Skunks are nocturnal animals. They dig up lawns and gardens and feed on the larvae of cutworms, Japanese beetles and hornworms. Skunks will eat leaves, buds, grasses, grains, garbage, pet food, any fruit or berries within reach, and even small game.
If your lawn or flower bed has lots of holes in it, you may have a skunk problem. Skunks dig up the turf looking for grubs. They move around at night and dig in grassy areas, making distinct 3– to 4–inch deep holes. One of the best preventative methods is to treat your lawn to get rid of their favorite bugs and grubs. Spray your lawn with milky spore disease or beneficial nematodes.
Beneficial nematodes are an organic form of pest control that can help reduce the number of grubs under the lawn. These microscopic organisms live in garden soil and consume garden pests such as the grubs that attract skunks.
Skunk activity increases in the spring and then lessens naturally, so any problems may stop all on their own.
Many of our customers have found success placing ammonia-soaked rags around the yard to repel skunks. The intense scent of ammonia makes it seem that another, larger predator has already marked the territory. Ammonia stations are made by soaking rags in ammonia and placing them in metal containers such as baking trays, old coffee cans etc., so the ammonia won’t leak out into the ground.
Generous applications of cayenne pepper flakes can also help to make your garden a place skunks will avoid. The hot burning sensation of cayenne is a compelling repellent.
As skunks are nocturnal, many customers have had success using flashing deterrent lights during night hours. These small solar powered LED lights create the impression there is another larger predator in the area and make skunks and other animals avoid your property.
If you don’t want skunks living under your deck or shed, seal these areas with chicken wire. Leave at least one foot of additional wire on the ground extending from the structure to prevent skunks from digging under to enter.