What Attracts Skunks And How You Can Deter Them Naturally

Posted on: 8 August 2015

Skunks serve an important part in an ecological chain. They eat a lot of unpleasant bugs, grubs and insect larvae. Unfortunately, skunks are also attracted to rotting and decaying things, like your garbage or fruit that has fallen from trees in your yard and started to rot. It is not so much the fruit that the skunks are after, but the larvae and maggots that call the rotting fruit home. Skunks are scavengers, and although they prefer certain things to eat, they will eat whatever is available to them. If you want to know what will attract skunks and then repel them naturally, the following information should help.

Easily Accessible Food Sources

If you leave food out for your outdoor cat, take your trash out to cans outside almost daily, keep fruit trees in your yard untended, and also have lots of old logs and tree stumps just sitting out in the open, you have the kind of yard that skunks love. It is a bona fide skunk buffet and paradise. All the skunks need now is a place to sleep during the day (since they are typically nocturnal).

Places to Hide and Sleep

Skunks are often nocturnal, or most active from dusk to dawn. You might get an occasional straggler that likes to be up past its bedtime and roam around during the day, but most skunks like to avoid the time of day when their predators are most active. They will look for places to hide and sleep that are close to the bountiful food sources you provide. Examples of these cozy skunk hideaways are:

  • Crawl spaces
  • Openings under your porch
  • Garages and garage attics
  • Your yard shed or storage shed
  • In or under a wood pile (Skunks have excellent front claws for digging holes and digging up grubs)
  • In open spaces inside dead tree trunks or under dead tree roots

Repelling Skunks Naturally

The easiest way to repel skunks naturally is to take away or remove all opportunistic food sources and close off all possible sleeping areas. This may mean removing dead wood and trees from your yard, locking up your garbage or not taking it out until garbage day, removing fruit trees or hiring a landscaper to care for the trees, forcing your outdoor cat to wait until sunrise to eat the kibble you set out, and blocking off or sealing off all access points to your home, garage and shed. Removing all sources of food and shelter will cause the skunks to relocate. If that does not work, you can always call a no-kill pest control service to handle your skunk removal needs.