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6 Simple Steps to Get Rid of Skunks Under Your Deck

6 Simple Steps to Get Rid of Skunks Under Your Deck

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Very few things can ruin an otherwise pleasant evening on your deck like the pungent stench of unwelcome skunks lodged underneath.

While these black and white critters may look cute, they’re anything but when they’re stinking up your backyard. And, unfortunately, skunk eviction isn’t the easiest of the tasks. 

Removing these smelly squatters without getting sprayed in the face requires strategic thinking and humane methods.

Steel your nerves and grab your cleaning tools because I’m about to show you how to get rid of skunks under your deck in a few simple methods. 

Time to hand these stinkers their eviction notice!

What Lured Them in?

Skunks Near Deck

Most skunks usually find shelter under homes and decks because they usually 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 can 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, 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!

How to Get Rid of Skunks Under Your Deck

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

Macadamia Nuts

If skunks are living under your deck, that’s because they are getting a steady supply of food. So, the first thing you need to do is get rid of all the natural food sources around the area.

If you have trees in the garden that produce nuts or berries, you need to make sure that you clean the area around them regularly. 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. 

And if you have a garden with vegetables and fruits, 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 dropped on the ground.

To prevent this from happening, you need to place a tray underneath the bird feeder. If any stray seeds 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

Trash Bin With Lid

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 them and put them 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

Broken Lattice Around Deck

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 probably 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

Deck Lighting

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

Chemical Repellent

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.

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. 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.

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 always best to get rid of the skunks from your property in a humane 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!

When Skunks Get Aggressive

Skunks typically don’t bother humans, but occasionally, one may get aggressive and charge or chase you. This happens most often when a female skunk is defending her young.

If this happens:

  • Remain calm and don’t make any sudden movements. Back away slowly!
  • Don’t swing at or attempt to hit the skunk. It’s inhumane and will only provoke it to spray. 
  • If the skunk doesn’t spray, consider yourself lucky! Once it loses interest and wanders off, quickly go inside your home.
  • If you do get sprayed, the stench will be awful but won’t physically harm you. So, just keep calm, take a shower using tomato juice or a specifically formulated skunk odor remover, and throw away the clothes you were wearing. 
  • Report any daytime skunk activity or aggression to animal control. Some skinks may be rabid, which will require the help of professionals.

Final Thoughts

Dealing with unwelcome skunks under your deck is smelly work, but with some determination and know-how, you can reclaim your space.

First, figure out how they got in and what’s attracting them. Then, remove food sources, seal off entry points, use deterrents, and set humane traps to catch and release the critters. 

While the process can try your patience, rest assured that the effort will pay off once you can relax on your skunk-free deck again. And you’ll have a newfound appreciation for fresh air!

Also Read: 4 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Skunks Under Your Shed


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Maryclara Joyce

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?


Sunday 17th of December 2023

@Maryclara Joyce,

I am in the same boat with you. looking for help.