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Here’s something you might not know about skunks: their scientific name “mephitis mephitis” comes from the Roman goddess of poisonous vapors and literally means “bad odor bad odor,” as if to indicate “double trouble.” Plus, skunks can deliver the double-whammy of nasty smell combined with digging up your yard and garden. It’s a good thing there are skunk repellents that really work, such as Havahart® Critter Ridder®.
I grew up near a river. Our house was situated on top of the embankment so while flooding was never an issue, the wildlife was. One year we had a welcomed batch of duck eggs. I was very young at the time and my mom thought it would be a great teaching opportunity. The skunks thought otherwise. To her horror my mom walked out on our deck overlooking our backyard and saw the skunk halfway through the batch of eggs.
Startled by the skunk – it was during the day and completely unexpected – combined with her deep desire to protect the eggs, she tried hollering at the animal, shushing it feverishly. It continued its smorgasbord, completely unaffected by her tirade. In desperation, she ran into the house, filled a large pot with hot water, and then dumped it over the deck, near the skunk. The skunk scurried, but not before it had destroyed all the duck eggs.
While the hot water did the trick of getting the skunk moving, my mom really could have used some skunk repellent tips to keep it from coming in the first place.
While skunk repellents can work quite well, some skunks just don’t know when to quit. When faced with a particularly persistent critter, take these additional skunk repelling steps:
1. Repelling skunks by getting rid of their food source. Take pet food dishes inside, or only leave them outside when it’s time for your pet to eat. While skunks may not be able to “talk trash,” they sure love to eat it, so keep all outdoor trash cans secure.
2. Repelling skunks by removing their shelter. Locate the skunk’s burrow and fill it with dirt at night while it’s out on the town. It might be a little miffed when it returns home to find your eviction notice, but it will quickly move on. Be careful if you use this method in the spring, as you need to make sure there aren’t any baby skunks living inside.
3. Skunk repellents. Havahart® skunk repellents work because they irritate the daylights out of the animal if they smell it, touch it or are adventurous enough to actually taste it. Available in both granular and liquid, you’ll have effective skunk repelling protection all year long (granular works even when the temperature is below freezing).
By being proactive and following these simple skunk repellent tips, you’ll no longer ask yourself how to repel skunks, as you’ll be too busy enjoying your beautiful and fruitful garden.