The Best Skunk Deterrent for Your House and Yard

skunk deterrent
The best way to deter skunks is by installing a skunk-proof barrier enclosing your premises. This could be an electric fence or an overhang fence. Skunks are also highly capable diggers, so make sure the barrier is buried three feet underground.

Have you spotted a skunk roaming around your property lately? Don’t wait too long to deal with it. Skunks can wreak havoc on your yard and home, and it’s not just their putrid stench you have to deal with.

Skunks can gnaw on wires and cables, digging up flower gardens, and inhabiting your porch or shed. If you don’t have a fence, don’t worry, there are other ways to deal with a skunk problem. Read on to learn more about the very best skunk deterrents for your property.

What Will Keep Skunks Away?

Bright lights repulse skunks, so installing motion-activated flood lights can help scare away skunks. Besides that, there are a ton of natural repellents that work to keep skunks away.

Some of the best deterrents for yard protection include:

  • Mothballs
  • Ammonia-soaked rags
  • Citric fruits like grapefruit and orange skin
  • Capsaicin and peppers
  • Vinegar
  • Predator urine

By spreading these substances around the vicinity of your yard, skunks won’t even dream of wandering onto your property in search of some shelter or food. That said, be sure to replenish these repellents every few weeks, as the smell may start to fade over time.

striped skunk amongst rocks and dirt

How Do You Get Rid of Skunks Fast?

If you may want to take matters into your own hands and keep skunks away from your property. Here are a few clever things you can do to remove these varmints off your property quickly:


  • Install live traps
    • By baiting a live trap with honey, peanut butter, or other attractants, you may bait in wild animals like a raccoon or a skunk.


  • Set ultrasonic pest repellents
    • These commercial products emit high-frequency sounds that pests like skunks can’t stand.
  • Use skunk repellent granules
    • Spread these granules around the perimeter of your yard or home to keep skunks from entering.
  • Use natural remedies


  • Use motion-detected light
    • Skunks are nocturnal creatures and don’t like light. These devices can help to keep them away at night.


  • Contact pest control
    • If you don’t want to risk getting sprayed, contact a professional pest control company to deal with the problem.
hog nosed skunk near a rocky face

Do Coffee Grounds Repel Skunks?

Yes, coffee grounds are effective in repelling skunks. Skunks have a strong sense of smell; the bitter aroma of grounded coffee beans is enough to send them packing.

If you often end up with ground coffee, put it to good use by scattering it around your garden or yard every week or so. You’ll enjoy a pest-free outdoor space in no time.

Does Irish Spring Soap Keep Skunks Away?

Believe it or not, Irish Spring soap can also be used as a skunk repellent. The strong scent of the soap is overbearing for skunks. It might also indicate a human presence, which skunks prefer to avoid.

Simply place the soap bar near areas with high skunk traffic—and the deterrent will work its magic from there. The pungent aroma deters skunks from approaching any closer, especially considering their ability to smell things from far away.

What Home Remedies Will Get Rid of Skunks?

While there’s a slew of commercial skunk deterrents available online and in retailers, nothing beats dealing with a skunk problem cost-free.

Here are some DIY skunk deterrents. When placed in key areas around your yard, these have the potency to shoo these black-and-white creatures away for good:

  • Peppermint oil
  • Mothballs
  • Ammonia
  • Citric fruit
  • Vinegar
  • Red pepper

Alternatively, you can recreate a homemade skunk spray solution:

  • Combine 2 quarts of water with:
    • cayenne pepper
    • chopped onion
    • chopped jalapeno
  • Boil for 20 minutes, then let cool

Pour the mixture in a plastic spray bottle and spritz the solution around your garden. It’s both an effective and natural animal repellent for a skunk infestation.

How Do You Keep Skunks Away From You at Night?

Skunks, being nocturnal predators, tend to become more active during the night. They can rummage through trash bins and eat leftover pet food in porches.

This can be a cause of concern for homeowners, especially if it’s a recurring problem. To mitigate the skunk problem, consider the following tips:

  • Keep your garbage cans sealed
    • This will prevent skunks from smelling leftovers in your trash bins.
  • Install fencing
    • By placing a fence around your property, you can significantly reduce the chances of skunks entering your yard.
  • Block their access
    • Look for holes or entry points that a skunk may use to get inside your lawn.
  • Install motion-detected light sensors
    • These will help to keep skunks away at night by shining a light on them when they approach.
  • Use skunk repellents
    • Several natural and commercial repellents are available and effective in neutralizing a skunk problem.
spotted skunk near a mossy tree

What Attracts Skunks to Your Yard?

Skunks will go anywhere with a rich source of food and water. Your yard is no exception. If you have a lot of insects, rodents, or other grubs that live within your property, that’s likely to attract skunks.

Other things that might pique a skunk’s interest include:

  • Denning sites
    • Wood piles
    • Abandoned buildings
    • Other sheltered spots
    • All can serve as a skunk’s hiding place
  • Trash bins
    • Open or unsecured garbage cans are filled with potential food sources for skunks to eat.
  • Pet food
    • Skunks are opportunistic creatures.
    • If they see food out there for the taking, they’ll not hesitate to take their chance.

What to Do if a Skunk Approaches You?

Skunks are non-confrontational creatures. When they see a human, they’re more likely to run the other way instead of running towards you.

Nonetheless, if you see a skunk approaching you, back away slowly while maintaining eye contact. Never approach them. Do not make any sudden movements—like turning your back away to run—as that might prompt the skunk to spray their notorious skunk smell.

After you’ve kept a 10-foot distance, move out of the skunk’s way. Let it do its own thing, and it’ll eventually go away. If the skunk found its way to your property, place skunk deterrents around your yard to keep it away for good.

Joshua Munoz

Most people’s first instinct when they see a wild skunk is to back away, but not Joshua. He holds a near-obsessive fascination with skunks and their behavior. Although Joshua has never been closer than five feet to a skunk, he has spent countless hours researching them. He knows almost everything there is to know about skunks, from their diet and habitat, to how to humanely trap them. Joshua’s interest in skunks is rooted in his love of animal biology. He fondly remembers topping his finals in biology class while in university. Now, as a writer, he fuses passion and expertise into one by sharing his knowledge about the animal kingdom with others.

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