Most wild animals in urban areas spend their days hunting for food and searching for opportunities to eat. An open garbage can is one invitation that they happily accept. A skunk as an omnivore is opportunistic. It feeds on plant materials when available, animals, and even dead matter.

In urban areas, a skunk's hunting and foraging skills often lead it to a garbage can to see what foods are available for it. A skunk possesses a strong grip and can pry your garbage can open. Then the skunk digs into the trash and eats whatever food remnants are available before going on its way. The skunk, however, may get stuck inside the garbage can depending on its depth and the smoothness of its internal surface.

The best way to get rid of skunks is to prevent them from going through your garbage or even having access to them. You can do this by using skunk-proof garbage cans with fitted lids that the skunks cannot pry open. These may be more expensive than conventional garbage cans but will suit their purpose and keep the skunks out.

Garbage cans with lids also trap the aroma of food remnants in the garbage can and help to not alert the skunks about the availability of a food source in your yard. You can also do well to close the garbage can securely and avoid having overflowing cans. Empty the can often and wash after garbage disposal.

Skunks are foragers, and as nocturnal animals, they are most active at night when humans are asleep. This makes their activities more annoying and tiresome. They are not tidy creatures but leave the garbage cans messy and litter your yard and surroundings with garbage. Skunks easily adapt, and when your home and trash can become a food source for them, skunks will keep coming back for more.

How to Keep Skunks Away
Kicking skunks out of your garbage can is easy yet requires dedication and resilience to get results. Skunks will become constant uninvited guests in your garbage can when there is always a promise of food. To keep them out, you must give them reasons to stay away. Some guidelines for keeping skunks out include:
· Always bring your recycling bins and trash cans indoors when not in use. You should keep the trash can indoors or keep it in the outhouse or shed to prevent skunks from pilfering and getting into your garbage
· If you must leave your trash can outside, get cans with heavy and tight lids that will be almost impossible for the skunks and other wildlife to get into and dig. Get trash cans that are very heavy or that you can hold to the ground to prevent skunks from pushing them over and messing up your yard or environment.
· If your trash can is not skunk-proof, you can still secure it using a bungee cord or any strong rope. After this, you can place a rock or block on the lid to further hold it in place.
· Bring in pet food or preferably feed your pets indoors. If you must feed them outside, make sure to do so during the day when skunks are least active, then bring in the pet dishes and food remnants at night to avoid issuing free food invites to skunks and other nocturnal wildlife.
· Ensure that your yard is clean at all times. A dirty yard is a good hunting ground for skunks, and they will happily explore. Do not leave any possible skunk attractants outside and always clear debris to avoid skunks' nightly visits.

You can also use skunk repellents or seek professional advice from an animal removal expert.

Go back to the Somerville wildlife removal home page.