How to Get Rid of Skunks…For Good!

Having skunks around your home can present a number of health and safety hazards. Aside from the threat of being sprayed with their noxious musk, skunks are also known carriers of rabies and other diseases that can harm your family or pets. Skunks will also tear open trash bags and topple garbage cans, which can attract other vermin and insects to your home. By removing food sources, eliminating hiding places and using an effective skunk repellent, you can make your home inhospitable to skunks, forcing them to go elsewhere.

How to Get Rid of Skunks by Sprucing Up Your Home

Wondering how to get rid of skunks around your property? Follow these tips to dissuade them:

Step 1: Remove food sources around your home, such as pet-food bowls and low-hanging bird feeders.

Step 2: Place all trash in cans with tight-fitting, locking lids.

Step 3: Eliminate any insect infestations you have. Also be sure to take care of any rodent infestations, as skunks will eat small rodents.

Step 4: Remove piles of brush, wood or other debris in your yard that could serve as a hiding place for skunks.

Step 5: Use wire mesh to seal any openings in or around your home that skunks could be using to enter crawlspaces, basements or other areas.

Once you’ve eliminated food sources and hiding places, your home will be less appealing to skunks; however, this does not mean they won’t come back. By using an effective skunk repellent, you can keep the skunks away.

Liquid or Granular Skunk Repellent

Available in liquid or granular form, skunk repellent is safe, comprised of all natural ingredients that repel skunks effectively without harming them. Simply sprinkle or spray the repellent around your property, and the taste, smell and touch of the repellent will drive skunks away.

Motion Detector Sprinkler as a Skunk Repellent

The motion detector sprinkler is an effective skunk repellent because it uses fear to condition the animal to stay away. It senses the heat and motion of nuisance animals. Once detected, the repellent sprays a burst of water while creating a “ticking” sound—startling the animal and shooing it away. The noise, motion and spray of the repellent will make skunks reluctant to venture back into your yard. So, take these steps to spruce up your home, then get an effective skunk repellent to keep them away!

Image: fieldsbh

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  • kim

    want to know where to buy skunk repellent I have a skunk in my yard almost every nite,it must be spraying and it comes through my central air and goes through the whole house the smell is terriblei need to get rid of it

    • 9:18 am - August 1, 2011

    • Reply
  • admin

    Hi Kim,

    You can buy our skunk repellent, Critter Ridder®, on our website: http://www.havahart.com/store/animal-repellents/skunk. You may also locate the closest Havahart® retailer that sells Critter Ridder® by entering your zip code on our website: http://www.havahart.com/customerservice/where-to-buy.

    Good luck with that skunk! Please let us know if you have any other questions!

    -Your Friends at Havahart®

    • 9:49 am - August 1, 2011

    • Reply
    • Bo

      Hi Kim
      Don’t buy Critter Ridder it does not work I spent $ 19 dollars put it around the shed and all around the house and next day skunk was
      back we . Finally we got him in the cage on bread with peanut
      butter .

      • 8:39 am - September 4, 2014

      • Reply
      • Havahart®

        Hi Bo!

        Sorry to hear you’re having a problem with our repellent. Skunks are sometimes difficult to repel from an area, especially if they have their eyes set on a food source and they’ve been eating from that source for a long period of time.

        Critter Ridder® has been demonstrated through field and lab studies to work for the 7 animals listed on the label – including skunks, the majority of the time. This is why it is EPA approved for those animals. However it’s not 100%, and no repellent is. Every animal is different, just like humans, and it affects each individual animal differently.

        The use over an extended period can is most effective, as we’ve found that prolonged use can actually condition the animal to stay away from the area. Animals that have been using an area habitually must be conditioned over time to use a different area. This may take repeated applications and an extended period if animals have been frequenting an area for a long time.

        Please let us know if continued use works for you or if you have any trapping questions!

        Thank you,

        • 8:42 am - September 4, 2014

        • Reply
  • Regina Thompson

    What about squiriels, how to keep them out of my yard and flower beds.

    • 12:48 pm - August 12, 2011

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  • Sandi

    We just found out a skunk is under our bath house. We can see where he/she got in,there is a hole under the corner of the house. A neighbor saw it go in during the middle of the night. What can we do to get him to leave on his own? I’m not very knowledgeable about their habits. I was told they sleep during the day and venture out at night.

    • 9:47 am - September 4, 2011

    • Reply
    • Havahart®

      Hi Sandi,

      We are sorry to hear about your skunk issue! Yes, skunks are nocturnal, so we suggest placing a live skunk trap by the hole under the house to trap and relocate the skunk. However, we also offer skunk repellent which you could use around the perimeter of your bath house. The skunk will not like the taste or smell and should leave the area. We provide a repellent called Critter Ridder® which will do the trick! (http://www.havahart.com/store/animal-repellents/skunk). Please let us know how it works!

      Thank you,

      Your Friends at Havahart®

      • 11:43 am - September 6, 2011

      • Reply
  • Judy griffith

    I caught a skunk once. accidentlay. was trying to catch a cat, that has been using my yard forever. woke up and there was a baby skunk. called animal control. they are frieds. they never came out. 3 hrs.later. the sun was beating down. and it was getting too hot for him. I had to take him out of the humane trap. yes, I got sprayed. Long store. so won’t tell you the rest. but he was saved and went on his merry way. left a smell at my house for 5 days. But I saved the little stinker.

    Judy Griffith

    • 3:32 am - November 22, 2011

    • Reply
  • stacey

    it is early morning and i took my dogs out to find a mother skunk and 6 babies in my yard under my fallen shed what should i do i have a 4year old son that plays out there will they leave when the babies grow or do i have to get rid of all of them

    • 10:01 am - June 3, 2012

    • Reply
    • Havahart®

      Hi Stacey,

      Thank you for your comment! The mother skunk has taken advantage of the shelter of your shed that fell down. In terms of being afraid for your son, skunks generally do not spray if they are near their dens. However, they can carry rabies so that is a concern.

      The baby skunks will stay with their mother for a year, then go out on their own. If the den is safe, protected and suitable for the mother skunk, she will probably stay in it until her babies are grown. Therefore, we’d suggest contacting an animal control professional to relocate the skunk family from your yard. Because it is a family of skunks, we would not recommend trying to trap and relocate them on your own, and you do not want to separate the young from their mother.

      Then, take measures to remove the fallen shed so other wild animals do not use it for similar purposes.

      Good luck!

      ~Your Friends at Havahart®

      • 9:53 am - June 4, 2012

      • Reply
  • Don

    Calif. Fish and Game suggested putting sand at the entry points of nuisance animals during the day, making sure it’s Nice and Smooth, so you can see the animal tracks. At Night, go out and check to see whether the animal tracks are leaving the opening.
    If so, seal the opening and you’re done. Raccoons had used a rusted foundation vent screen for entry under my place. I used the DFG officer’s idea and it worked great. Good luck. Now I gotta git the skunk out of my garage, I think he’s hiding in there and don’t want to “look for him”….Came trotting right up into the door with someone reading on the step…..BIG freak out….

    • 8:05 pm - June 30, 2012

    • Reply
    • Havahart®

      Thanks for sharing your story with us, Don! That is a great tip!


      • 9:21 am - July 2, 2012

      • Reply
  • Lydia

    I have skunk(s) …I dont know how many they are…They have sprayed my deardog a couple of times…We want to get rid of them…My husband saw them comin out of the hole in my small shed.We cant get rid of the shed!…please advice us what to do…I have a grandbaby at home.What wolud be the safest way to get rid of these skunks….

    • 1:19 am - August 17, 2012

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  • Robin

    We have the worst skunk problem ever. They get in under the deck and then into the area under the house, where the smell comes in through the heating vents every morning. (Why do they spray when they’re inside?) Two years ago we had the catcher remove 10 in a row – he says he kills them so each of these must be new ones. We spent thousands to surround the entire deck/house area with rebar, spaced 4″ apart and sunk 3′ into the ground. and now they – or other ones – are back. None of our neighbors have them; just us. Do skunks somehow follow established paths to other skunks’ dens? Do they follow some residual smell that has permeated the foundation? If the old ones are truly gone, why do the new ones keep coming? How will we get rid of whatever is attracting them in? It’s not garbage – that’s in a totally different area of the house. Any help would be most welcomed. We have family here for Christmas and everyone is gagging every morning….

    • 9:40 am - December 24, 2012

    • Reply
    • Havahart®

      Hi Robin,

      So sorry to hear about your skunk issues! Skunks are certainly able to smell other skunks and choose the space under your home as a new den because it is warm and safe. If you’ve had a trapper come, we may suggest a skunk repellent in your situation. You can try our Critter Ridder® granules, which will work in winter (http://www.havahart.com/ourbrands/critter-ridder) and the spray in the summer.

      Let us know how it works to repel the skunks from that area!

      Thank you,

      Your Friends at Havahart®

      • 10:10 am - December 26, 2012

      • Reply
  • jane

    So sorry to report that the critter ridder did no good on skunks for racoons at our house, purchased granula and spray, they just seem to ignore it.

    • 9:57 am - February 17, 2013

    • Reply
    • Havahart®

      Hi Jane,

      Our apologies for your issues with Critter Ridder®! Could you answer a few questions for us to help you better?

      1) Did it rain anytime after you applied the product?
      2) Where did you apply the product?

      Just like humans, all animals differ, and while Critter Ridder® has been tested to work to repel raccoons and skunks, each animal is different and may not be affected by the spray.
      However, in this case, it may be a matter of application.


      Your Friends at Havahart®

      • 9:27 am - February 18, 2013

      • Reply
  • Nita

    We have a skunk that has made a den between the fllor of our house and the bathtub. For 2-3 night it took on all night long. Now it leaves at night about 7:30 and returns about 5:00am.

    It just started bringing a smell with it 2 days ago. We have not heard anymore noises other than it getting back into the den.

    We want to trap the stinky thing but or not sure if there are babies but we cannot stand the smell! What do we do?

    • 7:18 am - March 7, 2013

    • Reply
    • Havahart®

      Hi Nita,

      Sorry to hear about your skunk issue! The skunk may have sprayed a predator outside and has started smelling because of that.

      Skunks start the mating process in February and the gestation period is about 10 weeks, so as of right now, there is a good chance this skunk does not have babies with her. We’d suggest using a trap to relocate her as soon as possible.

      Thank you!

      Your Friends at Havahart®

      • 9:42 am - March 7, 2013

      • Reply
  • Paul

    Yesterday morning we noticed something had dug a hole under our stone and concrete porch. A neighbour confirmed that she had seen a skunk around early that morning. I got a few rags and soaked them in ammonia and placed them at the front of the hole. Then I covered the hole with dried leaves. About 10pm, I went out to check, and sure enough the leaves had been disturbed. I am assuming that was the skunk leaving, and not coming in as there was no indication of digging the leaves of the way. Reasonable assumption?
    I then added more ammonia soaked rags and covered up the leaves once again. This morning the leaves were undisturbed. I intend to watch for a few more days and then seal the hole up with some bricks and stones. Did I get off lucky or do you think it will come back?

    • 12:50 pm - April 10, 2013

    • Reply
  • lloyd bliss

    we have been having skunks come around our house at nite and spray. the smell is terrible. Will your repelent hurt the birds?? Wehave alot of birds and they are ground feeders. Yes we have a bird feeder with sunflower seed. I love the birds.
    Your help would be great. Thanks

    • 9:17 am - July 31, 2013

    • Reply
    • Havahart®

      Hi Lloyd! Thanks for your question! To keep those pesky skunks out of your yard and away from your bird feeders, Havahart® recommends Critter Ridder®. Havahart® Critter Ridder® is a pepper based deterrent available in both liquid and granular applications. Critter Ridder® can be used indoors (granular) and outdoors (granular and liquid). One application of Critter Ridder® works as a skunk repellent up to 30 days, helping you to skunk proof the areas around your feeders and areas around your yard. For a long term solution, we also recommend the Havahart® Spray Away Elite II Hose-Free Motion Activated Sprinkler. This cutting-edge electronic repellent uses a blast of water to safely and effectively scare away intruders, keeping your yard clear of animal destruction. You can shop for all of our skunk repellents here: http://www.havahart.com/store/animal-repellents/skunk

      Please let us know if you have any other questions!
      Your Friends at Havahart®

      • 9:51 am - July 31, 2013

      • Reply
  • Judy

    We have a skunk family that has a den under our porch but since our foundation is leaning inward there is a gap where they are getting inside and roaming in our drop ceiling in the basement. OMG…help! How can we get them to leave?

    • 10:43 pm - June 11, 2014

    • Reply
    • Havahart®

      Hi Judy! Are you able to set a trap with bait anywhere near these areas? Trapping might be your best choice, followed by the use Critter Ridder® to keep them away over time.

      • 3:35 pm - June 13, 2014

      • Reply
  • michael tabor

    Will the skunk repellant also detour rabbits? I have a wild rabbit in the same area that I want to keep.

    • 2:34 pm - September 15, 2014

    • Reply
    • Havahart®

      Hi Michael! We recommend using our DeFence® repellent, which is specially formulated to keep rabbits out of your property.

      • 3:34 pm - September 15, 2014

      • Reply
  • Kar

    I take care of several fearl cats that have cubbies next to our deck. I trap them yearly for checkups and treatment at a shelter. I just did my winter check of their cubbies adding insulation and fresh straw. I put food out 2 times daily, afternoon and midnight. Since the cats fear us and run, it is hard to train them when to eat. My schedule seems to work for feeding times, since they usually come out at night. Well, this evening my husband opened the bedroom window and the skunk smell was really heavy. I went downstairs to find the odor worse and the laundry room horrible; it is next to the outside deck where I put the cat food. I lookd out and startled a skunk who then skunked me at the door. It ran near the deck to the cubbies area. I was brave, going outside to the cat food area and the darn thing skunked me from the underside of the deck edge. I ran in and got the lysol, spraying the area. My question is, how can I get rid of the skunk without harming the feral cats? I do not want to put anything out that will endanger the cats. They have to eat every evening but the skunk has apparently moved in. And, that’s not all. There was an opossum following the skunk! I need help! What can I do? I live in the borough area with a lot of woods and neighbors nearby.

    • 10:34 pm - September 22, 2014

    • Reply
    • Havahart®

      Hi Kar! Thanks for your comment – and thank you for taking care of the feral cats! Unfortunately skunks and other animals are attracted to cat food. In fact, we often recommend using cat food for our customers who are trying to trap skunks. Our Critter Ridder® repellent is effective at repelling skunks, however it is also formulated for cats, so we wouldn’t recommend using that. One option you could try is to try to trap the skunk with a bait that the cats wouldn’t be attracted it. You can find a list of skunk baits here. Please let us know if you have any other questions and good luck!

      • 8:49 am - October 2, 2014

      • Reply
  • Kevin

    We’ve been feeding feral cats for years. Mother with 5 baby skunks showed up last spring. The a couple of the ‘teenagers’ are still coming around. I don’t think the lighting thing will run of the Cats. Will any of these other things get rid of only the Skunks? – and not run of the Cats?

    • 11:29 pm - September 28, 2014

    • Reply
    • Havahart®

      Hi Kevin! Unfortunately our skunk repellent, Critter Ridder®, is also formulated for cats. We would recommend trapping with a bait that skunks are attracted to and not cats (you can learn more about trapping baits here), but that doesn’t guarantee you won’t trap a cat instead. Good luck!

      • 8:54 am - October 2, 2014

      • Reply
  • Julia Carlson

    I guess it’s time to get rid of the skunks that live in my garage. I have always thought they were so cute! I didn’t know they were a health hazard. That’s enough reason to get rid of them. I will have to call pest control really soon so they can take care of the problem.

    • 1:31 pm - January 13, 2015

    • Reply
  • George Negron

    skunk season is here and for those of us that live in rural areas we should be prepared, educated, and ready to help our pets who get tangled up with a skunk. Skunk spray is awful and it is very difficult to get the odor out using home remedies. Thank you very much for sharing this post and I hope that you dont mind me sharing my video with your readers on how they can get rid of skunk smell from their dog.

    • 6:15 am - March 21, 2015

    • Reply
  • Joe Anon

    I have 5 cats I take care of outside my house. And lately we’re starting to get some unwanted skunk guest too that are harasing and scaring the cats (and me) and eating the cats food. How do I get rid of the skunks without bothering the kittens

    • 5:08 am - July 15, 2016

    • Reply
  • Kelly

    I just ran a skunk off away from my yard will it return

    • 10:37 pm - August 29, 2016

    • Reply

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