediately cleaned-up as skunks will feed upon animal droppings too.
- Fruits—Gardens that have trees or shrubs that produce seasonal nuts, berries or fruits should be regularly cleaned-up. This is to ensure that nothing is left on the garden floor to attract skunks.
- Compost—Many gardeners use compost heaps as a part of organic gardening. The compost pile contains organic matter that has a typical odor that attracts skunks. Covering the compost pile with a heavy plastic sheet is a good solution.
- Bird Feeding Spills—Containers filled with bird feed and water should be placed on high ground to protect them from skunk attacks.
2. Using Skunk Repellents
There are no clear favorites among the many brands of skunk repellent solutions available in the market. Any of the following solutions can be tried to find out which one is the most effective for your garden:
- Lighting—Skunks always feed during the night, i.e. they are nocturnal, and flooding your yard space with bright light can deter them. However, this method is sure to add to your energy bills.
- Sprinklers—Automated sprinklers that are wired to motion sensors spray a hard-hitting stream of water every time a skunk trespasses your property.
- Pepper Sprays—Spraying the yard space with branded pepper solutions have been tried in some households. However, their long-term effectiveness remains arguable.
3. Destroying Skunk Habitats
Skunks have been found to dig-up a living space for themselves in properties that aren't well-maintained. Spaces that are often converted into skunk habitats include:
- Garden decks with broken, holed-out boards
- Widely-separated grills around the garden’s perimeter
- Small ditches made for temporary drainage
- Stick to a regular household-maintenance regimen wherein repairs are immediately executed.
- Try to surround your garden with mesh fencing wire to discourage skunks from burrowing-in on your property.
4. Trapping Skunks
This is the most effective solution that can permanently remove skunks. Cage traps are generally used to catch skunks. Ensure that:
- The trap dimension is at least 11 x 12 x 30 inches.
- Effective bait like canned fish or shredded chicken is placed inside the trap.
- The trap is placed in spaces that have had repeated skunk-related activities.
- Remove any barriers around the trap that could discourage the skunk from approach it.
- When the skunk is caught, the trap should be covered a wet towel. This will protect you against being sprayed by the skunk.
- Release the skunk in some remote location, i.e. far away from your property.