How to Get Rid of Skunks Under the House?

How to Get Rid of Skunks Under the House?
Photo by LeniG

Skunks are most usually non-aggressive and can be of benefit in the area they tend to inhabit. However, they can quickly become a nuisance too.

If they decide to make their burrow and have babies on your property, the only thing you will care about knowing is just how to get rid of skunks under the house, patio, or shed before they start to spray you (or your pets) and become more than a nuisance.

Nocturnal and relatively shy, skunks are not often seen, but they can be smelled! Although the black and white creatures are not innate antagonists, they will spray people or animals with their awful N-butyl mercaptan (skunk spray) if they feel threatened, leaving behind a horrible smell that can linger for days.

Even if they don’t make a big stink, skunks will invade your garden and even mess up your garbage.

The bottom line is that Humans have a hard time living with these cute but stinky creatures, so if you suspect a skunk has taken up space under your house or surrounding, keep reading as we’ll explain how to get rid of skunks under the house, and anywhere they frequent in your surroundings.

Fortunately, there have come to be many ways to get skunks out of your home naturally and humanely. You can eliminate skunks that have taken up residence on your property with several methods of prevention and repelling.

The best option is to make the area uninhabitable by covering prime den locations and deterring them with scents such as ammonia, mothballs, pepper, urine, or spray repellents.

In this article, we will be showing the many techniques on how to get rid of skunks under the house or anywhere in your home that they must have taken over and also keep them from coming back.

How Do You Know It’s a Skunk?

Almost anyone in North America can recognize a skunk is around because it gives off a horrible smell that travels miles and sticks to your clothes like lint. However, if the smell of the skunks is undeniable, its appearance is just as much.

A skunk is usually completely black, with a single white stripe running from the top of the head to the tip of the tail, but skunks can be brown/chocolate in color or completely white.

These creatures tend to be very shy and like to stay away from areas densely populated with people or other animals. 

Nevertheless, skunks also need to eat and find a place to live, and this may be one of the reasons they find shelter on your property.

Although the pungent smell of a skunk is in no way harmful, It smells absolutely revolting and is specifically designed to deter a potential predator. 

A skunk may not be particularly interested in you or your pets, but they are in the vegetation in your yard or the shelter under your house.

Skunks dig holes in your lawn and garden and have been known to completely destroy any food in your garden, brush, and eat the bark off your trees.

Skunks will also dig their way under your house, porch, or shed to breed. If you have a skunk infestation around your home, you can be sure that it will reproduce and die on your property.

And if they eventually die in a hard-to-reach place, they will create a horrible smell that will linger and be almost impossible to get rid of.

Are Skunks Dangerous?

Before we dive into how to get rid of skunks under the house, let’s first answer a common question: how dangerous can a skunk be? Skunks are not dangerous creatures.

They are generally not aggressive. Skunks are generally peaceful little fellows, but their reputation for being smelly is well deserved.

They can help control grubs and pests, but having one living on your property is not a good prospect. If a skunk has sprayed you or your pet, you probably won’t want that again soon.

However, they are also one of four wild animals that primarily transmit the rabies virus. A rabid skunk may stagger, circle, have paralyzed limbs, or act aggressively. Call your local animal control center or wildlife rehabilitator for help if you notice a rabid skunk.

What’s the Best Way on How to Get Rid of Skunks Under the House?

The best and most efficient way to remove skunks from your property is to prevent them, and that depends on where they are and how you want to manage them.

For example, maybe you have an unlimited budget to buy repellents, or you want to deter these animals without spending a penny.

To get started, check the following:

  1. Eliminate food sources
  2. Cover the trash bin
  3. Never leave pet food out overnight.
  4. Cover all window wells
  5. Keep your yard well lit
  6. Avoid overwatering the lawn


The best way on how to get rid of skunks under the house is not to attract them in the first place. Take away their food source.

Skunks are opportunists, and insects may be their favorite food, but the opportunistic animal will eat almost anything. Completely cuts off their food supply, and they probably won’t stick around.

Ensure your garbage cans are airtight containers and secure in your garage or under your porch. Pick up any litter you may have in your yard and make sure your pet food is inside, as well as feed your pets inside.

You should also pick up fallen and rotten fruits and vegetables. If you are the type that likes to feed the birds around your house, be aware that feeding the birds can sometimes be a little messy, and skunks, on the other hand, love bird seed, so clean it up when it gets litter on the ground, especially before nightfall.

If you eliminate their food source, they won’t be able to live near you. Finally, Skunks like to dig for grubs in an overwatered garden.

This happens because moist soil conditions push grubs closer to the surface. Keeping your lawn in good condition and not too wet could prevent a skunk encounter.

How to Get Rid of Skunks Under the House Deck, Shed, or Porch

Opportunistic animals, they say, are skunks, which often create dens in easily accessible places. In addition to sealing off these areas, you can use natural and humane methods to eliminate Skunks for good. The following list includes many options for keeping Skunks away from your property.

1. Install a Wire Mesh fence

As we already know that skunks do not like places populated by people or other animals, which is why they make their dens under concrete slabs, porches, and crawl spaces around the house. 

However, you can always close hiding places that may seem attractive. Install underground wood panels or wire mesh fences around the deck, shed, or under the house. 

Fill in any voids or spaces that Skunks are likely to enter. You can also use a fence, sheet metal, concrete, wood, or chicken wire.

2. Use Repellents

There are several repellents available that claim to help with ways on how to get rid of skunks under the house or prevent them from approaching your property. 

Most repellents are not very effective and would need to be reapplied several times to be effective. In addition to having excellent hearing, skunks also have very sensitive noses, much more so than humans.

This is why many skunk repellents are made with pungent ingredients. Product developers are aware that their sense of smell is usually keen, so they ask, “what smell do skunks hate?” and use them for pest control. However, repellents such as ammonia, mothballs, predator urine, and tabasco work well for Skunks.

Sprinkle Nearby Kitty Litter

Cat litter is a mild repellent that you can place near and inside a skunk’s den to get them out. Be sure to put the litter on only one side of the den so the animal can walk through and leave the area.

When it is noticed that the skunks are gone, fill the hole with leaves or put up a wire fence in front to keep them from coming back.

Use Cotton Balls Soaked in Ammonia

Ammonia has a pungent smell that deters Skunks. Spray rags or cotton balls with ammonia and place them near the entrance to their den or under your porch to prevent Skunks from making their den. If you think the smell is too strong, try putting the rags or cotton balls in a plastic bag first.

Add Mothballs to Your Garden

Mothballs are another effective way that will help how to get rid of skunks under the house. It has a strong odor that deters skunks.

Spread a handful of mothballs under your porch or patio to keep them away, then seal the area with wire mesh. Expect the mothball smell to disappear in a few weeks.

This method also works well if you have skunks in your garden, where they can hang out and feast on pollinators. However, you should keep mothballs away from children and pets.

Apple Cider Vinegar in a Plastic Bag

Just like the ammonia method, apple cider vinegar will also produce a strong odor that repels Skunks. Soak cotton balls or rags in apple cider vinegar and place them in a plastic bag. Place the bag under your porch or shed or place it near the den entrance to keep skunks out.

Predator Urine Spread

Urine from natural predators such as foxes and dogs can deter Skunks. If you have a dog, you can encourage him to urinate near the den under your house or around your yard. You can also buy products containing urine to spray around the perimeter.

Never buy predator urine to deter skunks. Many of these products are usually made under inhumane conditions and do not repel skunks very well.

Use the Power of Spicy Spray

You can always make a DIY homemade spicy spray to repel skunks. Most people will just make a solution with cayenne pepper, tabasco sauce, or jalapeño and spray it on the plants or around the perimeter to signal pests to stay away.

A simple recipe for preparation is to cook the chopped yellow onion and the chopped jalapeño with a spoonful of cayenne pepper and two liters of water.

After 20 minutes, strain the solution and put it in a spray bottle. The mixture lasts up to five days and is an effective way to aid how to get rid of skunks under the house or around the garden.

Try Pepper spray

Similar to spicy spray. Pepper spray is another effective repellent you can spray around your garden, trees, or den. Pepper sprays repel Skunks and other wildlife, such as squirrels.

Make homemade pepper spray from water and black pepper. Place the solution in any spray bottle to apply to plants or your garden. The scent is excellent for keeping Skunks away from your garden. However, spicy sprays generally work best.

Scatter Citrus Peels

Citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges give off a pleasant and fresh aroma for humans. However, the extraordinarily acidic and pungent smell is a natural repellent that animals, including Skunks, despise.

It can also be a home remedy how to get rid of Skunks under the house and around your property. You can spread citrus peel under the patio or porch. You can also cut out the peels and scatter them around your property or where they are frequented.

Keep in mind that they lose their scent as they dry out, so you’ll need to replace them every few days.

3. Install Motion-activated Sprinklers

The motion-activated sprinkler is designed to turn on automatically. Similarly, critter sprays are activated when an animal gets too close.

Using critter sprinklers is a surefire way to keep skunks away from your property. Simply place them near areas where you think Skunks might want to make a den.

4. Install Predator Deterrent Lights

Since Skunks are nocturnal, they tend to avoid bright lights. Installing predator deterrent lights or a motion-activated lighting system in your yard can make the area less attractive. Solar lights are also a great energy-saving option.

The main disadvantage of these lights is that they can attract insects that like bright light, such as moths or crickets.

A motion sensor that only activates when a creature approaches could help without having to leave the lights on throughout the night.

5. Use an ultrasonic Skunk repeller

Another humane option that can help on how to get rid of Skunks under the house is to use an ultrasonic animal repellent.

They are solar-powered tools that eliminate pests by producing ultrasonic sounds, high-frequency alarms, and flashing LED lights to annoy animals. Use it to keep pets out of your yard or reduce the risk of them burrowing into your property.

6. Adopt a Cat or Dog

The scent of another animal, such as a cat or dog, could keep pests away from your property. However, many Skunks are accustomed to living among humans and other animals.

This method doesn’t work well if you live in the city, where many Skunks rely on their stinky spray to avoid disturbances.

7. Catch and Relocate

If you live in an area where it’s legal to trap live animals, consider installing a spring trap to keep skunks away from your home buy one or rent one at many local hardware or garden centers. You can set up a large cage trap in an open space, or somewhere they like to visit often.

Use cat food, peanut butter, fruits, vegetables, canned marshmallows, or sardines as bait. Also, dirt the trap a little to mask the smell of metal and chemicals for newly bought trap, and camouflage it by throwing leaves and dirt on it.

When using a trap for the first time, it is best not to set it just yet. Let the Skunk take the bait 2-3 times, so he thinks he is safe. After finally setting your trap, check it daily to see if you have caught any. 

A captive animal left alone in the open can become ill over time or even die. This is not the purpose of the trap in the first place. You can also get a trap door that you can place in front of their burrow that will allow them to exit but not enter. 

After trapping the Skunks, take them to a nice wooded area at least 10 miles from your home and patch any holes they would have made. You can also try to fill the holes they dig in your garden to prevent them from coming back.

However, live trapping is mostly illegal in many states. Contact your local wildlife department if you are unsure of the laws where you live. Also, note that catching a Skunk exposes you to being sprayed or bitten. You can as well use a blanket to cover the trap during movement.

The raccoon trap is ideal for Skunks. This trap has a spring-loaded metal door that will close after the animal enters.

To prevent injuries, the edges of the inside of the cage are also smooth. The trap even comes fully assembled and ready to use, allowing you to move nuisance animals around quickly.

When to Call a Professional

Do you think all the Skunk repellents that work for other people do not affect the seemingly impenetrable Skunks that live in your home? Have you tried everything, from removing food sources to mothballing Skunks and putting up fences but to no avail?

Maybe it’s time to call in the experts. The cost of professional Skunk removal is naturally higher than the basic DIYs, as you are paying for their equipment and expertise.

This will be the last option if you’ve tried everything but don’t see significant improvement. You should also consider this if you have an aggressive Skunk.

It would be best if you never attempted to capture (note: Skunk trapping is not legal in all states), let alone handle, a Skunk that appears to be in a state of war.

There are two common reasons why these sweet creatures change temperament: either it’s a mother protecting her young, or it’s infected with the rabies virus.

Either way, you need the help of a reputable pest control company or local wildlife control agency. They know how to effectively and safely remove a Skunk and its young.

They have the necessary protective equipment and training to handle a Skunk suspected of being rabid. Remember that your safety and that of your family are well worth the cost of pest control services.

Be persistent; eventually, your outdoor space will have the sweet smell of success it deserves!

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