Getting rid of tiny animals and rodents from under the deck is often quite difficult. Most homeowners face a lot of trouble in getting rid of animals such as possums and skunks from under their deck.
These tiny rodents look for spaces that are sheltered from all sides, and then start a family.
Needless to say, this is the last thing that you want under your deck; a bunch of skunks running amok and causing havoc. It’s going to make it difficult for you to sleep properly, and it’s going to cause a lot of trouble in your life.
Skunks are usually between 40 and 90 cm long, and have relatively elongated bodies.
They also have sharp claws on their front legs, which they use for digging into the ground. Skunks are distinctive because of their white and black appearance, and you can easily identify them from a distance.
However, some skunks also have a cream colored appearance, so it’s important that you identify them first before taking any kind of action.
Probably the most distinctive feature of a skunk is the stripes running across its body. Some might only have one stripe, while others have a few running around their legs as well, making it easy for you to identify the creatures.
If you have skunks living under your deck, there’s also a pretty strong chance that you will find them rummaging about in your trash bins from time to time.
These creatures are omnivorous, so they will eat anything from larvae to bird eggs to worms on the ground. They also love to eat honeybees, so if you have a spacious garden with flowers that attract honeybees, you should know that skunks are probably going to tear it down.
Skunks don’t usually bite humans, but most people are still afraid of them nonetheless.
In general, skunks are relatively harmless creatures, but you have to be cautious. The real problem with skunks isn’t their bite, it’s the pungent, incredibly disgusting smell that they can shoot out to protect themselves.
When a skunk feels threatened, it shoots out a spray of liquid that smells terribly bad, and is enough to make a grown adult cry when exposed for longer periods of time.
There’s also the risk of a skunk carrying rabies, so a bite might require you to get rabies injections from your local clinic. As you can see, it’s vitally important that you take action to get rid of the skunks under your deck.
Here is a brief guide that will help you get rid of the skunks under your deck.
What Lured Them in?
Before you can create an effective strategy for getting rid of the skunks on your property, you need to first focus and find out what exactly lured the skunks under your deck.
Most skunks usually find shelter under homes and decks because they are able to find more food under there than they would in the forest.
For instance, if you have a vegetable garden that is not properly covered and fenced, there is a strong chance that skunks might be lured onto your property.
More importantly, you should know that skunks prefer feasting on the insects that are found in tall grass, and they will just as happily dive into garbage bins as they would in compost piles.
If you are able to identify the key reasons why a skunk infestation might be growing around your house, you might want to pick things up and take action.
Remember, if you don’t take care of this, it won’t be long before more skunks will enter your property. Even if you keep getting rid of them, more and more will enter your yard.
Therefore, you need to make sure that you take defensive action to make the place more secure. Once you have put up the fencing and are absolutely sure that no other skunks will be allowed to get in, you can then create a strategy for getting rid of the ones that are already in your yard.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you out.
1 – Get Rid of Natural Food Sources
If there are skunks living under your deck, that’s because they are getting a steady supply of food. Therefore, the first thing you need to do is get rid of all the natural food sources around the area.
Skunks are very powerful scavengers, and will eat whatever they can get their grubby little paws on.
If you have trees in the garden that produce nuts or berries, you need to make sure that you clean the area around them on a regular basis. Use a rake to get rid of all berries or fruits that might have fallen on the ground, and then pack them up in a sealed bag before throwing them in the bin.
Even smaller vegetation such as clippings of grass need to be discarded regularly, as they might contain seeds that the skunks will probably feed on. If you have a garden with vegetables and fruits, you should consider harvesting the ripe fruits and vegetables as quickly as possible.
In most cases, skunks aren’t going to feast on unripe vegetation or fruits. But, you can expect them to be running around in your garden if you don’t take care of it. Many people also put up bird feeders at elevated heights.
You don’t need to worry about the skunks climbing up to tear down the birds’ nest, but you can be sure that they will eat any seeds that are dropped on the ground.
To prevent this from happening, you need to place a tray underneath the bird feeder. If there are any stray seeds that have been dropped by the birds, you need to make sure that you clean them often as well.
This will cut off a vital source of food for the skunks.
2 – Cover Your Waste
Do not leave garbage bags out in the open at night. A lot of people do this, and end up reaping the consequences later on.
If you simply tighten the garbage bag and keep it out on the porch to deal with in the morning, there is a pretty strong chance that skunks and other rodents are going to be able to get into them.
Just like raccoons and various other rodents, skunks are more than happy to survive on the garbage thrown out of your house. Even if you put the trash in your regular garbage can, you should know that it might not do the trick.
Skunks and other rodents know how to dislodge the lid from the trash can, and this can become a problem.
To protect against such scavengers, you need to make sure that you invest in a locking trash can. These are trash bins with a locking lid and a latch, making it easy for you to open it and put in the trash. The garbage collectors will simply unlock the lid and take away the garbage bag.
If you are composting, you should always make use of a compost bin. Skunks are going to dig deep into the compost pile if it is left unattended and unsecured, so it’s vitally important that you close it off and prevent access.
By doing these, you will effectively end up cutting their food sources, and there is a strong chance that the skunks might relocate.
3 – Close it Off
If you are sure that there are no skunks under the deck right now, and have checked thoroughly, you might want to close it off by adding a few panels.
In some cases, skunks might only visit the property at night, and you will hear them scrimmaging around under the deck before leaving in the morning.
This is a sign that the skunks are looking for a place to nest and call home, and you need to take care of them right away. The best thing to do would be to install panels on all the tiny gaps and spaces through which the skunks might enter underneath the deck.
4 – Installing Lights
Skunks generally run away from the light, which is why they look for places that are dark and hidden away. If you want to deter skunks from your deck and your property, adding lights around the area might be a great option. However, you should know that it is not a definitive measure.
You can install solar electrical lights in your yard so that your utility bills aren’t affected as a result. You might want to consider adding motion sensor enabled lights if you want to conserve energy.
As soon as the motion sensor is tripped, the lights will turn on automatically.
5 – Use Repellent Chemicals
There are a bunch of repellent chemicals that you will find in the market that can be used for getting rid of skunks in your yard or under your deck.
Chemical repellents need to be placed in strategic locations around your yard and under your deck, and you will need to reapply them again and again after every few days.
It is important for you to make sure that you place them on the same locations to deter the skunks. Dog urine, for instance, is an effective deterrent for skunks.
You might want to visit your local hardware store to get some products that contain the urine. This can be used to ward off the skunks.
Within a few days, you will notice that the skunks will begin to move away from these areas. There are also a variety of pepper sprays that are sold in the market that can be used for deterring squirrels and skunks from your property. You can spray them on the trees or under your deck.
On top of that, ammonia is also a strong skunk deterrent, and can help you get rid of these animals quickly. You will need to soak some rags in the ammonia and then put them under the deck.
However, ammonia has a pretty strong smell, so you might have to deal with that as well.
In some situations, citrus peel also does a fantastic job of getting rid of skunks. Citrus peels can be scattered under the deck, and you can always use lemon peels instead. Both are a great choice and will help you get rid of the skunks on your property.
6 – Setting a Trap
There are humane traps available in the market that you can buy to trap the skunks and remove them from your property. Keep in mind that when trapped, skunks tend to get really defensive, and you might get a dose of their noxious spray if you are not careful.
Spring loaded skunk traps are an effective solution, and will make it easy for you to trap the animal. The hard part is getting rid of the skunks, because as soon as it realizes that it is in danger, it might spray in all directions. You might want to wear full protective clothing and put on a mask.
Keep your face as far away from the door as you can so that you do not get sprayed. Once a skunk realizes that it is free and is about to be released into the woods, it might leave the trap peacefully, but it doesn’t hurt to be cautious about it. This way, you will be able to get rid of the skunks on your property quite easily.
Remember, it’s best to get rid of the skunks from your property in a humane and kind manner. A lot of people tend to get frustrated and think about shooting the animals with their rifles, but you should know that this is never a wise move. It’s incredibly inhumane and impatient.
All you need to do is to take a few steps to get rid of the skunk problem completely. It requires a bit of patience, but it will leave you with a good feeling in your heart!
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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Saturday 27th of March 2021
I have a skunk under my deck, which sets about 4 inches off the ground. I've tried live traps and it avoids them. (I've caught 2 possums and a ferrel cat, but no skunk.) I tried digging the perimiter of the deck and burying "L" shaped fence. It found a 'weak spot' and is back! I've shot 3 boxes of moth balls, using an air compressor and pipe. It's still here. I also tried some bags with ammonia-soaked rags and threw them under there. Any further suggestions?