Skunks in the premises are not a welcoming presence. They can cause several health issues for the people living in the house by bringing in many bacterial infections. Skunks can also get violent, and/or bite the people around and even carry the dangerous rabies virus.
This jeopardizes the safety, especially of the children if there are any around. Another reason why these mammals are better being off the premises, and one should get rid of them is because they can spray the house or the people in it with a toxic and highly rotten smelling gas, which smells just like rotten eggs or worse and is not at all easy to get rid of.
The list of their negative impact on safety and health does not end just there. These small animals often litter the house as they spread the garbage bags and the garbage inside it everywhere while searching for food.
The garbage, once out in the open, will attract insects, bacteria, and fungus. Therefore, in some way, they even spoil the fresh food in the house, by meeting their germ-infested hands. Thus, in short, the skunks can contaminate the house they visit.
To get rid of skunks there are a few easy things that one can do, to prevent attracting them or get rid of any that have already entered.
Getting Rid of the Skunks: Cleaning the House
The first and most basic step to get rid of the skunks is to do a thorough cleaning of the house. This requires doing several things which are listed below:
Get Rid of the Food Sources
Often some leftovers end up lying around here and there in the house. Sometimes there are fresh fruits or foodstuff out in the open that people forget to keep either in the fridge. The smell from these sources of edible things can most likely attract skunks from nearby areas. Even the leftover dog food or pet food can be a cause of the same.
So, get rid of these sources, will not only prevent the skunks from being attracted to the house but with no food sources inside the house, any skunks that are already inside will also leave soon enough on their own.
Put the Garbage in the Trash Can
Make sure the trash can has a working and tight lid. Garbage bags can be easily torn by these animals with their sharp claws and teeth. That is why having a trash can and then putting the garbage inside it, and firmly closing it is the second thing to do. Either the Skunks will not smell the garbage and stale food from inside the tight-lid trash can and stay away, or they can try to open them, but once they see it is pointless, they will eventually leave.
Say No to Rodents and Insects
As if a rodent infestation or insects’ infestation of any sort is not bad enough on its own, these things can attract skunks as well. Skunks feed on rodents at times and so having a rodent infestation will firstly be harmful as it is, then the skunks entering the scene will only make things worse. Similarly, any kind of insect infestation needs to be taken care of just as well.
One of the things that one can do in the case of rodents is to use traps made to catch them or use some rodent repellent sprays or cakes that are available in the market.
Getting Rid of the Places to Hide
Skunks can hide in many places, come out discretely for food, loiter around and litter the house as they do so, then hide back. Since there are places such as the area under the bed that cannot be removed, there are, however, places that can be taken care of that skunks actively use as a hiding place.
The first place is any accumulation of debris, old wooden furniture parts, or such that may be lying around in some corner. Those accumulations have enough spaces at times inside them for skunks to hide and move. Similarly, garden brushes, two or three together can make for a good hiding place for these small mammals.
Shake the bushes in the house as they might be there, however, be cautious doing any of these things as they might sense hostility and spray in defense. Take necessary precautions while looking for hiding places.
These animals can hide under the beds and in the basement, there are many places. One needs to first check the places and scare off any skunks there first using skunk repellents or professional help. After that, the next step is important to make sure they do not come back and hide in the same places inside the house again.
Covering the area under the deck is necessary as it is one of the most common places where skunks usually hide. After checking for any skunks that might already be there, and getting rid of them, the place should be covered as shown in the image.
Blocking Their Path
The next step is to block the path these skunks might be using to enter the house. There can be spaces in some areas of the house, maybe the dog door, a hole, or a broken door. Anything which is broad enough for them to crawl through should be blocked.
For this, using wires is the best solution as using duct tape might not work if the skunks just bite through them. Metal wires are the best solution. Repairing the holes or any broken area that may be acting as the path is a fix for the problem just as well.
Lighting up the Lawn
Skunks like to sneak in around evening and night. The time is suitable for them to move around undetected. That is why one of the ways to get rid of and repel skunks is to install more or new lights on the outside portion of the house or the garden/lawn. This is not as efficient a way of skunk repellent as the others but still is worth giving a shot. The animal, like many others, has a tendency to stay away from lights and fire.
The above steps, in short, will get rid of the skunks to some extent and prevent any future entry. Without any proper food sources, and inaccessible trash cans, the skunks will lose all motivation to come into the house, and leave even if they do and find nothing to eat no matter what they do. Then, blocking their entryway will act as a further precautionary measure that will back up the previous steps and complement the next few steps.
The next step is to actually getting rid of the skunks that are inside, by finding them and using skunk repellents as the best way to safely do it.
Chemical Skunk Repellent
Skunk Repellents are chemically made sprays that give out a certain scent that skunks find unbearable or dangerous. The skunks stay away from the areas where they smell these and leave the places where they smell them. Therefore, it is a great way to get rid of skunks from the house.
The repellent should be sprayed in places that have the potential for the mammal to hide. The places can include the debris and such things in the garden, or old furniture lying around somewhere. The area under the deck is one of the mainstream places for skunks to hide just like the bushes and corners or areas in the garage, sheds, and basement.
The places should be sprayed with the chemical repellent a few times a week to see a fast and effective result.
Some chemical repellents smell like dog urine or fox urine that hunt skunks. So, out of fear, the animal stays away. The repellent in general resembles an animal that the skunk fears or predator animal’s urine in a scent that acts as a natural repellent. The innate response of the animal is what helps here.
Then there are also sprays that have a pepper solution, which is unbearable for the animal. When sprayed on the skunk, or the places they might hide, the skunk stays as far away from the place as it can. Then there is an ammonia solution spray that works just as well as any other. One just has to remember that the ammonia can smell really bad, and stay the smell can stay for longer than one would want it to.
All of these are available to buy online or from a local store.
The electronic repellent is a motion sensor-activated water sprinkler. It activates at night or even day when it senses the movement of any animal or even human around it. The sudden burst of water droplets is enough to startle the animal and make it run away from the house.
There are ultrasonic electronic repellents as well that produces an ultrasonic sound that the animal finds repulsive.
Man’s Best Friend
A dog can scare any skunk inside or trying to enter the house easily. Although it can be troublesome if the dog gets sprayed, in most likelihood, the skunk will stay away in the first place itself as soon as it senses the presence of a predator in the house.
Homemade Citrus Repellent
Sometimes skunks are repelled by the smell of lemon, orange, or other citrus fruits’ peels. The peel should be sprayed around the house in places where the animal might hide. The citrus fruit can also be mixed with water and sprayed along with the peels to increase the effectiveness of the whole process.
Lastly, there are mechanical traps available in the market that are used to catch the skunks and get rid of them. The traps can make the animal hostile and the skunk will spray at anyone it sees, so it is better to be cautious when handling a trap that has caught a skunk.
The traps can be set up in any place where the possibility of the animal is the highest to approach. After catching it, the animal should be released outside the premises. However, remember to be careful when doing this, as the animal might spray while running out or after coming out of the trap.
The best preventive measure is to use masks and protective clothing. Even raincoats with a mask that properly covers the face, the eyes, and the nose, will work well enough.
Keep the face as far from the skunk as possible nonetheless.
Getting rid of the animal is not an easy task, so requires some patience. Simply killing them, as some people do, is an inhumane way. Besides there are many other things that can be done to effectively get rid of the skunks from the deck and other places of the house and prevent any future entry to the house as well.
One needs to follow the methods and steps told above, without showing aggression to avoid the animal spraying in defense as much as one can and using the proper repellents and precautionary measures that are necessary.