Skunks might look pretty but (as you may already know) can be the cause of several health and safety hazards. These little animals have a reputation for releasing a horrible odor that you’ll most likely notice regardless of where skunks are around your property.
Whether they found shelter under your house, somewhere in the garage, or behind the woodpile on your porch, you will most likely notice their presence. Plus, skunks may pose a threat to your family or pets as they are carriers of rabies and other diseases.
Knowing how to stop skunks can help you save lots of headaches in the future. Preventing them from choosing your house as their favorite shelter might save you some time picking up open trash bags and garbage around your garden. If you suspect a skunk is hanging around your yard, keep reading this ultimate guide on how to stop skunks to deter them from your garden.
What Are Skunks?
Before getting into how to get rid of them, you might want to learn a bit more about these nocturnal animals. While they prefer to eat small animals and insects, they might visit gardens as they are attracted to corn and other plants close to the ground. You can find these pests pretty much all over the country.
Their nocturnal lives might cause inconvenience and uneasiness. These animals feed on everything they find: from leaves to grass to garbage, berries, and even small game. However, they might also be beneficial: skunks love to eat cutworms, Japanese beetles, and other pests known for the destruction they cause to crops and plants. Still, having them around is not a good idea, so you’d better take some action if you suspect they might live in your garden.
The main reason for these animals’ popularity is, without a doubt, their characteristic skunk spray, which has a bitter odor that you’ll be able to smell from half a mile distance. Skunks release their orders when threatened or angry. However, they are not aggressive animals. They will use their “weapon” for defense purposes only.
Symptoms of Skunks in Your Garden
The most obvious way to detect the presence of skunks is the strong odor. You may also find some tracks in your garden, which may look similar to those of raccoons.
One of the first symptoms skunks are attacking your garden is the presence of several holes in your flower bed or around the turf. As skunks like to dig grassy areas to find insects, you might have your garden destroyed by a couple of night’s hunting sessions. The good news is that skunks are not an all-year-round problem: usually, they will stop their activities after the spring.
How To Stop Skunks
To keep skunks away from your property, you’ll want to eliminate all of the “attractive” features your house may offer them. For starters, make sure you patch holes around your foundation and bury your fences down to two feet in the ground to prevent them from entering your garden.
Additionally, remove possible shelter sites: wood and rock piles are favorite picks among skunks. Eliminate them from your patio or garage to reduce the possibility of these animals deciding to stay at your place. Also, ensure you clean away debris and avoid leaving garbage bins outside your house.
If you have pets, feed them during the day and remove their uneaten food before the evening comes. Skunks love dog, cat, and bird food. Store them somewhere you know skunks won’t be able to access it.
Despite what you may have heard, natural repellents don’t do much to prevent skunks from attacking your house. But what seems to work is the strong scent of ammonia. Placing rugs and other absorbing clothes where you suspect skunks have a shelter will scare them away. Remember that this is not a permanent solution, and be careful if you have children and pets around: ammonia might harm them.
One of the best repellents is light. Skunks are nocturnal animals and have sensitive eyes. Adding a bright light to your porch and in your garden will scare them away.
How to Stop Skunks: The Bottom Line
There are plenty of ways to get rid of skunks humanely. If none of the tips we suggested here seems to work, you may want to call a professional service to trap these animals and place them in a new territory.