How to Remove a Skunk From a Trap

Catching a skunk is the easy part in getting rid of the unwanted pest.


The difficult part is releasing the skunk back into the wild without getting sprayed or bitten. Skunk odor is strong and extremely difficult to get rid of, so extra precautions need to be taken to prevent agitating the skunk and getting sprayed. Skunks can spray up to 15 feet and can spray up to six times in a row when they feel threatened.

With a large blanket or tarp in front of you and with gloves on, approach the skunk slowly while crouched down. The smaller you appear to the skunk, the less likely it is to feel threatened.

Cover the trap with the blanket. Skunks won't spray what they can't see.

Relocate the cage to the place where you plan to release the skunk. It's best to use a pickup truck for transportation to prevent your car from smelling like the skunk.

Remove the cage and position it in the direction you want to release the skunk. A wooded area works best.

While standing behind the trap, gently and carefully open the door and set it in the open position.

Wait for the skunk to leave the trap. Often, the skunk will not immediately leave and sometimes will wait until nightfall.

Things You Will Need

  • Gloves
  • Large blanket or tarp
  • Pickup truck


  • To decrease your chances of getting sprayed, cover half of the trap with a blanket or tarp when you set it, which will make it easier to cover the rest of the trap once you've caught the animal.
  • Release the skunk to an area that's at least one mile away; otherwise, it may seek out and find its original den.
  • If you prefer not to wait for the skunk to leave the trap, you can coax it out by tilting the back of the cage or tapping it with the back of your foot. A skunk will often run from the trap, but it may spray as it exits.
  • If you're unfortunate enough to get sprayed, immediately remove the affected clothing. You can neutralize the odor by bathing in a mixture containing one teaspoon of detergent, a quart of hydrogen peroxide, and a 1/4 cup of baking soda, repeating as necessary.


  • Be extremely careful not to agitate the skunk, as they are major carriers of rabies.

About the Author

Dwight Malone is a journalist who has worked for various Chicago-area newspapers, including the "Chicago Tribune" and "Naperville Sun." He has been a writer, editor and graphic designer since 2000. Malone studied journalism at Eastern Illinois University.