How To Scare Skunks Away Without Getting Sprayed

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Last Updated on December 28, 2022 by Griselda M.

You can smell a skunk before you see it because the odor that it expels is unpleasant, but how can you scare skunks away without getting sprayed?

If you are moving into a new house or selling your house, you will need to identify ways to keep skunks away.

Skunks being around your home can present several health hazards. Besides the danger of being sprayed with their stinky odor, skunks carry rabies and other diseases that can be harmful to your pets and family members.

These destructive animals can be problematic when they decide to make your home their habitat.

They dig holes in your lawn in search of insects to eat, they rummage through the trash creating a mess every day, and for chicken owners, they steal eggs and pose a threat to chickens.  Skunks can also dig under your house or deck, wreaking havoc on your home.

Identifying Skunks

Skunks are easy to recognize; they have black bodies and bushy tails with white stripes running down their back.

They are nocturnal mammals the size of a house cat but highly destructive.  Don’t let the size fool you; this creature can drive you mad.  The adult is about 13 to 34 inches long, including the tail.

These animals are susceptible to rabies and mostly carry it around.  It is one of the four wild animals, including bats, foxes, and raccoons, known to be primary carriers of rabies.

They also carry leptospirosis, a bacterial disease.

Identifying Skunks

How To Keep Skunks Away Without Getting Sprayed

Now that you know that for sure you have skunks around your home, it’s time to scare them away without getting sprayed.  Skunks are brainy animals, so get wiser than them and devise plans that will work to keep skunks out of the yard.

Here are several steps that you can use for a skunk deterrent.

Use An Electronic Repellent

These electronic repellant systems can repel all kinds of animals from your yard.  Ultrasonic pulses or sprays of water released by the electronic system are the best in scaring skunks away and remaining consistent at it. They cost around $25 to $50 and can be found online or in hardware stores.

Use Bright Lights

Skunks are nocturnal animals meaning they hunt at night.  Their eyes are susceptible to light; using bright LED lights or a motion-activated light on a timer will keep these destructive animals away from your home at night.

Eliminate Skunk Habitat

It may require structural alterations or fencing and blocking all access to their habitat.  Once you identify where they have made their habitat around your home, destroy it or block the opening using wood, concrete, sheet metal, or chicken wire.

Eliminate Skunk’s Habitat

Remove All Food Sources

Bird feeders, pet food, grubs, and garbage cans, all are food sources for these destructive animals.  Ensure you remove all of them, leaving none behind.  Use grub control treatment for your lawn to destroy them.  Dispose of your garbage properly and keep the bird and pet food contained.

If All Else Fails, Call The Professionals

Sometimes it can be not easy to get rid of skunks, and that’s alright.  Just don’t give up and let them stay, rather call in the professionals to help you eliminate them.  Contact a pest company if you cannot keep skunks away or a local wildlife authority if you notice a skunk is behaving irregularly or erratically.

Products To Scare Skunks Away Without Getting Sprayed

Always use friendly products for the environment that will not cause harm to your or your pets. Here are some you can use

  • All-natural Repellant SprayNatural repellent sprays are made with natural ingredients like peppermint oil.  Peppermint oil is a natural skunk deterrent that changes the animal behavior around your property. When sprayed around your trash area and home, it leaves skunks wondering what happened to their food sources or hiding places.

  • Electronic Animal Repellant – This repellant produces a combination of ultrasonic sounds and LED lights to repel unwanted animals in your yard. You can find many different types of this product from your nearest store or hardware.  They are usually eco-friendly, non-toxic, and 100% safe for humans and animals.

Thanos Solar Mole and Groundhog Repellent Stakes Sonic Gopher Repeller Vole Deterrent Spikes

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  • Solar-powered Skunk Deterrent – A solar-powered skunk deterrent provides a humane way of getting rid of destructive animals like deer, skunks, etc.  The ultrasonic sounds create an unfriendly living environment for these animals. Solar-powered deterrents are quiet, as their frequency is so high and undetectable to a human ear.

  • Motion-activated Sprinkler – This sprinkler humanely repels skunks keeping them out of yards and gardens using a harmless water spray.

When Is The Right Time To Call A Professional?

If you’ve tried all of the above steps above and failed to eliminate the skunks, then it’s time to call a professional.

Rabies symptoms include seizures, aggressiveness, and being active during the day. If you notice the skunk is behaving abnormally, call in the professionals at once.  Please refrain from trying to get rid of this destructive animal yourself, as it may harm you or your pets. The skunk is a primary carrier of the rabies virus, so don’t contact it.

If you suspect the skunk has babies, call the professionals.  Skunk babies tend to stay in their burrows until they are mature, so it will be hard to eliminate them on your own.

Keeping Skunks Out Of Your Home

It is possible to keep your home free from skunks by taking several simple precautions.

  • Eliminate food sources like open garbage cans – make sure they are fastened properly.

  • Use bird feeders with seed catchers.

  • Keep all the pet food safely locked in before evening comes.

  • Throw away all your table scraps in the bin and tightly lock them – do not throw them in your compost bin.

How Do You Get Skunk Smell Out Of The Yard?

Many people want to know, how you get skunk smell out of the yard. Firstly you should know that among the strongest stenches to get rid of from your yard is skunk spray. However, we have a few useful tips that would help you get the smell out of your outdoor space.

Keep in mind that these vital tips can also be used to rid the pungent skunk order from indoor areas as well. This offending spray let out by skunks has the potential of settling into porous surfaces which include walkways and wooden decks. The best option to get rid of the stench effectively would be to make use of homemade deodorizers that work.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Combine a gallon of water with a cup of bleach. This will be used as a deodorizer for your yard space.
  2. Next, using a mop, sponge, or cloth, use the bleach solution to wash off affected surfaces. Don’t allow the solution to sit around on surfaces longer than five minutes.
  3. Thereafter, each section that has been washed with the bleach solution should be thoroughly rinsed off using clean tap water. Ensure that this part is done properly or else you can expect the surfaces to become discolored because the bleach was not rinsed off. 
  4. This process is best done manually as making use of pressure washers can result in overspray that will reach garden plants and other areas in your yard.

How Do You Keep Skunks Away From Bird Feeders?

Have you ever thought about how you keep skunks away from bird feeders? If so, then we have a few tips that you can try out as it has worked effectively for us. Take heed of the strategies below and see which one works best to get rid of skunks that hoard your bird feeders.

1. Don’t keep your bird feeders out at night

Skunks are nocturnal animals who love to forage in the late nightly hours. Taking your bird feeders indoors at this time would be a great move to keep them away, especially when they figure out that the food source is no longer available. However, this does not mean that they won’t visit the feeder during the day, especially if they have become fond of it. The aim, however, is to aid them in losing interest in your yard which will eventually force them to move on.

2. Don’t overfill your feeder

Putting out a supply of food that only lasts a day is clever because, by the time these invaders arrive, your bird feeder should have been emptied by your feathery friends during the day. If you opt to do this, then keep in mind that you will have to refill it daily. It also saves you the hassle of bringing your bird feeders indoors every day.

3. Ensure that seeds don’t spill on the ground when filling your feeder

Nothing is more attractive to a skunk than food strewn around the ground below your bird feeder. So, to keep them away, it is best to be careful when filling the feeder with seeds as it will decrease the chances of the skunk’s visits to your yard. You can use seed-catching trays underneath the bird feeder if you are in the habit of spilling them on the ground.

4. Isolate your bird feeders

Keeping your bird feeders away from trees, decks, tall vegetation, or your house will minimize the chances of skunk invasions. This is because they will have a smaller chance of getting to the food as there will be no solid structure that they can rely on to get to the top.

Does Epsom Salt Keep Skunks Away?

If you want to know does Epsom salt keep skunks away, then the answer is yes! By sprinkling Epsom salts on your plants and lawn, skunks will steer clear from it as it repels them. This is because this substance is genius at irritating their nasal cavities so they just rather stay away than endure it. Therefore, Epsom salts are excellent for keeping skunks out of your yard. Just make sure that it is used with caution around certain plants.

Do Marigolds Keep Skunks Away?

If you have marigolds in your garden and want to know, do marigolds keep skunks away, then hear me out. Firstly, the scents of many flowering plants and herbs are not very welcomed by these creatures as it tickles their nasal cavities. Marigold is one of the flowers that skunks are not very fond of, however, it is not a smell that they can’t get past.

For this reason, plants like the crown imperial, summer squash, stinging nettle, wild cucumber, Oregon grape, daffodils, holly, and thick hedges with horns are the best plant choices to keep skunks away. These plants are avoided by these animals because of their potent smells which send skunks on their way.

Will Deer Repellent Keep Skunks Away?

Will deer repellent keep skunks away? The answer to this question is a big yes because deer repellent is hated by these animals. This is because this product is mostly made up of peppermint oil which is ready to use.

You can purchase readymade deer repellent from any hardware or homecare store as they usually stock them in one-gallon bottles with spray nozzles for easy and convenient use. It is very effective at keeping skunks at bay and it is also quite affordable. Alternatively, you could also opt to use caster oil which is usually sold with a spray applicator made from a garden hose. This product can also be obtained at local hardware stores in your region.

Does Cinnamon Keep Skunks Away?

We recently had one of our readers ask us the question, does cinnamon keep skunks away? You may be surprised to know that it actually works wonders to keep these critters at bay. To effectively repel skunks, one of the most popular essential oils that can be used is made of cinnamon.

This is because the spicy smell that it emits is not very welcoming according to skunks. Therefore, when effectively applied, the smell of cinnamon irritates their sensitive noses which makes them react to it and stay away. So, scarring skunks away without getting sprayed can work when using a cinnamon-infused repellent.


If you are still worried about dealing with these animals, you can avoid the unpleasant skunk odor by keeping your home extremely clean and organized.  That includes the outdoors, where they tend to hide and make their home.

If you feel unsafe around these animals, call the professionals, and they will be of great help to you in eliminating and ensuring they don’t come back.  Then you won’t have to worry about how to scare skunks without getting sprayed with their bad odor.


Will noise scare a skunk away?

The short answer is "yes". You can make a lot of noise (for a human) but they probably won't respond much at all. Skunks are nocturnal. They are most active during the night hours and will avoid the area where they hear people, cars, etc. If they are disturbed at night then they will probably not be disturbed again.

If you are able to go outside and let them know that you are there in some way (such as with a light), you might be able to get them to move along. If they are a nuisance to you, you should look into the use of humane deterrents such as pepper spray or water pistols. But do not assume that this is the case.

What scares off a skunk?

Skunks are scared of many things. The most common one is loud noises (like guns) and sudden movements. 

Will pets scare them off?

It is well known that skunks are scared of dogs and cats. If your pet is a good one, then it won’t bother the animal. The odor from skunks is not as strong as other animals.

How do you keep skunks away?

Preventing skunk problems from happening in the first place is key to keeping them out of your home. You need to make sure you do not leave food or other attractants in areas where you expect a skunk to be. This includes the garage, the basement and even under the house if you live in an area with lots of rodents.

It is very important to keep your house clean and odor-free. You should vacuum and sweep frequently, especially around the house.

What do they eat?

They’re omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and animals. But unlike dogs, they don’t eat just any meat, they prefer carrion – dead animals, insects and other small creatures.

Where do skunks live?

Skunks live almost everywhere in North America except Alaska and Hawaii. They prefer dry areas because they cannot survive in wet areas.

What's the best way to get rid off a skunk?

The best way to get rid of skunks is to call a professional. It may seem like it will cost a lot, but if you don’t deal with them properly, the cost can actually add up.

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