How to Get Rid of Skunks from your Garden


So, you are on your merry way trying to plant some good quality veggie and fruit plants around in your garden. While the process is simple, even a single skunk infestation can wreak havoc on your garden for a permanent amount of time. Wondering how to get rid of skunks? Well, this is where you need to take an immediate step and get rid of the problems. Besides the fact that skunks can damage your plants, they also leave a distinctive smell in the surroundings, making it impossible for people to keep the surroundings clean.

Despite how cute and non-aggressive skunks are, they can be a right nuisance if you don’t do the needful to eliminate them from the garden immediately. Although skunks rely on insects predominantly for their food, they also eat leaves, buds, grasses, garbage, and fruits.

Also read: How to Get Rid of Gnats? | 12 Effective Ways

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about skunk infestation and how you can get rid of them for good.

What are Skunks?

Skunks are nocturnal animals that are non-aggressive creatures that prefer eating small insects, fruits, and veggies around the garden. Most of the time, you will spot skunks in your garden because you have sweet fruits growing you have a corn farm. Although they do come with many negative impacts on your garden, having them is also good in a way.

Skunks have a habit of feeding on the insect larvae, worms, and beetles in your garden, which means that you can make the most out of them without any complications. 

Although they don’t damage the plants directly, they have a habit of burrowing through the roots of the plants, destroying them in the process.

How do you Identify Skunk Damage in the Garden?

There is a range of burrowing creatures that can affect your garden. So, to find whether it is a skunk or some kind of other creature can be an issue. Sometimes, you might think it is a skunk, but it turns out it is a groundhog. 

In such cases, it is always advised that you look out for the kind of damage you notice.

If your vegetable and flower beds have multiple holes and burrow through them, it is a sign that you have a skunk infestation. Make sure that you take immediate steps to counter the issue. Also, skunks tend to make 3-4 inch deep holes in the ground, which means that you need to look out for those issues too.

Moreover, if you have a corn farm that the skunks have infested, you will often find the bottom part of the corn being eaten off. If the corn is toppled on the ground, it is not a skunk but most likely a bigger creature like a raccoon.

List of Ways to Get Rid of Skunks

Now that you know what kind of damage spots you need to watch out for, it is time we walk you through the list of remedies that you can implement. Some of them can help eliminate the skunk from your garden, while a few others can help you prevent them from entering your garden for good.

1. Start with Castor Oil & Soap

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The combination of castor oil and dishwashing soap can seem confusing, but trust us; it works like magic. Not only does it help make the burrow runny and inhabitable, the smell of the castor oil and soap also repels the skunks from being too hyperactive in the surroundings, something that you need to eliminate from the garden.

2. Avoid Feeding the Skunk

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Yes, skunks are pretty harmless, and they are cute to look at. However, just because they are cute to look at doesn’t mean you will end up feeding them. That is the absolute last thing you want to do. Sometimes, you end up feeding the skunk unintentionally by leaving open your trash can or leaving food outside in the backyard. You need to take care of those issues too.

If you notice fruits or veggies have fallen on the ground, clear them out immediately instead of letting them rot in the garden. Sometimes, that is what creates the entire ruckus. Also, if you can, build larger fences to prevent them from climbing over them.

3. Try Skunk Spray

Another effective way to get rid of the skunks from your backyard is by trying some skunk spray. The strong and pungent smell of the spray is enough to drive away from the skunks away from your garden or backyard. However, for the best results, you need to spray them at the burrow entrance without further complications.

Most of the skunk sprays available commercially contain a blend of natural and organic ingredients with a pungent smell that drives away the skunk. However, they are completely safe for these creatures, which means that they won’t cause any harm to their health or the plants you are growing in your garden.

4. Install a Sprinkler

Lawn Sprinkler
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Nobody likes getting sprayed with water, and the same is the case with the skunks. They don’t like getting sprayed on with water when they are traversing through the perimeter of the garden. In such cases, you can install a motion-enabled sprinkler in your garden. What this does is whenever the skunk moves on the garden, the motion sensor detects the movement and ends up switching on the sprinkler.

The water and the noise make the skunk feels threatened and allows you to get rid of them for good from the garden. However, make sure that you are investing in a good quality sprinkler if you want notable results.

5. Opt for Motion Sensor Lights

Since skunks are nocturnal, they likely have extremely sensitive eyes that won’t respond well to direct exposure to light. So, while they are trying to infest your garden during the nighttime, what you can do is install some motion sensor lights with bright luminescence. What this does is focus the light on the skunks, making it impossible for them to see through their path.

Doing this for a few days will repel them from staying in your garden, and they will switch over to a new place soon after.

6. Spray Strong Smells

Strong smells like ammonia, predator litter, and urine and mothballs are one of the biggest repellents for the skunks. This means that if you want to scare off the skunks and prevent them from digging burrows along the entirety of your garden, the best way to do so is by spraying some strong-smelling ingredients like the ones that we have mentioned here. 

However, make sure that you keep these chemical or toxic ingredients like ammonia or commercial repellents away from the reach of children and pets.

7. Use Traps

If you don’t want to hurt the skunks in any way, catch and release traps are a pretty great option. These are a little tricky to set up, especially if you don’t have a good idea about all the burrows they have created in your garden. So, you need to scope out the entire garden and backyard and find what needs to be done.

Once you have an idea about the burrow, place the catch traps in front of the burrows and camouflage them with soil and leaves so they can’t distinguish them. Once trapped, you can take the trap and release them somewhere far away.

8. Use Skunk Repellent Granules

If the standard home remedies aren’t showing any results, you can use the skunk repellent granules. These are commercially available in the stores, and you can get them and sprinkle them across the garden perimeter. What you need to do is take a bunch of these pellets and stuff them inside the burrow. 

Since they stuff out the entrance, they can effectively change their burrowing direction and move out of your garden. Also, these granules are dissolvable and will eventually dissolve in the soil, so you don’t have to worry about any damage.

9. Seal the Trashcans

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Last on the list is to do the most obvious preventive measure. Close the lid of your trashcan. This serves as the most common food source for the skunks, and they will scavenge the trash for food and other perishables. So, leaving it open in your backyard will serve as an invitation for the skunks to feed off of the open buffet of food from the trash. 

So, every time you leave the trash can outside, make sure that you clean the can and close the lid tightly.

If you are looking for ways to get rid of skunks from your garden, these are effective in the long run. If nothing else works, ensure that you follow along with a professional exterminator and get the issue checked out. Sometimes, if the infestation is severe, a professional can scope out your entire space and do the needful to prevent them from returning.

Also read: 10 Best Home Remedies to Get Rid of Lizards

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which Home Remedy Will Work for Getting Rid of Skunks?

The combination of cayenne pepper, chopped jalapeno, and onion is often repulsive enough to get rid of the skunks for good.

Will Vinegar Keep the Skunks Away?

Yes, they likely will because the smell is extremely strong and creates an aversion for the skunks to be around.

Which Odors Do Skunks Hate the Most?

There are a few distinctive smells that skunks hate, including citrus, predator urine, and even ammonia. So, you can use that to your benefit.

By James Edwards

James Edwards is a writer & editor with almost 15 years of experience from Murphys, California. He earned his bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University.

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