It’s in the air…can you smell it?  No, not Spring.  It’s the awful, foul, noxious smell of a skunk!  Spring has sprung and skunkathose pesky, but useful, mammals have been making their presence known to homeowners throughout the area.   If you think you may have skunks regularly visiting your yard, there are a few things you can do to help prevent them from nesting in and digging up your yard.

Remove Food Sources
Keep lids on your trash cans and always tie off the trash before putting it in the can.  It’s important to regularly check under your porches, sheds, patios and crawl spaces for openings that may need to be sealed; this will keep skunks from coming into your home in search of food.  If you have trees or bushes that harvest fruits, berries or nuts, try and remove as many as you can from the ground.  Also, eliminate all water sources that skunks can easily access.

Light it Up
Skunks are nocturnal, therefore they prefer to come out and search for food at night. Light sometimes frightens them and sends them elsewhere to look for food.  Using a bright light at night can keep them from coming in your yard and digging for their supper.  It may be worth your while to invest in a motion activated light; however, animals can become immune to specific things after a certain period of time.  You may find yourself looking for another repellant before you have a chance to actually get rid of your little, smelly friend.

Spray a Skunk
Like the motion activated lights, the automated sprinklers are also a common way to deter skunks. The automated sprinklers have motion sensors that come on and spray the skunk (or any other animal) that comes within so many feet of it. (Let’s see how the skunk likes getting sprayed!)  Hopefully, the skunk then associates this frightening experience with your yard, and decides never return. You can place these sprinklers anywhere in your yard near the area you want the skunk to stay away from.

Hot Pepper Recipe
Store-bought repellents can get quite costly, so you may want to give this home-made concoction a try. Chop a yellow onion, two (2) jalapenos and a tablespoon of Cheyenne pepper.  Place all of the ingredients in (2) quarts of water and boil for at least 20 minutes.  After the ingredients have finished boiling, use a cheese cloth to strain the liquid, then pour the liquid into a spray bottle and spray it on anything that you don’t want the skunks taking a bite out of. This recipe has been known to produce effective results, but it only lasts about 3-5 days before you have to reapply it again.

Build Barriers
When it comes to barriers, this just might work.  Skunks aren’t the best climbers and even worse at jumping.  However, they are excellent diggers and can squeeze themselves into holes that are about four (4) inches wide.  So again, it’s important that you seal up any holes and ditches around your home, shed and decks.  Skunks won’t attempt to dig under a fence unless they are able to see an opening on the other side.

If you are unable to get a handle on the skunk problem in your yard, do not attempt to trap the animal.  Contact a local wildlife removal expert.