The Rawlins Rochelle Animal Shelter offers free skunk traps with a $40 refundable deposit. Once the skunk is trapped, our Animal Control officers will take over. Please call 328-4530 or stop by the shelter during shelter hours 3:00 to 5:30 Mon - Fri to inquire about renting a skunk trap. We actively work on the skunk issue each summer.
While skunks are known for their unique odor, smelling skunks on your property is just one way to identify them. If you see cone-shaped holes in your lawn or claw tracks (skunks have five toes on each foot), those are also clues that a skunk may be inhabiting your yard.
Skunks can carry rabies, so if you do see one, be aware of the warning signs. For example, they’re nocturnal animals, so activity during the day could indicate the animal is infected. Also, skunks rarely approach humans, so if they’re aggressive, beware.
Here are a few surefire tactics to repel pepe le pew from your yard.
1. Remove Food Sources:
You may be unwittingly extending a dinner invitation to skunks if your property contains easily accessible food. Keep a lid on outdoor trash cans and make sure that any bags inside the can that contain food waste are tied up. Skunks will forage for human food, but they also like to eat insects and larvae, grubs, small rodents, frogs, snakes, birds, and eggs. So if you have a pest problem in your lawn, this may attract pests further up the food chain. Skunks like grubs in particular. If you eliminate the grubs, you can reduce the chances that skunks will be in your yard. Since skunks will settle for other types of food, we advise against feeding your pets outside. If Fido does take his dinner outside, make sure you provide only enough food and water to be consumed at one time and remove these items before nightfall.
2. Provide Disruptions:
You could also use a good old-fashioned scare tactic to keep skunks from coming back. Skunks forage at night, a sudden burst of light or water can be startling enough to dissuade them from entering your property. It’s worth trying to spook them away from your backyard with a motion detector that triggers floodlights or automatic sprinklers.
3. Eliminate Potential Habitats:
Skunks aren’t just looking for food—they’re also looking for a place to set up shop. Skunks don't like to build their own nests; they prefer to move into abandoned ones that other wildlife have left behind. They also like to burrow and can dig under fences. Cover any openings in your home’s foundation with wire mesh or sheet metal. However, make sure that these coverings extend a few inches below the soil’s surface or the skunks will just dig under them to get through.
4. Repel Them with Smells:
Skunks may emit a foul odor, but it turns out that they aren't too keen on strong smells themselves. Three smells that they can't stand come from citrus fruits (e.g., lemon, orange, or grapefruit peels), predators (e.g., dog or fox urine), and mothballs. These can all be placed around your yard to scare off skunks. If you're using mothballs, be sure to keep them out of reach of children and pets.