Off Grid Living – How to Get Rid of Skunks and
Discourage Them from Visiting Your Off Grid Homestead
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Getting Rid of Skunks and Discouraging Them from Visiting Your Off Grid Homes, Cabins, Sheds, Porches, Patios and Chicken Coops
Idaho – Having skunks around your home can present a number of health and safety hazards. Aside from the threat of being sprayed with their noxious musk, skunks are also known carriers of rabies and other diseases that can harm your family or pets.
Skunks will also tear open trash bags and topple garbage cans, which can attract other vermin and insects to your home. By removing food sources, eliminating hiding places and using an effective skunk repellent, you can make your home inhospitable to skunks, forcing them to go elsewhere.
Five Important Steps to Dissuade Skunks from Visiting
Step 1: Remove food sources around your home, such as pet-food bowls and low-hanging bird feeders.
Step 2: Place all trash in cans with tight-fitting, locking lids.
Step 3: Eliminate any insect infestations you have. Also be sure to take care of any rodent infestations, as skunks will eat small rodents.
Step 4: Remove piles of brush, wood or other debris in your yard that could serve as a hiding place for skunks.
Step 5: Use wire mesh to seal any openings in or around your home that skunks could be using to enter crawlspaces, basements or other areas.
Once you’ve eliminated food sources and hiding places, your home will be less appealing to skunks
Common Skunk Repellents and Their Effectiveness
There are numerous repellents on the market. However, many of these repellents contain harmful chemicals which may poison your pets or children if they come into contact with a treated area. In addition, they are often ineffective. Here are some other repellents which have varying effects:
Predator Urine – Sprinkling the urine of dogs, coyotes, or other predators near the den often has some effect. These may be obtained at many outdoor stores (or via your own pet). The downsides to using urine is that it must be reapplied every 24 hours, can be washed away when it rains, and is only a partial solution. You will still need to take precautions, such as installing a fence, in order to keep the skunks away. Be warned that your dog’s urine may attract stray dogs if they are not fixed.
Ammonia – Many home remedies call for mothballs or ammonia as a means to repel skunks. While skunks do have a sensitive sense of smell, these methods are not very effective. In addition, ammonia may be washed away by rain and must be reapplied frequently. If you choose to use ammonia to turn away a skunk, your best choice is the aforementioned predator urine.
Cayenne Pepper – when carefully sprinkled near the entrance of a den, will help drive the skunks away. Note that this method will require a fresh application after rain, and further measures, such as fencing, must be taken to keep the skunks from returning.
Citrus Peels – Orange or lemon peels are also quite effective. Sprinkle these around where the skunk likes to go and it will start to avoid those areas. Peels have the advantage of lasting until they decompose and will also repel many other pests. Once the skunk is out of your yard, fence him out for good.
Hot Pepper Spray – Cayenne pepper can also be used to make a repellent spray. Chop one yellow onion, and some Jalapeño peppers. Mix these with one tablespoon of cayenne pepper and boil in two quarts of water for at least 20 minutes. Strain the mixture with a cheesecloth and place into a spray bottle. The skunk will avoid anything sprayed with this liquid, although it must be reapplied once every three to five days or after rain.
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