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How to Chase Away Skunks

Morgon Luvall Newquist

Skunks are a common garden and house pest. They can dig burrows in foundation openings and disturb trash as well as spray family pets and any humans that get too close.

Chasing a skunk off your property doesn't have to end badly.

The same smell that makes them a nuisance can make them tricky to get rid of, but with the proper knowledge it is possible to chase them away from your property without having to bathe in tomato juice.

  1. Examine your yard for food that might be attracting the skunk. Kitchen trash that is kept outside and easily accessible will draw wild animals (including skunks) to your property. If a skunk can't find anything to eat, it won’t stay for long and is less likely to return after you chase it away.

  2. Light up your yard. Skunks are nocturnal creatures, and if your yard is brightly lit at night they will seek out dimmer areas to live and forage for food.

  3. Set up a boundary line to your yard using either spices (such as Tabasco sauce or cayenne pepper) or ammonia soaked rags. These items work as skunk repellent and will drive away skunks from your yard. They will also keep new skunks from taking up residence.

  4. Spray the skunk with a water hose if other deterrents aren't effective or if you come face to face with the animal. Maintain your distance and keep spraying the skunk with water and it should be frightened away.

  5. Once the skunk is gone, fill in its old burrow with either dirt or rocks. Then search your yard for any other holes that might look appealing to a skunk and fill them in as well.

  6. Tip

    Skunks and dogs are natural enemies, so if you have a dog it is likely that it will drive the skunk away. Be prepared for your dog to get sprayed, however. Keeping your yard clean and food-free is the best preventative measure for keeping skunks away. If they can't find food, you won’t have to worry about chasing them away.