Skunks. Nobody likes them – but they’re an inevitable part of living in the country. In fact, skunks can be helpful, preferring to eat plants and insects and thereby keeping various pest problems under control.
That’s not very helpful if you’re dealing with a skunk infestation on your homestead. If you do, you’re likely worried about the skunk spraying your home, belongings, or pets – or worse, going after your chickens’ eggs.
Do you have a skunk problem on your homestead? This helpful guide will teach you how to safely catch a skunk without getting sprayed. You’ll need a trap, some bait, and some gloves – it’s easy to do!
Follow these simple steps and you can get that pesky skunk off your property for good.
Table of Contents
What To Do If You See a Skunk
If you ever encounter a skunk in the wild, it’s important to know how to respond appropriately.
At first glance, skunks may appear to be cute and cuddly animals, but they can actually be quite dangerous if provoked. In general, your best course of action is simply to stay away from skunks.
However, if you do need to come into contact with one for some reason, you should proceed with caution.
Skunks are a common pest in many parts of the world, with their wide range and adaptable habits.
While they are herbivorous by nature and prefer to eat plants and insects, they will also scavenge for food if necessary and may raid gardens or farms in search of something to eat.
Skunks are notorious disease carriers and can transmit deadly parasites such as rabies.
Because of all these factors, skunks pose a significant risk to humans, who need to take measures to keep them away from their property.
Whether through the use of deterrents like fencing or professional pest control services, it is essential to tackle the problem of skunks before it becomes unmanageable.
Otherwise, you could find yourself dealing with serious health issues or costly damage to your property.
So if you notice signs of a problem with skunks on your property, it is best not to delay in taking action.
That said, you should never get too close or try to touch a skunk; instead, keep a safe distance and carefully move past it.
Remember that although skunks may look harmless, they are best left alone in the wild where they belong.Approaching them with caution and respect for their space and boundaries is essential.
How to Safely Catch a Skunk Without Getting Sprayed
If you’re a homesteader, then you know that there are always pests to deal with. One of the most common pests around any home is the skunk.
While they might not be as big of a nuisance as other pests, such as raccoons or rats, skunks can still be a real problem if they get into your trash or start raiding your chicken coop.
Thankfully, catching a skunk without getting sprayed is actually pretty easy – just follow these simple steps!
Use a Trap Specifically for Skunks
One of the most common nuisance animals that people encounter is the skunk, and there are specific traps available for capturing these creatures.
These traps typically consist of a sturdy wire cage with a trip mechanism that locks once an animal has stepped inside. In addition, they are often covered in an attractive bait to draw the skunk in.
The ideal dimensions for a skunk trap are 10 inches by 12 inches by 32 inches. The trap should have a solid bottom and sides to prevent the skunk from escaping. The top of the trap should be open to allow the skunk to enter.
Once caught, the animal can then be relocated where it will be able to live peacefully without causing any problems for humans or other wildlife.
Overall, using a trap specifically designed for skunks is an effective way to manage these unwelcome pests while minimizing potential conflicts between humans and wildlife.
Best Skunk Trap Placement
Where should you place the trap? There is no single “best” placement for a skunk trap, as different situations may warrant different approaches.
For example, the optimal place for a trap to be set will depend on the layout of your property and the surrounding environment.
If you have a large, open backyard with plenty of space between your house and other structures, placing the trap at one end of the yard might prove effective.
Alternatively, if your property has a lot of tight corners or narrow walkways, you may want to set a trap in an area that is more secluded.
Ultimately, finding the right location for your skunk trap will require some trial and error and some careful observation of local habits and patterns. The best placement will be wherever you’ve noticed skunks hanging out in the past!
One popular method is to excavate a hole in the ground and then cover it with canvas or something similar. The skunk will fall into the hole and be unable to get out.
Wherever you choose to place your trap, make sure there are no potential hazards nearby that could hurt the skunk. And remember, always handle the skunk with care – they can be dangerous animals.
Bait the Trap Carefully
When it comes to trapping skunks, bait is an important consideration. Skunks are attracted to a variety of smells, but they have a particular fondness for sweet foods. For this reason, many trappers use some form of candy or fruit as bait.
Another popular option is to use a canned fish product, as the strong smell is often enough to lure skunks into the trap.
In general, it is best to avoid using meat as bait, as skunks are not attracted to the smell and it can quickly spoil in warm weather.
The same is true of fish, of course, but it is often more effective and therefore, is likely to produce results before it spoils.
No matter what bait you choose, be sure to place it in the back of the trap so that the skunk has to enter the trap all the way in order to reach it.
This will increase the chances of catching the skunk and avoid having it spray you when you attempt to remove it from the trap.
Anchor the Trap
Skunks are nocturnal creatures, so the best time to set the trap is at night. You’ll need to find an open area where the skunk will feel comfortable foraging.
Once you’ve found the spot, dig a hole that’s big enough for the trap and place the trap in the hole. Then, cover the trap with leaves, grass, or straw so it’s hidden from view.
Finally, secure the trap by weighing it down with rocks or logs. You don’t want the skunk to be able to move the trap around once it’s inside!
Monitor the Trap
When trying to trap a skunk, it is important to monitor the trap closely at all times. A skunk can be a dangerous and aggressive animal, so it is crucial that you remain alert when handling it.
You also need to keep an eye out to make sure the skunk isn’t stuck inside the trap for too long – this is inhumane.
Try to keep your distance from the trap while monitoring it so that you don’t agitate the skunk and cause it to react aggressively.
With careful planning and the right approach, you should be able to successfully trap a skunk without incident.
Approaching the Skunk in the Trap
The first step when approaching a skunk is to keep your distance and remain calm. If the animal looks agitated or tense, then it’s best to stop and try again later.
However, if the skunk appears relaxed and calm, it may be safe to approach more closely.
From there, you should try to remove as much of the scent that may already be on your hands and clothes as possible before reaching in to release the animal from its cage.
When it comes to skunks, the best defense is a good offense. If you see a skunk in a trap, don’t approach it from the front. Instead, approach it from behind, moving slowly and carefully.
Gently Pick Up the Trap
When you have found a skunk in your trap, it is important to know how to safely pick it up. Sudden movements can startle the skunk and cause it to spray. The best way to pick up the trap is to gently lift it from the ground.
Place one hand on each side of the trap and slowly raise it until it is level with your waist. If the skunk looks like it is going to spray, lower the trap back down and wait a few minutes before trying again.
Once you have successfully picked up the trap, you can transport it to a safe location for release. Just remember to exercise caution and avoid any sudden movements.
Can You Pick Up a Skunk When It’s In the Trap?
It may sound bold, but this strategy can sometimes work – if you’re brave enough to try! And if not, don’t worry – I’ll give you some other tips below.
Once you’re close enough to the skunk in the trap (again, approaching from behind), simply grab the skunk by the base of its tail and lift it out of the trap.
This may sound like a risky maneuver, but as long as you don’t give the skunk a chance to turn around, you should be able to avoid getting sprayed.
Just be sure to keep a firm grip on its tail, as skunks have been known to squirm their way out of even the tightest grip.
With a little luck and a lot of caution, you should be able to remove the skunk from the trap without incident.
How to Release a Trapped Skunk
Try to find something that you can use to cover the skunk’s head or even better, the entire trap.
This will help to minimize its ability to spray. Once the skunk is covered, gently pick it up and place it in a box or carrier. Make sure that the skunk has plenty of ventilation and is not too cramped.
Ideally, you should wear gloves or other protective gear to protect yourself from any spray that the skunk may release.
Where to Release a Trapped Skunk
Some people recommend calling animal control or your local wildlife rescue organization, both of which can help you to safely and humanely relocate the animal.
You can also bring the skunk away from your property. Try to get it at least 10-20 miles away so you don’t have to worry about it coming back. Make sure it’s a wooded area where the skunk will have a good chance of survival.
Opening the Trap Without Getting Sprayed
Set the trap down where you plan to release it. Slowly remove the covering – then get away as quickly as possible before the skunk realizes what’s going on.
Should I Shoot a Skunk?
Shooting a skunk is never a good idea. For one thing, skunks are relatively harmless mammals that spend most of their time hunting for food and shelter.
They do not pose a direct threat to humans, and they do not generally act aggressively toward people unless they feel threatened.
Additionally, shooting a skunk carries the risk of an unpleasant experience for anyone nearby, as the smell from their spray can linger for days or even weeks after being released.
Instead of resorting to violence against these innocent animals, it is best to simply leave them be. After all, there are many other ways that we can coexist peacefully with these furry critters.
For example, we can refrain from feeding them or leaving our trash out where they can access it; this will help prevent them from relying on humans for their sustenance and make them less likely to enter areas where they could encounter people accidentally.
While shooting a skunk may seem like an easy solution to your pest problem, there are far better ways to resolve conflicts with these creatures without causing them undue harm.
What To Do if You Get Sprayed By a Skunk
If you find yourself the victim of a skunk’s foul spray, never fear! There are a few simple steps you can take to rid yourself of the stench.
First, if you have any vinegar on hand, pour it over the affected area. The acidity of the vinegar will help to neutralize the skunk’s scent.
If you don’t have any vinegar, you can try mixing together equal parts of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.
Again, this mixture will work to neutralize the skunk’s scent. Once you’ve applied either of these solutions, be sure to wash the area with soap and water to remove any lingering odors.
Finally, if all else fails, you can always try using tomato juice! The acids in tomatoes will help to break down the skunk’s spray, making it much easier to wash off.
So, if you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position of being sprayed by a skunk, remember these simple tips and you’ll be smelling fresh in no time!
How to Clean Up After a Skunk Sprays
If you’ve ever had the misfortune of being sprayed by a skunk, you know that the smell can be difficult to remove. However, there are some simple steps you can take to get rid of the odor.
First, mix together one quart of hydrogen peroxide, one teaspoon of dish soap, and one-half cup of baking soda.
Then use this mixture to shampoo yourself as soon as possible after the spraying occurs. Rinse well and repeat if necessary.
You may also want to soak any affected clothing in the mixture before washing. If the smell persists, try using a commercial enzymatic cleaner designed specifically for removing skunk odor.
With a little patience and elbow grease, you’ll be able to get rid of that skunk spray for good!
Preventing Skunk Problems in the Future
If you’re dealing with skunks, the best thing you can do is take steps to prevent them from becoming a problem in the first place.
First, remove any attractants from your property. This means putting away pet food, securing garbage cans, and eliminating sources of water.
Fortunately, there are a few simple steps that can be taken to prevent skunks from making themselves at home on your property.
One of the best ways to deter skunks is to eliminate their food sources. Make sure to clean up any fallen fruit from your trees, and keep garbage cans tightly sealed.
In addition, it is important to remove any potential shelter options, such as wood piles or dense vegetation.
Do Any Trapping in the Spring
Second, do any trapping in the springtime. Skunks are most active in the spring, so this is when you’re most likely to have success with trapping. By taking these precautions, you can help prevent skunk problems in the future.
When in Doubt – Contact the Professionals
If you are not sure whether or not it is safe to approach the animal, you should always opt to contact a professional wildlife rescuer or rescue organization instead.
This is because skunks will typically defend themselves if they feel threatened, and the foul-smelling spray that they use as a defense mechanism can be extremely unpleasant and difficult to remove from clothing and skin.
Furthermore, without the proper training and experience, it can be challenging to distinguish between a sick or injured skunk and one that is healthy, meaning that releasing an unhealthy skunk could ultimately do more harm than good.
For these reasons, when in doubt about what to do in a situation involving a trapped skunk, it is always best to consult with experts who can offer the safest and most effective solution.
If you’re ever faced with a skunk and want to know how to safely catch it, follow these tips. Remember that the most important thing is to stay calm and avoid getting sprayed.
With a little bit of practice, you should be able to catch any skunk safely and release it back into the wild. Have you ever had to catch a skunk? What tips would you add?
Rebekah is a full-time homesteader. On her 22 acres, she raises chickens, sheep, and bees, not to mention she grows a wide variety of veggies. She has a huge greenhouse and does lots of DIY projects with her husband in her ever-growing homesteading endeavor. Learn more about Rebekah here.