Skunks and Raccoons


  • Secure existing trash bins with bungee cords
  • Use metal trash bins-they are impossible to chew
  • -OR- Purchase a “raccoon-proof” trash bin from your local home improvement store
  • If possible, store trash bins in garage or indoors until collection day
  • Feed pets indoors, when possible
  • -OR- If pets are fed outdoors, remove food as soon as pet is finished and NEVER LEAVE PET FOOD OUT AT NIGHT.
  • If your neighbors are leaving pet food out, ask for their cooperation in removing it. 
  • Remove bird feeders
  • Secure compost pile/garden with wire fencing
  • Keep BBQ grills clean or stored in a secure place
  • Install a motion-activated light or floodlight to deter activity
  • Install a motion-activated sprinkler
  • Remove unnecessary outdoor clutter such as old newspaper piles, woodpiles, piles of “stuff”

Eviction Methods
If you currently have skunks or raccoons

Step 1:  Scaring them away

  • Disturb the den with noise during the day; such as a radio near the den entrance. 
  • Dens under porches or stairs may be dampened (NOT FLOODED) with a hose at night when the animals are out. 
  • Install a motion-activated light or floodlight to deter activity
  • Install a motion-activated sprinkler (Brands: Havahart, Contech)

Step 2: Using Repellants

  • Place orange and lemon peels near den entries/exits.  Skunks to not like citrus. 
  • Spray grass with vegetable oil, raccoons and skunks do NOT like to get their coats oily. 
  • Spray a cayenne pepper/water or chili power/water mixture all around the den area. Also, spray around the entry and just a few inches into the hole. Don't spray deep into the hole or the skunk may reciprocate.
  • Wild animals are suspicious of moving objects.  Hang a string or clothing line along a fence and attach strips of cloth or aluminum foil.  You can also attach balloons to a fence or anchor helium balloons in the ground near their dens.  Another option is to install several pinwheels near their dens.  These will frighten the animal and encourage them to leave the area.
  • Place rubber snakes or 18 inch pieces of black hose near the area.  They are effective because they capitalize on the raccoon/skunk fear of their natural predator. 
  • Critter Ridder, made my Havahart, is an organic animal repellent that uses a patented pepper based formula to repel by odor and taste. Contains oil of black pepper, piperine and capsaicin to repel woodchucks (ground hogs), skunks, squirrels, raccoons, dogs and cats. 

Step 3:  Ensuring Skunks/Raccoons are Gone

  • Locate a skunk or raccoon’s entryways and close off all but the main entrance (the one you have either seen them near or appears the freshest and biggest of all entryways).  One entry/exit hole, preferably the main hole, must remain available for the skunk or raccoon to make his final getaway.  If you are unsure of the animals entryway, sprinkle a layer baking soda or flour both, about 2 feet in circumference, in and right outside the opening.  Skunks and raccoons are nocturnal and will leave tracks upon returning to their dens. 
  • Once you see a set of footprints in the flour that face AWAY from the opening, you know the tenant is out and about and it is safe to proceed. 
  • After dark, examine the flour for tracks that indicate the skunk has left to feed.  If tracks are not present, reexamine in about an hour.
  • Reopen the entrance the next day for 1 hour after dark to allow any remaining skunks to exit before permanently sealing the entrance.

Step 4:  Sealing up patios, stoops, decks, & sheds

  • The next day, cover the entry. Wadded up newspaper stuffed into the entry hole works great, or if there is dirt around the entry you can cover the entry area with loose dirt. Do not pack the dirt down as that may trap the skunk under the porch or cement slab. 
  • Take small rags and roll into a tight ball and tie with twine.  Soak in ammonia until thorough saturated.  Use a piece of wire to push the rag balls into the burrow as far as possible, and cover the hole with wadded newspaper.  
  • Observe the hole for a few days. Re-cover the hole whenever you see it open. When the hole has not been uncovered for a few days, the skunk is out. If, after four days, the skunk has not moved, then on the fifth day, repeat the process from the beginning, including new rags and ammonia. The skunk will usually move out on the first or the second night. 
  • If you have any doubt, then smooth out the dirt on both sides of the door with your hand or a tool, reapply the flour and observe. Once a couple of days have gone by with no footprints, the skunk is probably gone.
  • Another way to check is to open the door and shove a few pieces of wadded up newspaper into the skunk's entrance. If the paper stays in place for two to three nights, then the skunk is gone.

ONLY once the skunk(s) is (are) gone, should you skunk-proof the area to prevent re-occurrence  Seal up the area with concrete.  Skunks can move unusually large piles of stones and putting stones in front of the hole will not seal it up forever. 

More Tips

  • You should avoid sealing holes in the spring and summer when animals are raising their young unless you are ABOSULTELY certain that there are no babies inside. 
  • If you cannot be certain, wait to take action until any possible youngsters are grown and have struck out on their own. 
  • NEVER, EVER APPROACH A DEN WHERE THE MOTHER IS PRESENT WITH HER YOUNG.  If feeling compelled to defend her offspring, a mother skunk or raccoon can be DANGEROUS.  If the single remaining entryway is closed off with the babies inside, the mother will stop at nothing to return to the babies.  She can cause severe damage to the building by chewing, clawing, or digging her way back to the young.  If a mother is unsuccessful in returning to the den, the infant carcasses will ultimately cause problems such as attracting rodents and other scavengers.