Skunk In The Garden
(Image credit: Kristine Paulus)

Knowing how to get rid of skunks is no easy thing. The defensive and stinky nature of skunks means that if you startle or anger the skunk, you could end up getting into some serious, smelly trouble. But getting rid of skunks is not impossible. Let's take a look at the ways to get rid of a skunk in your garden.

Natural Skunk Repellent and Deterrents

Here are some common methods for getting rid of skunks in the garden: Bright lights - Probably the best skunk repellent is a light. Skunks are nocturnal and their eyes are very light sensitive. A motion sensor flood light will frighten them off if they come into your yard. Citrus smells - Most animals, including skunks, dislike the smell of citrus fruits. Place orange or lemon peels around the yard as a natural skunk repellent. Predator smells - Dog, coyote, and other predator urine can be used as ways to get rid of a skunk. These are normally commercially sold and can be applied around the garden. When getting rid of skunks, these products need to be reapplied after any rainfall. Ammonia - Ammonia-soaked rags or cotton balls placed around the yard are another natural skunk repellent. Unfortunately, when the ammonia evaporates, the skunks will come back, so you need to replace the rags or cotton balls frequently.

Other Methods for How to Get Rid of Skunks

You can use the best skunk repellent in the world, but if you don't remove the reason for a skunk coming into your garden in the first place, the skunk will just keep trying to come back. There are two reasons a skunk will go into a garden or yard. These are food and shelter.

Getting rid of skunks by removing the food source

There are many sources of food for skunks in your garden and yard. Removing these will help remove the skunk problem. These sources of food are:

If you are unable to get rid of these food sources, secure them by either covering them or setting up a small fence around the potential food source. Skunks cannot climb very well, so a low fence will keep them out.

Getting rid of skunks by removing their shelter

Finding where your skunk lives and making the burrow uninhabitable is among the more effective ways to get rid of a skunk. Find the burrow where the skunk is living. At night, after the skunk has left the burrow, fill it in with dirt. Be aware that in the spring, the skunk may have babies in the burrow. You can also remove the skunk from their shelter by trapping them. Use a live animal trap and then relocate the skunk to another location, like a park or field.

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.