Apart from their strong stench, skunks pose little threat. However, if they get upset, they can spray you, your children, your pets, or your home. And removing that odor can be challenging.
On top of that, skunks also like to dig in your yard and garden, which can result in dead grass and plants. After you put all of that time and effort into tending your garden and growing a healthy, green yard, it can be frustrating to see your work go to waste.
So, how do you keep the neighborhood skunk away from your house?
Keep reading to find out.
The Busy Season
Fall is a time when skunks, and loads of other animals, become more active as they prepare for the long winter ahead. In fact, according to the Michigan State University Extension, as skunks get more active in neighborhoods across the country, so does their hotline with questions from people wondering what all the digging is about.
“The time of year makes a difference in the frequency of digging. Often, more damage occurs in the fall and spring. Michigan State University Extension hotlines receive many calls at certain times of the year about mystery mounds.”
Beyond the Smell, How to Tell
If you don’t smell that distinctive skunk odor, how can you tell you’re dealing with a skunk? If you have noticed digging in your yard or garden, check out what the holes look like. Skunks have a distinctive digging style that looks very different from raccoons. Skunks are shallow diggers, while raccoons prefer to flip over larger chunks of sod and earth.
This article from the Michigan State University Extension provides a helpful description of the different digging styles between skunks, raccoons, and moles.
What in your yard could be attracting skunks?
- Do you have fruit trees with fallen, overripe fruit on the ground, waiting for a hungry skunk?
- Do you keep your garbage can outside? Maybe with a lid that can easily be pushed off?
- Do you feed your pets outside? Do you leave their food and water bowls outside, too?
- Do you have a vegetable garden without a fence?
- Does your garden have lots of yummy earthworms? While earthworms are great for soil health, earthworms and grubs also happen to be a favorite skunk snack.
Keep Them Away
To keep skunks away, you can try lots of different strategies. See which ones work the best with the skunk you’re dealing with.
- Ultrasonic animal repeller
- Coyote decoy
- Motion-activated sprinklers
- Nite Guard Solar lights
- Nite Guard Repellent Tape
- Used kitty litter
- Citrus peels
- Homemade hot pepper spray
- Homemade spicy garlic spread
- Build a fence