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Controlling Skunks

THESE nocturnal critters are found throughout the country, especially near water. Their diet consists mostly of small animals and insects. They are mild-mannered creatures and will only shoot their notorious spray when threatened. Skunks only occasionally bother the garden, perhaps feeding on corn that's close to the ground. Mostly, their damage is due to nighttime digging in lawns and flower beds looking for one of their favorite food: grubs. They may dig many 3-4″ holes and make a lawn look like a war zone in one night.

Prevention and control

  • The two best ways to rid yourself of skunks are to eliminate the food source or to trap them.
  • Spread a skunk repellent on the area you want to protect.
  • Spray beneficial nematodes or milky spore powder on lawns and flower beds in spring to reduce the grub population.
  • You can also place predator urine or ammonia-soaked rags in their den area (usually in old woodchuck holes or under outbuildings) to ward them off.
  • If you have a problem skunk under a porch, woodpile, or stone wall, it's best to trap it.

Last updated: 6/7/17

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