Skunks are nocturnal members of the weasel family. They build dens in hidden places to bear young and rest during the day and then forage for food at night. Skunks are carriers of rabies, a viral illness spread by the bite or deep scratch of an infected animal. In addition to the safety risk they pose, skunks are also a nuisance. They spray when threatened, and damage landscaping when they dig through grass in search of grubs to eat. Keep your property free from skunk damage by ridding yourself of these uninvited guests.
Get rid of a skunk by making your yard less appealing. Stack wood piles tightly to eliminate gaps where skunks can hide. Trim or cut back long grass and excess foliage in and around your property. Remove or seal off any structures that could be used as a skunk den, such as old cars or open ditch culverts.
Remove skunk food sources. Seal or cover your compost. Keep your garbage bins indoors until delivery day. Keep pet food dishes indoors. Fence in chicken coops and close their doors at night. If you keep bees, elevate the hives beyond the reach of the skunks to prevent them from eating the bees. If you have a fish pond, cover it with mesh or netting to restrict skunk access.
Deter future skunk visits with motion-activated lights, alarms or sprinklers. If you can locate the skunk's den, try inserting rags soaked with ammonia to drive the skunks away. Try using a pepper spray (see resource for formula) on vegetation the skunk is eating. The pepper will deter the skunk.