Go To Search
ResidentsBusinessCity ServicesDepartmentsHow Do I?
Skunks
SkunkTell Me More about Skunks
Skunks generally eat fruits, vegetables and other plants. They will also eat pet food and garbage when it is accessible. Skunks usually come out after dark. They breed in the spring, from February to May. The young are usually born in May or June with the average litter being five to eight babies. Young are weaned at eight weeks and typically stay with their mother until they are two to four months old. Some juveniles will stay with their mothers or siblings until the following spring.

What to Do If You Have a Skunk on Your Premises 
  • Be sure to eliminate all food sources including pet foods.
  • Use metal or heavy plastic trash containers. Keep the lids securely fastened to prevent odors from escaping. You can attach lids with wire, rope or bungee cords.
  • Keep BBQ grills clean or stored in a secure place, such as a garage, shed, etc.
  • Remove large woodpiles or junk piles to prevent skunks from building a den beneath them. Completely cover wood or compost piles with a heavy tarp.
  • Cover your window wells to prevent curiosity-seeking animals from falling into them and becoming trapped.
  • Do not leave your pets outdoors at night, especially dogs. Skunks are quite docile and can easily be killed by a dog. If attacked, the skunk will spray your pet, leaving behind a vile odor. Fighting with a skunk can expose your pet to rabies as well.
  • Harvest your garden vegetables as soon as they ripen. Install motion-detection lights to discourage midnight snacking raids by these animals. A solution of hot pepper and water sprayed on fruits and vegetables still in the garden will effectively deter skunks and other pesky invaders.
  • If you encounter a skunk, especially during the day, do not approach or harass the animal. Leave the animal alone and it should depart, most likely during the evening or night. If the animal remains out in the open during the day for more than a day, it may be ill or injured and Animal Control should be called immediately. Never handle a sick or injured wild animal; always call for professional assistance.

What to Do If You Have Skunks in a Den
  • Use the ammonia fumigant solution. Follow the instructions in the repellent section of this web site. This information will also provide directions for placement of the fumigant.
  • The next day, cover the entry. Wadded up newspaper stuffed into the entry hole works well or if there is dirt around the entry, you can cover the entry area with loose dirt. Do not pack the dirt down.
  • Observe the hole for a few days. If the newspaper or the dirt does not move, the skunk is gone. If it has been moved, the skunk is still there.
  • The skunk will usually move on the first or the second night. If it doesn't, repeat the process.
  • Observe the hole for a few days. Re-cover the hole whenever you see it open. When the hole has not been uncovered for a few days, the skunk is out. If, after 4 days, the skunk has not moved, then on the 5th day, repeat the process from the beginning, including new rags and ammonia. The skunk will usually move out on the first or the second night.
  • After the skunk is gone, skunk-proof the area to prevent reoccurrence.

What to Do If You Have a Skunk in a Window Well or Dumpster
Provide a ramp made from a rough, wide board that is at least 4 inches wide, then staple or nail a heavy piece of cloth or carpet to the board, so the animal can get a good grip. Place the board at an angle, so the animal can crawl out. If this is not successful contact Animal Control.

What to Do If You Have a Skunk under a Shed or Barn 
  • Use the ammonia fumigant solution all around and under the edges of the shed.
  • Try the ammonia method mentioned earlier. (Often there is too much airspace under sheds or barns for ammonia alone to work.)
  • Place a radio tuned to an all talk station in the shed or barn. If you know the area where the skunk is living, place the radio on the floor close to it.
  • Any human activity in the barn or shed will also discourage the skunk from staying there.
  • Be sure to skunk proof once it is gone.

What to Do If You Have a Skunk Coming Through Your Pet Door
  • Lock and secure the pet door at night.
  • The easiest method is to simply lock your pet door every night at sunset. Normally, after just a few nights, the skunks will stop coming to your pet door. Once the skunk realizes he can't access your pet door for food, he will not want to waste time or energy coming to your house.

How to Remove Skunk Odor from Rooms or Clothes 
  • Use Neutroleum Alpha (available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture), Peppermint oil or Spearmint oil. Place on cotton balls or mix with water in a water bottle and use as an aerosol spray.
  • Place vinegar in a spray bottle and spray all heat vents.

How to Remove Skunk Odor from Pets
  • Use "Nature's Miracle Skunk Odor Remover” available from veterinarians or pet supply stores.
  • Use vinegar and water, mixed half and half.
  • Avoid getting any of these products into your pet's eyes!

How to Remove Skunk Odor from Human Skin
  • Use soap and water.
  • Use carbolic soap.
  • Use "Nature's Miracle Skunk Odor Remover."
  • Use vinegar and water, mixed half and half.

Skunk Proofing Your Property (Also Good for Fox & Rabbit)
For use around concrete slabs, patios, steps or sun decks:
  • Dig a trench around the patio or deck that is one foot wide and one foot deep.
  • For concrete slabs, purchase 1” x 2” welded wire fencing (available at hardware stores) to go around the concrete slab. Try to get welded wire that is 2 feet wide. Bend the welded wire into an L-shape and lay it in the trench so that the wire goes 1 foot down and 1 foot away from the patio. Then fill in the trench with rock and dirt. Concrete could also be poured if no future access is needed.
  • For sun decks, purchase 1” x 2” welded wire fencing; get it in a 3 foot or 4 foot width, depending on how high the deck is above the ground. Measure the distance from the bottom of the frame of the deck to the bottom of the trench that you have dug. Measure out that same distance on your welded wire and at that point, bend the welded wire at a right angle (L-shaped). Be sure that the L-shaped part is 1 foot wide. Trim off the excess if it is wider. Place the welded wire into the trench. Attach the wire to the bottom of the deck and fill in the trench with the materials listed above.
  • Cover window wells to prevent skunks from falling in.

Video