The Best Skunk Poisons & Poison Alternatives

skunk poison
Poisoning skunks, illegal in many states, can curb the infestation. The best skunk poison includes anticoagulants, antifreeze, rat poison, Strychnine, and Cholecalciferol. However, live trapping and relocating them is a more humane alternative that homeowners can try to deal with a skunk invasion.

The skunk is one of the most unwelcome pests you can discover in your neighborhood. From its notorious skunk spray to its destructive tendencies, there’s little to like about this furry creature.

Shooting and lethal trapping are alternatives to poisoning skunks. With that said, killing skunks can be illegal in your state, so check with your local wildlife guidelines to see whether you’re abiding by your local laws.

Should You Poison a Skunk?

If you find a skunk on your own property, don’t immediately resort to killing them. Poisoning skunks is an inhumane way to deal with a skunk problem. In the United States, killing skunks with poison is typically illegal—there are no registered poisons designed for this purpose.

On top of that, sprinkling poison in the wilderness or around your property can harm wildlife. Other animals might come into contact with the poison. Pets, children, and unsuspecting persons may also be at risk.

skunk poisoning

What Poisons Work With Skunks?

If you aim to exterminate a skunk, you have options. Some products can effectively kill skunks if used correctly. These products include:


This poison is composed of ethylene glycol, which is a sweet-tasting compound. Their body will metabolize it into glycolate and oxalate, which can cause severe cellular damage, organ failure, and death within hours.

Rat Poison

Also known as Bromethalin, this rodenticide can wreak havoc on a skunk’s nervous system and cause hyperthermia. It’s also harmful to humans and pets.


This poison can cause the skunk to convulse uncontrollably. It was ultimately cause death due to asphyxia.


This poison calcified the skunk’s soft tissues, causing renal failure and death.


Anticoagulants damage the internal lining of the skunk’s capillaries. This causes internal bleeding which can be fatal and painful.

Note that these poisons are not fast-acting chemicals and can cause excruciating suffering and pain to the skunks for hours, if not days. Skunks play a vital role in the overall ecosystem, with a diet that consists of other pests like rats and small rodents. If you must use poison, consider using it only as a last resort.

What About Poison Alternatives That Also Work?

Aside from poison, homeowners can resort to the following techniques to mitigate a skunk problem:

  • Live trapping
  • Lethal trapping
  • Shooting them with a rifle
  • Calling a pest control professional

Using a steel enclosure and some bait like peanut butter, you can lure in a skunk on your property and release it miles away from your home. Or, you can use a trap that will crush the skunk’s neck or head, killing it instantaneously.

If you’re an expert shot, you can kill the skunk with a single shot to the head. Wildlife control can help you deal with a skunk problem using the most humane and effective methods.

If you have skunks on or near your property, don’t immediately resort to poisoning them. There are more humane and legal skunk removal methods you can consider to mitigate the problem.

skunk in a trap

How to Keep Skunks Away in the First Place?

If you live in rural North America, there’s a non-zero likelihood that a skunk may wander around your community. Instead of dealing with the hassle of one when it’s already there, you can take action now to prevent these disease-carrying pests from entering your home in the first place.

Here are some of the best, most effective ways to keep pests like raccoons, moles, and skunks away:


Use natural or commercial deterrents. Deterrents work by making your property unappealing to skunks. There are many commercial and natural deterrents you can use. Some deterrents you can find in your home include:

  • Ammonia
  • Mothballs
  • Citrus
  • Cayenne pepper

Mechanical Solutions

Installing a motion-activated sprinkler can repel skunks. These devices can startle skunks and other pests, scaring them off your property. 

Using ultrasonic skunk repellents may also be effective. These devices work by emitting high-frequency sounds that only animals can hear, but have not been proven to work long term.

Property Management

  • Seal off all entry points
  • Keep trash cans closed
  • Use scented garbage bags
  • Eliminate food sources
  • Put up a fence

Skunks can easily enter your property if your fence or basement has gaps. Also, pay attention to your trash. Open garbage cans contain food matter and grubs that are a big attractant for skunks.

Eliminate food sources. Skunks can enter your home if they smell food. If you leave pet food, bring it inside after your pet has eaten. Varmint proof bird feeders are available to hang or mount in your yard.

skunk sniffing in a field of grass and purple flowers

Prevention is always better than cure. Effective fencing is a great method as well. By taking action right now, you can save yourself the hassle of dealing with skunks in the future.

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.

Recent Posts