How to Create a Natural Skunk Repellent

An image of a skunk.
Skunks are mammals that eat grubs, insects, small rodents, carrion, and fruits and vegetables. They are known for spraying a liquid with a strong, unpleasant scent from their anal glands. Mark Newman / Getty Images

Skunks are pests that eat grubs, insects, small rodents and carrion as well as fruits and vegetables [source: Toronto Animal Services]. The best way of repelling skunks is to discourage them from visiting in the first place. The following preventive measures will make skunks less likely to visit your property:

  • Keep your trash cans tightly covered and make sure the cans can't be tipped over [source: Toronto Animal Services].
  • Feed your pets indoors. Empty any birdfeeders at night. Skunks will eat almost any type of food.
  • Remove piles of wood, compost or junk so that skunks can't build a den in them. If you can't move the pile, cover it securely with a heavy tarpaulin [source: City of Lakewood].

If you have a skunk problem, you can try repelling the skunks with the following solutions:


  • If skunks have been getting into your garbage and leaving behind a mess, try putting oil of mustard or moth balls at the bottom of the garbage can [source: Toronto Animal Services].
  • If skunks are snacking on the vegetables growing in your garden, spray your plants with a mixture of water and hot pepper [source: City of Lakewood].
  • If skunks are snacking on the vegetables in your garden and you don't want to try the remedy above, you can plant cucumbers, squash or other prickly-leaved plants among your vegetables [source: Gardening Know How].
  • If you suspect that a family of skunks has made a den on your property, try boiling one chopped yellow onion, one chopped jalapeno pepper and one tablespoon of cayenne pepper in two quarts of water for 20 minutes. When the broth is done, strain the liquid and pour the it into a spray bottle, then squirt it all around the skunks' den [source: City of Lakewood].
  • If skunks are walking around your front or back path or porch, try placing a rag in a bowl of ammonia on the ground in the area. The smell will keep skunks away. However, it's important to keep the ammonia away from any grass or plants, as ammonia will burn them [source: City of Sacramento].