Skunks usually breed in the spring, from February to May. A second mating may occur later, if the skunk did not find a mate or fails to impregnate. Young are usually born from May-June, with the average litter being 5-8 babies. Young are weaned at 8 weeks and typically stay with the mother until they are 2-4 months old. Some juveniles will stay with their mothers or siblings until the following spring. Skunks are usually nocturnal, coming out well after dark.
Repel® Granules - A commercial dog and cat repellant, available at most pet stores or garden centers. The active ingredient is nonyl methyl ketone. Some other brands are Boundary® and Dog-Gone®.
Hot Pepper Repellant Recipe
1. One chopped yellow onion
2. One chopped Jalapeno pepper
3. One tablespoon of Cayenne Pepper
Boil ingredients for 20 minutes in two quarts of water. Then let it cool and strain the mixture through cheesecloth. You can apply this with a pesticide sprayer or a spray bottle. This will deter just about any animal from an area where it is applied. The only draw back is that it only lasts for three to five days.
Scarecrow® by Contech is a motion-activated sprinkler. It works great for keeping most animals out of yards or large areas. For more information, visit Contech or call at 1-800-767-8658.
- Be sure to eliminate all food sources such as pet foods, birdseed, etc. If your pets must be fed outside, then remove all food at night. Use metal or heavy plastic trash containers. Keep the lids securely fastened to prevent odors from escaping. If needed, secure lids with bungee cords, ropes, etc. that have been soaked in Tabasco sauce® or the commercial repellant, Ropel®, available at garden, hardware, pet or feed stores. If they still get in, you can pour about one cup of ammonia in the trash can every week, after the trash has been picked up. Rubbermaid® makes a trash can with a screw on the lid. You should always try to store trash in a garage or a shed.
- Keep BBQ grills clean or stored in a secure place.
- Light the area with flood lights or motion detector lights. Motion detector lights usually work the best.
- Use the Hot Pepper Recipe as the first method of action.
- Spray the repellant all around the den area. Also, spray around the entry and just a few inches into the hole. Don't spray deep into the hole or the skunk may reciprocate.
- ONE-WAY DOOR. Use only if ammonia rags don't work. If the skunk is in a crawl space or under wood flooring there may be too much open air space for the ammonia rags to work.
- You can purchase a one-way door, made by Tomahawk Trap Co., available from ACES, their phone number is 1-800-338-ACES or visit Tomahawk Live Trap's website.
- Or, construct your own one-way door, using the following directions:
- Start with a 10 in. x 8 in. piece of 1/2 in. plywood.
- Measure in 2 in. from all four sides and draw a line.
- With a jigsaw, cut the middle out of the plywood. You now have a frame that is 2 in. wide on each side and a piece of plywood that measures 8 in. x 6 in.
- On the 8 in. x 6 in. piece, measure in 1 in. from all four sides and draw a line.
- Using a jigsaw, cut the middle out and discard the excess.
- The 8 in. x 6 in. piece should fit inside the 10 in. x 8 in. piece of plywood. This is the door and frame.
- Mount the door, with hinges or wire, to the 10 in. side of the frame.
- You may have to sand the door if it doesn't fit flush inside the frame.
- Attach a piece of hardware cloth, no larger than 1 in. x 2 in., to the door with nails or staples.
- Attach a small piece of wood across the bottom corners of the frame so that the door will only open one way.
- Get a piece of hardware cloth or welded wire; no larger than 1 in. x 2 in., that is 2 ft. to 3 ft. big. The size will vary depending on the size of the skunk entrance.
- Cut a hole in the middle of the wire or hardware cloth 8 in. x 6 in. and attach it to the frame and door.
- Attach the whole assembly to the skunk entrance, using nails or stakes.
- You want the door to be at ground level and be sure that the door is opening to the outside, away from the skunk entrance.
- Bend the hardware cloth or wire away from the entrance and bury it so that the skunk cannot dig under the door.
- When the skunk is out you can block the entrance or skunk proof it.
How to tell if the skunk is out:
There should be some scraping or digging around the one-way door. This means that the skunk is out and can't get back in. Put a layer of flour on the inside and outside of the door after the one-way door has been installed for one to two nights. Any footprints in the flour should be outside the door with none inside. This means the skunk is out. If you have any doubt, then smooth out the dirt on both sides of the door with your hand or a tool, reapply the flour and observe. Once a couple of days have gone by with no footprints, the skunk is probably gone. Another way to check is to open the door and shove a few pieces of wadded up newspaper into the skunk's entrance. If the paper stays in place for two to three nights, then the skunk is gone.
NOTE: You may want to proof the affected area first, so once the skunk is blocked out, it won't be able to dig a new entry.
Provide a ramp made of a rough surface. You made need to staple, nail or duct tape a heavy piece of cloth so that the animal can get a good grip. Place the ramp at an angle, so that the animal can crawl out.
Remove one panel of skirting from each corner; this usually works if the skunk is living above the ground or in articles stored under the trailer. If this does not work, then the skunk has probably burrowed underground and most likely, under a concrete slab beneath the trailer. In this case, keep the corner skirts off and try the ammonia methods outlined under, Skunks under a Porch or Cement Slab.
NOTE: Be sure to skunk proof once they are gone.
- Mount floodlights or motion detector lights above the pet door.
- Lock and secure the pet door at night.
- Place a piece of plywood or cardboard outside of the pet door; sprinkle a liberal amount of Cayenne pepper or Repel® granules. Be sure to lock the pet door that night and remember to do so for several nights. During the day, you can remove the repellant so that your pets can use the door. Usually, after a couple of visits, the skunk will stay away from the pet door. The easiest method is to simply lock your pet door every night at sunset. Usually, after just a few nights, the skunks will stop coming to your pet door. Once the skunk realizes that he can't access your pet door for food, he will not want to waste time or energy coming to your house.
NOTE: If you live in skunk habitat, a pet door for dogs or cats is not a good idea. If the skunks discover it, they will use it to come into your home in search of food. Not only will wildlife use them but also small humans can enter them and what they take will be more valuable than what the wildlife wants.
- Use the Hot Pepper Recipe all around and under the edges of the shed.
- Often there is too much airspace under sheds or barns for ammonia alone to be effective.
- Try the ammonia method outlined under: Skunks under a Porch or Cement Slab.
- Place a radio tuned to a talk station in the shed or barn. If you know where the skunk is located under the barn or shed, place the radio as close to it as possible.
- Any human activity in the barn or shed will also discourage the skunk from staying there because it will not feel safe.
- Use Neutroleum Alpha, available from Vigon International, you may contact them via their website or calling them at 1-877-VIGON-39.
- Place Peppermint or Spearmint Oil on cotton balls or mix with water in a water bottle and use as a spray.
- For pets that have been sprayed, bathe the animal in a mixture of one quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide (from a drug store), ¼ cup of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and a teaspoon of liquid detergent. After five minutes, rinse the animal with water. Repeat if necessary. The mixture must be used after mixing and will not work if it is stored for any length of time. CAUTION: This mixture may bleach the pet's hair.
- Nature's Miracle Skunk Odor Remover®, available from veterinarians or pet supply stores.
- Massengill® douche, it's the cheapest and the easiest to find. (Stop Laughing!!!)
- Vinegar and water will also work. Vinegar is an acid which breaks down the alkaloid skunk spray.
NOTE: Avoid eye contact when using any of these methods.
For use around concrete slabs, patios, steps or sun decks.
(1) Dig a trench around patio or deck 1' wide x 1' deep.
(2) 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.
(3) 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 and 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 the trench in. See the picture below: