We usually take pride in taking care of our nicely mowed yards. But when pests start to disturb our beautiful yard, especially skunks, that’s not some good news. Pesky skunks are hard to catch because of their defense mechanism: spraying a nasty smell.
Although they’re tricky, we’ll show you how to catch a skunk successfully.
- Picking the Right Trap
Unlike rats and raccoons, trapping a skunk is quite harder to catch. If you don’t do it right, you might get sprayed bad once they feel threatened. To successfully get rid of this pest, picking the right trap is the key.
The most common way to catch a skunk is by using a traditional cage trap. A tube trap can also be used and even preferred by some experts as well. Just make sure that the trap you pick is secure and well-built, so the animal can’t get out easily once trapped inside.
- The Right Bait to Use
Skunks are known to be scavengers. Just like rats, they’ve easily adapted to the human surroundings, especially in urban and suburban areas. They hunt for food scraps at night since they are nocturnal animals. It will help if you choose the right bait to become successful in catching them.
This animal is naturally omnivorous, and their diet mostly consists of insects. Other than that, they like feeding on fruit, bird eggs, and food scraps. They do pretty much eat everything, so it’s not hard to pick food bait.
Boiled eggs are effective since its scent lures the skunks so easily. Dog or cat food and meat grease are all good baits to lure the skunks in your trap. However, since you’re placing food baits outside, take note that you might also attract other animals other than skunks.
- Set-up the Trap in the Right Location
It’s obvious that the trap is the main key to catching the skunks. However, if the location was not right, the trap won’t serve its purpose.
The location is one of the most important factors as this is where you set-up the trap to catch them successfully. Observe the skunks’ patterns and take note of which spot they mostly hang out. This way, you can gauge where you could set-up your trap strategically.
If the skunk is not nesting in your yard or area but keeps on visiting your place, then set-up your trap on the pathway where they often pass.
- Check and Secure the Trap
Once you’ve finally picked a good location to set-up the trap, now is the time for you to check if the trap works. Skunks shouldn’t be underestimated as they are strong animals. If your trap is not strong enough, they could easily escape. Make sure that it’s secure enough to hold a few of them.
You may place a heavy brick or stone on top of the trap to have extra weight to hold it down strongly. This way, the trap wouldn’t easily tip when the skunks start getting trapped inside.
Also, make sure to wash the trap thoroughly, leaving no trace of any human scent. Skunks are quite smart, and they can identify the human smell very well. Position the trap subtly where the animal will have no room to be suspicious of the newly set-up cage.
- Check the Trap Often
Consider the kind of bait you’ve placed in the trap, that same bait might attract other animals aside from skunks. It’s a good thing if it’s another pest that your trap caught, but what if it’s your cat or one of your pets? That’s not a good sight to look at.
Check the trap at least once or twice a day, especially in the daytime. Since skunks only pester at night time, you might not want to check the traps at night to let the skunks do their thing.
How to properly catch them without getting sprayed?
Once you’ve caught some skunks in your trap, the hard part here is on how to take them out without getting sprayed. Make sure when you’re approaching the trap, do not intimidate or threaten them.
- It’s advisable to use a canvas to cover over the one half of the trap, so the skunk won’t notice that you’re approaching the trap.
- Make sure that the canvas covers the other end of the trap and not the door where you need to open and take the skunks. (The skunks will try to hide on the sides or corners. The trick here now is to be able to open the door as quickly as possible without allowing them to spray. Take note that the skunk’s nasty smell can reach up to 12 feet away. )
- Carefully approach the trap using the canvas as well to hide from the skunks.
- Slowly place the canvas over the entire trap.
- Take a quick peek inside the trap to locate the skunks’ position.
- Make sure you have your gloves on and quickly open the trap door.
- Crouch, make yourself small and make sure skunks don’t see you. This way, they won’t feel the threat.
- Take the skunks and transfer them in a covered cage for transport.
- Another way to catch them is to cover the trap with a blanket and easily transport them wherever you planned to.
Relocate the skunks
So your little friends won’t go back to your lovely lawn or field anymore, you need to find the right spot to relocate them after catching. An adequate place where they can have food, water, and a peaceful place to live.
You can pick a place far from your area where there’s a creek, reservoir, or vast woods. Rest assured, they won’t be back anymore and will harmoniously live in the wild where they belong.
Once you’ve picked the perfect spot, release them gently. Take out the canvas or blanket while staying hidden. Please make sure you’re able to leave them without getting sprayed, scratched or bitten.
What is the best bait to catch a skunk?
How do you get a skunk to leave?
How do you catch a skunk without it spraying?
How do you trap a skunk in a live trap?
What kills a skunk?
Can a skunk spray in a live trap?
Keeping in mind that a skunk won’t spray what it doesn’t see, approach the trap slowly and quietly (but not too quietly – I recommend talking in a soothing voice to avoid catching the skunk off guard) and slip your cover over the cage.