Skunk Under the Shed, Porch, or Deck

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A lot of times, a skunk that has become a pest would wander into open outhouses, and leave its persistent, musky smell everywhere it visits – under a building, shed, porch, or even a woodpile. Skunks tend to dig small, cone-shaped holes in the lawn and eat low garden crops; they destroy landscape when they dig under grass to search for worms and insects to eat. If you need skunk help, click the nationwide directory of Professional Wildlife Removal Companies, and you'll find a skunk expert in your town or city.

HOW TO GET SKUNK OUT FROM UNDER A SHED OR PORCH - Despite helping in the control of other common insect and rodent pests, homeowners are very wary of the skunk’s propensity to release a pungent defensive spray when it feels threatened. Fortunately, the prominent white and black coloration of the skunk’s coat makes it easily recognizable so that potential victims can escape the obnoxious secretion.

Getting rid of a skunk that has taken up residence in your outhouse frequently requires a combination of prevention and exclusion strategies, with humane removal. Live skunk trapping is one of the most effective ways to control skunk although the challenge for most people is in not wanting to get sprayed. It is however very possible to trap and remove a skunk without getting sprayed. Read the guide Is It Legal To Trap A Skunk?

1. Setting a Trap

  • Buy a medium to large steel cage kind of trap, usually about 10" x 12" x 30". They are spring-loaded to shut the door on the animal as soon as it gets lured inside. Raccoon traps are great for catching skunks too.
  • You may want to use marshmallows as bait inside the trap so as to avoid catching neighborhood stray cats or dogs. Otherwise, use peanut butter, fish, or some other strong-smelling food.
  • Position the trap along the skunk’s path or in front of its den on your porch, or underneath your shed. Let the trap be shaded and flush to the ground.
  • Check the trap frequently for early detection of a catch. This way, the animal does not suffer for so long. Same if a skunk is stuck down the window well.
2. Retrieve Successful Trap and Avoid Getting Sprayed by skunk under shed
  • Get a large, old towel or sheet and hold it in front of you as move towards the trap. Skunks don’t usually spray if they cannot see their target.
  • Approach the trapped skunk calmly; don’t make any sudden movement to avoid startling it. You can even hum softly.
  • Once you are within reach, drape your towel over the cage. Read about how to trap a skunk.
3. Get rid of the skunk (how to get rid of skunks)
  • Transport the trapped animal several miles away from your property, preferably to a woody area.
  • Set the trap down and open the door; step back and keep your face away.
  • Cover yourself completely with heavy clothing and gloves while on this mission. The skunk may have become agitated at this point. They mostly leave the traps calmly but it’s best to take these precautions in case it decides to spray.
  • In the alternative, get a Havahart Easy Set Trap. These traps have a lever at the back of the trap to open the door, which ensures you are fully clear of the door and the skunk.

Several skunk repellent products are available commercially including predator urine, mothballs, ammonia, and pepper spray. However, live-trapping and removal is the only fool-proof method to get rid of skunk. Most of these repellents do not work and only constitute a waste of time. Homeowners should also avoid using poison or other inhumane means to get rid of their skunk pests. There really is no need to kill the skunk under a porch, plus it almost always sprays when it is killed, leaving you with a dreadful odor and a carcass.

Exclusion Strategies - When you have successfully removed a skunk living under your deck, shed, or other structure, it is important that you install an exclusion barrier - steel mesh around the perimeter of the structure. Whatever you do, just be sure to block unwanted access to your porch or deck.

A note of caution: skunks are rarely active during the day and while the sighting of one in daytime may only be due to hunger, it may also mean that the skunk is rabid! Look out for signs like circling movements, disorientation, limb weakness, unusual boldness or unusual tameness. If any of these abnormal behaviors is observed, you must not attempt to get rid of the skunk by yourself, but alert your local animal department, a wildlife expert, or the police department for help. A skunk under a shed or deck can leave droppings behind. To identify them, see pictures of skunk poop. For more information about skunks under a deck or shed, go to my skunk removal information page.

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