How to Get Rid of a Skunk in Your Garage

If a skunk decides to take up residence in your garage, getting rid of it is likely one of your primary concerns. In addition to the obvious risk of being sprayed by the skunk, the animal can present a danger to any pets you have and is a potential carrier of several diseases, including rabies and canine distemper. On top of that, it may venture out of the garage and eat fruits in your garden, dig up gardens and flowerbeds looking for grubs to eat and raid your trashcan. The trick, however, is getting rid of your skunk for good without getting sprayed.

Shining a Light

Skunks are nocturnal, and when one is in a garage, it likely found a dark spot that it considers safe. If you disrupt this darkness, the skunk probably will go elsewhere on its own. Wait until the skunk has gone out of the garage at night searching for food, and then plug in a lamp or other bright light and place it in the portion of your garage that the skunk frequents. Removing boxes, shelves and other items that the skunk might hide behind also will reduce the likelihood of your unwanted guest sticking around.

Eliminating Food Sources

Removing potential sources of food for the skunk also will make your garage less hospitable to the animal. Ensure all of your trashcans have tight-fitting lids, and place a weight on top of each lid if necessary. If you keep pet food outside, take it indoors before the sun goes down. Clean up around bird feeders nightly, pick up all fallen fruits from trees and your garden, and avoid putting fruits or vegetables in a compost heap unless the compost is in a bin or otherwise covered.

Cutting Off Access

If the skunk doesn't have access to food in your garage, this means that it has to leave at night to find something to eat. Take advantage of that situation by closing the garage's doors, locking its windows and making a barricade out of wood and fine wire mesh or other material to block access to the garage before the skunk comes back. A barricade needs to be secured well, however, because a skunk will work hard to overcome an obstacle blocking it from accessing a secure living space.

Trapping the Skunk

Using a live-catch trap is another way to take care of an unwanted skunk. Place the trap near your garage, and bait it with peanut butter, fruit or some other sweet food to prevent trapping a cat or other animal instead of your skunk. If you use a wire trap instead of an enclosed plastic model, then cover a portion of it with a sheet or old blanket to provide a darker space to help calm the trapped skunk. Once the skunk is captured, cover the trap completely with an old blanket, and allow the skunk time to calm down. Carefully move the trap to the back of a pickup truck or similar vehicle, and then drive to the location where you plan to release it. Open the trap, and wait for the skunk to emerge on its own; don't try to shake the trap or otherwise force the skunk out because they may result in the skunk spraying you. If the skunk doesn't want to leave the trap, try placing fruit or other food nearby to draw it out.

Getting Rid of the Odor

A skunk's spray has an odor that lingers. If the skunk sprays you, your pet or anything in your garage, then wash yourself, the pet or item, or scrub the affected part of your garage and allow it to air-dry.

You also may neutralize the odor with a mixture of 1 quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide that is fresh, 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1 to 2 teaspoons of liquid dish soap. Mix the solution in an open container, and apply it to the affected item or area immediately. This solution is safe for use on people and pets, though keep it away from eyes and mouths. It may discolor fabrics. The recipe by Paul Krebaum, a chemist, is on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension's website.