116297411_3c1600b15c_b

Skunk Relocation: How to Get Rid of a Skunk

I grew up in the Midwest with a lot of land and space around me. I remember sitting outside on summer evenings with my Grandparents as we watched a Momma skunk walk along the edge of pond in the field nearby. She walked grandly with her nose in the air and her striped tail pointing to the sky. Behind her walked several baby skunks following in a straight line. We didn’t bother the skunks and they stayed away from us as there was plenty of space for us all, so there was no need to know how to get rid of skunks by using products such as the Havahart® Feral Cat Rescue Kit.

Space is an issue if you live in a subdivision bordered by a stretch of woods or if the pond is a shallow pool right off your back deck. Up close, skunks aren’t much fun. Thanks to environmentally friendly companies like Havahart there is no need to harm wildlife in order to reclaim your space.

How to Relocate a Skunk

If a skunk has been coming too close for comfort, it’s possible to relocate them in a way that will prevent an accidental encounter that will frighten the skunk and leave you with burning eyes and an odor even a Mother couldn’t love. However, before relocating a skunk, be sure to check with the local game commission or humane society chapter in your area for laws regarding the trapping and releasing of wild animals.

Skunks are nocturnal and emerge from their dens at dusk. They do travel as much as a mile a night but seldom venture more than four miles from their den. You can use skunk repellent to get rid of skunks and keep them off your property, but if they continue to cause damage, relocating a problem skunk is quite easy as these are not territorial creatures. The Havahart Feral Cat Rescue Kit is perfect for skunk trapping and getting rid of skunks because it has a cover that will keep any spray released by an angry skunk from spreading too far.

Using this trap is how to get rid of skunks. The trap is made with a spring loaded door and the rear door can be opened for release. This is a sturdy trap designed to last for years with smooth edges that avoid harming any animal in the trap. Tips on bait to use for various species of wildlife help you find the right treat to lure your skunk into the trap.

Getting Rid of Skunks After Trapping

After trapping the skunk (and keeping the cover on, of course) you can transport the animal to a wooded area that is farther removed from homes, pets and playing children. When you trap and move a skunk you need to know a little about breeding habits. Skunks breed in February (striped) or April (spotted) and have a gestation period of about 60 days. Until babies are about six weeks old they are left in the den while adult skunks search for food.

The Best Time for Trapping and Getting Rid of Skunks

For striped skunks it’s best not to place traps from March till July and for spotted skunks avoid May through mid-August if possible. This avoids the problem of trapping a Mother skunk while babies are left to starve in a den. If the problem is a solitary skunk nosing around in late winter or very early spring, chances are the culprit is a male who may have traveled quite distance just looking for love. Use Havahart traps as a humane way to get rid of skunks and protect your family and pets from noxious skunk spray without harming wildlife.

Image: Charles & Clint

Suggested Solutions

26 Comments

  • Melissa Podolak

    Speaking of skunks – my husband almost decided to adopt one. The local animal control had put a cage in our backyard with cat food in it to attract some ferrel cats that were wandering the neighborhood. The next day we looked out and saw a skunk in the cage. The little guy even made a bed by pulling pine straw into the cage. Uh oh – how are you going to get the skunk out of that cage without it squirting you?! Well, the animal control officer came out and he wouldn’t go near it. Later, my husband carefully made friends with the skunk and it never sprayed him! He took about 12 pics of the cute little guy (a young one), and almost decided to have it fixed so it wouldn’t spray. My husband actually wanted to keep it as his pet! We ended up deciding to set it free. He really was cute, even if he was a stinker…

    • 6:31 pm - September 8, 2010

    • Reply
  • admin

    Hi Sherrie,

    We have skunk repellents which will encourage the skunk to relocate. Our repellent, Critter Ridder®, comes in a spray bottle or granules (http://www.havahart.com/store/animal-repellents/skunk). You can apply the spray or the granules to the area you have seen the skunk and the smell will encourage it to leave that area. Critter Ridder® is also organic and safe for use around children and pets.

    You may also decide to relocate the skunk yourself with a live trap (http://www.havahart.com/store/live-animal-traps/1084). If you have not had experience with animal traps, we’d suggest using the repellent to encourage the skunk to leave your property.

    Thank you,

    Your Friends at Havahart®

    • 5:02 pm - August 8, 2011

    • Reply
  • Angelo

    When the skunk is in the trap, can it still squirt? I heard that if it can’t lift it’s tail, it can’t squirt. True?

    • 9:08 am - October 11, 2011

    • Reply
    • Havahart®

      Hi Angelo,

      Yes, skunks must be able to lift their tails to spray, and they are less likely to spray if they can’t see that they will definitely “hit their target”. However, the skunk you trap in a typical skunk trap may be much smaller than the trap, giving it more room and a better ability to spray. Therefore, it’s best to put a blanket over the trap so the skunk cannot see you and will feel less threatened. This also comes in handy if the skunk is able to spray! It is also recommended to move the trap as little as possible to keep the skunk calm. You may want to reference this post for more tips on trapping skunks: http://community.havahart.com/skunks/trap-a-skunk

      Thank you,

      Your Friends at Havahart®

      • 9:49 am - October 11, 2011

      • Reply
  • Pamela Harris

    My elderly Aunt is having a terrible time with skunks under her floor at her home & squirrels in her ceiling & possibly a coon or two & maybe a possum. So…..I would like to know a spray or pellet that will help us to remove the animals from her house so that we can plug the holes and be done with this! Thanks so much! We will get whatever we need!

    • 10:04 pm - October 17, 2012

    • Reply
    • Havahart®

      Hi Pamela,

      How terrible for your Aunt! We are sorry to hear about the critter problems in her house. We recommend our repellent Critter Ridder® (http://www.havahart.com/ourbrands/critter-ridder) which will work to repel the squirrels and raccoon. However, if the animals have found a warm place to live, a repellent may not remove them entirely. We’d suggest trying to repel them first, but if they are still heard, we would recommend setting a trap for any animals you believe to be there, and relocating them far from the house.

      Please let us know if you have any other questions!

      Good luck!

      Your Friends at Havahart®

      • 1:08 pm - October 22, 2012

      • Reply
  • Nancylee

    I successfully caught a very large skunk in my Havahart cage and relocated it 5 miles from my home (without getting sprayed) to an area of Forrest preserve with a large retention pond. This skunk was a nightly visitor under my bird feeder eating fallen seeds and peanuts hidden in the lawn by squirrels I feed. I am feeling very guilty and worry it will now have trouble finding food and shelter. Do you think a skunk that had such an easy time finding food will survive in it’s new area now that our weather is also getting colder?

    • 1:44 am - November 2, 2012

    • Reply
    • Havahart®

      Hi Nancylee,

      Thank you for your question! It’s a valid question and one we receive frequently. While skunks are at home in a variety of habitats, they do prefer forests where there is water nearby. In a forest preserve, the skunk can find adequate shelter, such as a den for winter, and food sources and will most likely not encounter any predators. In the winter, skunks do not hibernate, but become very inactive and eat less frequently. This skunk, if it is female, may also find ‘den mates’ in the preserve to spend the winter with. It is also unlikely the skunk had babies that relied on him, as skunks become independent when they are 3 months old.

      However, removing any wild animal from its habitat leaves room for another animal or animals to move into its place. We recommend cleaning up after the seeds and nuts to prevent a similar situation in the future.

      Thank you!

      Your Friends at Havahart®

      • 9:50 am - November 2, 2012

      • Reply
  • Paul Aaron

    Suddenly (beginning in September) I have a BIG skunk problem! My dog was sprayed in September. So I began to trap and relocate. I have seen as many as three skunks in my yard at the same time. I began trapping them and moving them 21 miles from my house. So far, I have trapped and move six skunks within a three week period…or have I caught one skunk and moved it six times? Is it possible that the skunks are returning or could there be that many? I live on an acreage, but have never been bothered before this year.

    • 11:00 pm - November 3, 2012

    • Reply
    • Havahart®

      Hi Paul,

      Sorry to hear about your skunk problem! Because skunks do not typically roam more than 2-3 miles from their home area of a space about 1 square mile large, we would assume you just have that many skunks. It is unlikely the skunks traveled that far back if they were relocated to a sufficient location with food, water and shelter.

      Thanks for your question and good luck!

      Your Friends at Havahart®

      • 11:58 am - November 8, 2012

      • Reply
  • Joey Alexander

    yes we have a family of 4 to 5 skunks . weve covered all the holes and cracks but to no avail they have gotten under our house. Its aweful, our eyes burn, we cant breathe, its getting colder and when we turn the heat on, its aweful. then we turn the airconditioner on its worse, it helps some but its horrible, the odor ,is unreal. please tell us how to get started. and what to start with. Thank you, Joey and Janet Alexander (december 18-2012)

    • 10:20 pm - December 18, 2012

    • Reply
    • Havahart®

      Hi Joey and Janet!

      We’re sorry to hear about your problem with skunks under your home! We would recommend live trapping and relocating them with one of our skunk traps (http://www.havahart.com/store/live-animal-traps/skunk), but if there are so many it may be best for you to use a repellent like our Critter Ridder® granules. The granules will work in cold weather, and may be your best option to repel all of the skunks at once. That is, if you have access to the space they are occupying.

      Please let us know if you have any other questions!

      Thank you,

      Your Friends at Havahart®

      • 9:20 am - December 19, 2012

      • Reply
  • Ginger Lordus

    I am grateful for Havahart traps. I live in a rural neighborhood and often find critters that have come in through my cat doors into my house. My cats do not mind sharing our home and clearly befrend these wild animals. One day I found a skunk in the cat bed with one of my cats, all curled up together. I have found a family of skunks living in my floor vent (under my tv cabinet) and a momma racoon and her twins in my inside wood box. I have caught skunks, opposoms, racoons, a badger and a weesel…and accidentially caught my own and my neighbors cats who never appear stressed when trapped. I now own four traps and often set them all at once to catch and relocate families together. I recently relocated four skunks to an optimum new home with minimal upset. Thank-you for designing such efficent and easy to use traps. It makes for guilt free, happy ending critter relocating.

    • 9:30 pm - January 9, 2013

    • Reply
    • Havahart®

      We’re happy to hear that, Ginger! Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us!

      Your Friends at Havahart®

      • 8:50 am - January 10, 2013

      • Reply
  • Michelle

    I just recently moved in to a house that has a fenced in back yard from a house that sat on a acre. At the house with a large yard and no fence my dog was on a led and we never had a problem with skunks. Now since we have moved into this new house my dog has been sprayed 4 times in six months. I dont think that they are getting in my yard but I think that they are spraying him through the fence. But I dont know because this of course is happening at night. Some of my neighbors have sheds and one has a brush pile in the back of his yard and wood stacked by his house. Could this welcome skunks around my house. And how do I stop this from happening again? How do I get my neighbors to help me out?

    • 2:08 pm - February 11, 2013

    • Reply
    • Havahart®

      Hi Michelle,

      We are sorry to hear about your trouble with skunks spraying your dog! Brush piles and similar types of shelter will certainly draw wild animals to your property. While getting your neighbors to help you out may prove unsuccessful, you may want to try a repellent first, to stop the spraying, such as our Critter Ridder® granular repellent. If the skunk still will not leave your area, we would recommend using a live trap to trap and relocate the skunk permanently.

      Please see our website for our skunk control options: http://www.havahart.com/advice/critter-library/skunk-control/skunk-control-options and let us know if you have further questions!

      Thank you!

      Your Friends at Havahart®

      • 2:29 pm - February 11, 2013

      • Reply
  • Hope Tarr

    My friend & I have been cleaning out my father’s house to prepare him to come home from a long rehab. We had a lot of stuff to get rid of and put all the stuff on his back enclosed porch a couple of weeks ago. We also had a old shed cleaned out and knocked down and removed from the property (approx. 20 feet from porch. This week, we went over to do some more cleaning, and the house was reeking in a very foul order. We thought it might be a dead animal in the house, but after checking the back of his small ranch home, found that the order was worst on the porch. We called numerous pest control & animal control places and one of the pest control service people came out for free and confirmed that we have a skunk problem.
    They want to charge $200 to come and set up traps, and check them every few days, and then will remove the skunk.
    My father said he has never seen a skunk, but we recently saw a cat come out from under the porch. HELP!!! I have used to get rid of the skunk and also how do we rid the porch and the home of this smell? Could we have disturbed the den, when making all the noise on the porch? Not sure if the skunk is living there, or was disturb by another animal, when we torn down the shed? I have read some of the comments, and it sounds like Havahart traps are the best thing to use (I use to own one when I was trapping feral cats). Best thing ever!!
    However do not want to purchase another one since I do not do this any longer, and our worst problem is getting rid of the smell?
    A

    • 3:27 pm - February 17, 2013

    • Reply
    • Havahart®

      Hi Hope,

      We’re sorry to hear about your issues with the skunks in your father’s house!

      If the home has been left vacant for some time, it may be the new home to a den of skunks! Skunks will burrow out dens under any structure without a foundation, such as porches, decks, or sheds. They are nocturnal as well, so your father may not have noticed them. Due to the noise and changes you’ve been making, the skunks have probably felt threatened and are spraying – that is what the smell is from of course.

      If it is cold outside, it will be difficult to make them leave without the use of a trap or repellent. You can hire the animal control company or use a Havahart® trap to relocate the skunks yourself (http://www.havahart.com/store/live-animal-traps/skunk). Then, use a skunk repellent to ensure they don’t want to come back (http://www.havahart.com/store/animal-repellents/skunk).

      As for the smell in the home, here is an article to help you with that: http://www.ehow.com/how_5071955_remove-skunk-odor-home.html

      Please let us know how this works for you! Hopefully your father’s home is skunk-free soon!

      Thank you!

      Your Friends at Havahart®

      • 9:35 am - February 18, 2013

      • Reply
  • Kelly D

    I have a slight problem. I live in a duplex in the city and in the last 2days iI have noticed the (very) strong oder of skunk. I strongly believe that I have a few skunks under my house and the smell is keeping me and my 7yr old son up at night. Its strongest around 2am! How can I get this little stinker to relocate even tho its 20° out. Please help!!!

    • 2:37 am - March 17, 2013

    • Reply
    • Havahart®

      Hi Kelly,

      Sorry to hear about your skunk issue! We have live trap options, but as you mentioned, this may not be best for you. We would suggest using a repellent such as Critter Ridder® to remove the skunks, and feral cats if any, from your house!

      You can find more information and purchase on our website: http://www.havahart.com/store/animal-repellents/skunk

      Thank you!

      Your Friends at Havahart®

      • 9:31 am - March 18, 2013

      • Reply
  • Kelly D

    Oh, I forgot to mention….the town I live in is infested with ferrel cats and they live under my neighbors porch (possibly mine too) .I also just recently had shoulder surgery done so using traps my be a little difficult for me.

    • 2:48 am - March 17, 2013

    • Reply
  • Star

    There’s a mother skunk with babies living in the nearby mobile home park. They’re not causing any problems, but the neighbors hate them–they’ve threatened to sic their dogs on the family! Some people are even talking about putting out poison!! Local animal control has refused to relocate the animals. What can I do to protect the skunk family?

    • 7:27 pm - August 27, 2014

    • Reply
    • Havahart®

      Hi Star! Thank you for your question. You might be able to locate a wildlife rehab in your area if you feel the skunk family is in danger. We generally discourage trapping and relocating when there are babies involved, and during this time of year, there typically are. You can try trapping when they are all old enough, but when they are old enough, skunks will find their own territory/home outside of that area. Good luck!

      Your Friends at Havahart®

      • 3:46 pm - August 28, 2014

      • Reply
  • M Bennett

    If the skunk never seems to leave the area it is living in (a window well under the garbage cans, how can you spray the area so that it will leave? Have trie trapping it, but the bait hasn’t done the trick yet.

    • 11:15 pm - October 1, 2014

    • Reply
    • Havahart®

      Thanks for your question! Our Critter Ridder® repellent can be applied to drive the skunk out of the area and won’t return. You can learn more about skunk control here! Please let us know if you have any other questions!

      • 8:56 am - October 2, 2014

      • Reply
  • George Negron

    Thank you for sharing your tips with us on how we can relocate a skunk. I had a friend who recently tried a similar method and the skunk actually sprayed him and his dog. It was a terrible experience and worst of all he didn’t know how to get rid of the skunk smell. I hope you don’t mind but I made this video to help others know the best method of getting rid of skunk smell and I hope it adds some value to this great post
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1x5CEdjupic

    • 6:18 am - March 21, 2015

    • Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *