Pew, How to Keep Skunks Out of Your Garden

We all know the stories about skunks and are familiar with how much they can smell.  That might not be the biggest issue when you are dealing with the garden or your yard.  So how do you keep skunks out of your garden or yard?

There are several things that work with these creatures but first let’s discuss more on what they are doing in your yard.  First skunks are mostly found in North America and are omnivores.  They love munching on bugs and worm.  They also enjoy juicy berries and fruit for a snack.  To get to these things, they can dig-up your yard, grass, or garden.  They might also be looking for a place to build a den or have a family.

Skunks are another thief of the night much like raccoons. Most people don’t know but skunks rarely use their spray.  Many skunks can go their entire life without spraying once!  That doesn’t mean they won’t, it just means that is just another thing to worry about.  You should also be aware that they can carry rabies.

Now that I have said that let’s get into keeping these guys out of your garden.

Plants

There are several types of plants that can help keep the skunks out of the garden. One is simply squash. Do not misunderstand me here.  They do and will eat the squash but they don’t like walking on the leaves.  The leaves of squash have little hair like needles all over them and can irritate the skunk’s feet.  Other plants that work well around the perimeter are nettles or anything else spiky.

Scent Repellents

Like many other animals, they can easily be deterred with certain smells. They don’t really like citrus so any citrus type spray can be applied around the yard but must be reapplied every few days.

You can also use the pepper tea that works on so many other creatures.  It is easy to make this mixture by fill your blender with hot peppers, the hotter the better.  Top the peppers with water and blend away.  Let it settle out overnight and strain the liquid off. Spray the liquid on your plants you want to keep the animals away from. Peppers like cayenne and chili powder have a strong scent and can cause the animals to stay away.

Predator Urine works well against skunks.  You can buy it at many places online.  Just make sure the animals they get it from are treated humanely.  You might even be able to just own a dog.  That might keep the skunks away from the scent of the dog.  More on this a little later.

 

Fences

Skunks are terrible climbers.  So fences work wonders. You should construct the fence as you would for rabbits.  They can dig very well.  Make sure you dig down and then bend a 90-degree angle outward to keep them from getting in!

This brings me to one more point.  It really isn’t about fencing but more about making sure there are no holes they can burrow in or make a den out of.  It is common for them to find a whole and climb under your house or shed.  Make sure these entry points remain closed.

Motion Sensor Lights

Skunks HATE bright lights!  Since they are nocturnal this is a great way to get them to move on.  Not only will it startle them but will have them moving away quickly.  If you can find one with ultrasonic sound too that would work even better.

Ultrasonic Motion Sensors

These can work well on skunks.  It is best if they incorporate the sound and the lights.  Many ultrasonic pest eliminators use both the sound and the lights in different patterns to scare away animals.  When using both the lights and the sound it is much more effective.  One will get the attention of the animal, the second will increase the threat and trigger the flight response in them.

Motion Sensor Sprinklers

These work very well on a variety of animals including skunks, deer and birds.  They work because nothing really likes an unexpected splash of water in the face!  Skunks are smart and may find a way to avoid the sensor.  So make sure you have the entire garden or yard covered and in a little time they will no longer be an issue.

Other Animals

I mentioned before about having a dog.  The important thing here is that the dog does not chase, corner, or fight the skunk.

I can remember my grandmother’s dog who cornered a skunk.  Well you can guess what happened he got sprayed.  It happened one morning while I was visiting my grandmother.  I was laying in my bed when I heard the dog yelp and run inside.  Then I heard my grandmother yell, “Dutch get out of my bed don’t crawl under the covers!” Very shortly after that the smell hit me.  I think she had to throw the bed away.  

Looking back on that story now it is funny.  At the time, it wasn’t very funny.  Well, okay yes it was.  I was laughing like a maniac in my bed.  Back to the point of the story.  Your dog can deter the animals just by their scent but you don’t want the dog to engage with the skunk in anyway.

Conclusions

Skunks are beautiful creatures and like all creatures should be respected.  That does not mean you must have them wreck your garden or yard.  I hope that helped how to keep skunks out of the garden. If they have moved in and set up home, then you might have to call a professional to remove them.  So, if you know you have skunks in the area a preventative measure is best. I personally like the sprinklers the best. Feel free to read my review for the motion sprinkler I like the best.  If you have any questions or comments about your own skunk issue, please leave them below!

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