10 Best Skunk Repellents for Long-Term Control

Updated on by Jared Belson | Please note that there may be affiliate links on this page.

It may be difficult to imagine that there could be a repellent out there that could make skunks turn away and run, given the odor they can leave behind when they feel threatened.

But the truth is that the best skunk repellents on the market are actually not that difficult to stomach for humans. As long as you don’t mind minty or peppery scents, you should have no problem safeguarding your home from nature’s smelliest pests.

10 Best Skunk Repellents for the Smelliest Pests

The Safer 5929 is an animal repellent designed to keep away rodents, skunks, cats, and even dogs from entering your property and turning it into their playground. It comes in granulated form which makes it easy to spread around both by hand or with a lawn spreader.

Safer animal repellents are well-known and generally highly respected products. The Safer 5929 Critter Ridder uses capsaicin as its main ingredient as well as black pepper and piperine oil extracts for extra potency.

This combination makes the formula a dual-action formula that can deter skunks and other rodents through smell and taste. It comes in a granulated form, which gives it better moisture-wicking properties that water-based products and most fine dust repellents.

The granules can offer residual control for up to 30 days. They’re relatively safe to ingest, although they’re probably not the best solution if you already have pets roaming your yard freely.

The formula contains high concentrations of piperine, capsaicin, and black pepper oil, as well as other natural and synthetic compounds. This makes it efficient at repelling pests through scent and taste.

What I like besides the mostly natural ingredients, is the fact that the granules can handle a humid environment well. Barring heavy rain activity, the granules should keep working for the full 30 days after application.

You can spread the 5929 Critter Ridder on your property to draw a barrier by hand or with a regular lawn spreader. Despite having excellent weather resistance, the residual control lasts only up to one month. I consider this to be average and at the same time, good enough for the money.

  • Efficient against most animals
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    Good moisture wicking properties
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    30 days residual control
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    Dual-action formula
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    Impressive shelf life
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    All-natural ingredients
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    Granulated formula
  • Not ideal if you keep pets outdoors
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    Residual control lasts only 30 days under optimal conditions

This all-purpose animal repellent may be one of the best things you can use to keep skunks away from your yard. It comes as a ready-to-use formula and requires no diluting or additional mixing with water. It also comes in a plastic bottle sprayer with an adjustable nozzle.

I like the narrow dispersal pattern as it allows you to create concentrated barriers around the property. The formula contains mostly natural ingredients, such as cornmint oil, cinnamon oil, garlic oil, and others. These are all known animal repellents that work particularly well against rodents.

Another clear benefit of using the Liquid Fence 65007 is the fact that it’s safe to use on most wildlife and edible plants. It also doesn’t burn when it comes in contact with skin which means that you kids can play safely in the yard even after you’ve sprayed it.

There’s not a lot of residual control due to how quickly the formula gets absorbed into the ground. However, you don’t have to spray too much of the Liquid Fence 65007 in order to create a reliable barrier.

  • Works against all kinds of animals
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    Safe to use on edible plants
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    Starts working very quickly
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    Adjustable spray nozzle
  • May stain some surfaces

If you prefer using granules, then the Critter Repellent Shake Away formula is worth checking out. It can give any aerosol repellent a good run for its money. Granules can absorb quite a bit of water and still retain their repellent effect.

I like that these granules can be used to create barriers around ornamental plant arrangements, as well as around edible plants. Due to the lack of chemicals in the formula, the granules are safe to use around pets and kids, though ingesting them is still not advised.

This is a powerful formula with dual action, meaning that it repels skunks and other pests either through scent or taste. It’s also nice that it offers a humane solution to dealing with pesky residential pests.

You can buy the Critter Repellent Shake-Away in 4lbs containers. That should be enough to cover an entire garden in granules.

  • Contains fox urine
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    All natural ingredients
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    Powerful odor
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    Easy application
  • Expensive

If you own a large property with increased skunk activity, you may want to consider buying your repellent in extra-large containers. Natural Armor offers a 128oz peppermint-scented animal repellent that should make short work of skunks, small rodents, and other common residential pests.

It has a non-staining formula which means that it can also be used indoors. It’s also interesting that the formula has impressive waterproofing, something that’s not often the case with aerosol pesticides.

I also like that it has a pleasant scent and that it comes with a heavy duty trigger. While most large pesticide containers require you to do some mixing, the Natural Armor Animal & Rodent Repellent Spray is actually ready to use right away. It also comes with a large sprayer extension that will allow you to treat areas of up to 1,000 square feet in no time.

Residual control should last for up to 90 days, unless you’re spraying the formula during heavy rain seasons and periods. There’s a limit to the waterproofing, unfortunately. The formula doesn’t stain and doesn’t have a powerful odor. It has a herbal scent, tough to notice by humans but one that may not appeal to your cat or dog.

It is excellent against rodents and in fact, may work even better against rodents than larger animals and predators. You can buy it in 32oz spray bottles or 128oz canisters. 

Both options come with a built-in sprayer system, which makes mapping out a barrier a lot easier. Since it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals, you can spray it directly on the lawn, ornamental and edible plants, plant beds, and fences. When applied to concrete and wood, it can remain active for up to 90 days, even if it happens to rain.

  • Contains no chemicals or poisons
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    Pleasant peppermint scent
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    For indoor and outdoor use
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    Non-staining
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    Ready-to-use
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    Comes in a very large container
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    Good waterproofing
  • Expensive for small properties
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    May need to spray a lot to get the desired effect

Repels-All offers a skunk repellent concentrate that can allow you to choose exactly how potent and repelling you want your barrier to be. The unique blend can irritate a skunk’s nasal passages pretty badly.

What I like about it is that you can get up to two gallons of spray from a 32oz container. However, you can stretch that even further if you don’t think you need a strong barrier. When used in the recommended quantities, the formula should remain active for up to two months, whether you spray it on plants, trees, grass, or walkways.

You’ll notice that the ingredients can be quite fowl for humans too, not just for animals with a more developed sense of smell. Things like garlic oil, putrescent whole egg solids, cloves, vinegar, and magnesium silicate are known to keep skunks and other animals at bay, including some birds.

  • You can choose potency and odor
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    Natural ingredients
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    Great residual control
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    Causes irritation
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    Triggers flight responses
  • Not everyone appreciates working with concentrates

The Bonide 2361 granules come in packs of two 3lbs containers. Due to the unique blend of the formula, these granules are very potent while also being weather resistant. The Bonide 2631 can remain active for up to 60 days after application.

The odor of the granules can cause irritation of the eyes and nasal passages in skunks. But, if a skunk gobbles up a granule, they will also cause the irritation of the mouth and digestive tract, hence the dual-action label.

Another thing I like about these granules is that this is a relatively affordable solution for small to medium-sized properties. And even though it has limited use as an indoor repellent, it can easily deter skunks and other pests from even entering the property if you use it to create a barrier around the fence.

  • Impressive weather resistance
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    Up to 60 days residual control
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    Dual-action formula
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    Affordable
  • No built-in applicator

Here’s something that you can sprinkle on your property and sprinkle on your morning omelet too. This product comes in 7oz and 80oz bags, and it's quite spicy if you ask me. It’s potent enough that the smell alone will make skunks and most rodents turn away.

It’s also hot enough that if one happens to eat a flake, it won’t be returning to your yard anytime soon. What’s great about these flakes is that they offer a day/night barrier cycle. They work much better in dry climates.

The water absorption properties are not much to speak of, which means that you’re just going to waste flakes by sprinkling them before or during a rain. But, once the rain stops falling and the ground is just soft, there should be no problem creating a barrier from the Spicy World chili flakes.

Given the large quantity you can buy with minimal investment, this is also one of the more affordable skunk repellents for dry climates.

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    Affordable
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    Freedom to create a unique barrier
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    Potent in smell and taste
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    Always packaged as fresh flakes for extra potency
  • Poor moisture-wicking properties

Although this might look like measuring equipment used on construction sites, don’t let its looks fool you. You can drive its stake entirely into the ground, and the actual ultrasonic emitter would still work fine and be more concealed.

The wavelengths emitted are known to turn away a wide range of animals from tiny mice to coons, skunks, and even large bears. It has multiple ultrasonic modes, including a mode that’s pleasing for people too.

Of course, there’s a big difference between pleasant and harmful, so you shouldn’t assume that all modes emit wavelengths disturbing to human ears. It’s also a humane solution for dealing with pests and predators.

The solar-powered technology ensures considerable autonomy and makes the device almost maintenance-free. But, if you have lots of pets, this may not be the ideal solution to safeguard your property, unless you can keep them away from the device.

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    Decent range
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    Ultrasonic emitter not harmful to humans
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    Good autonomy
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    Adjustable between 19.5 to 45.5kHz
  • Potentially harmful to pets

The Univerayo Solar Predator is another light-emitting pest repellent, which I highly recommend due to its efficiency and adjustable mounting height. It’s best to store it one foot above the ground for small pests such as your garden variety rodents and skunks in particular.

On a single charge, the battery can operate for up to 12 hours during no light conditions. The device is maintenance-free as long as it receives enough light during the day.

It’s also waterproof, which makes it ideal to use during rainy seasons or in humid environments. The flashes are not harmful to human eyes, given the low profile of the device, and unlike other similar gadgets, this one also comes with an on and off switch. The LED will start flashing when the sensors sense a lack of natural light.

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    Waterproof design
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    Adjustable mounting height
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    12-hour autonomy
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    Can repel a wide range of rodents
  • Not the most cost-efficient solution

The Lycoming Nighttime Animal Repeller is an innovative automatic solar-powered light sensor. It can last up to one month on a full battery charge, which makes it virtually maintenance-free. It also has a weather-resistant casing.

Its usefulness during any season is not the main highlight, though. Its powerful flash that can be seen from up to 1 km (0.6 miles) away is its strongest suit. The fact that this also comes as a two-pack is even better since it can provide massive property coverage.

Since it’s an all-animal and predator repellent, it’s perfectly fine to use it against skunks. It’s also super easy to use since a proper installation and regular battery swaps are the only things it needs.

The device will turn on automatically at dusk and turn off when the full daylight hits. Unfortunately, this does mean that it won’t work against any skunks that might find their way on your property during the day.

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    Powerful light flashes
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    Great beam length
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    Waterproof casing
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    Automatic operation
  • Not effective during the day

It can be difficult to imagine that there’s something out there that’s as repulsive to a skunk as their natural defenses are to us. Believe it or not, effective skunk repellents may not even be that pungent to us as they are to them.

Of course, this is one of the reasons why many people use them. Repellents are a humane way of stopping skunks from roaming inside your property. Also, they won’t test your gag reflex or make your nasal hair fall out.

Types of Skunk Repellents

As you can see, skunk repellents come in many shapes, sizes, and formulations. There are natural repellents, chemical solutions, and a variety of high-tech gadgets.

While all-natural repellents may be the go-to choice for lots of people, they’re not always as efficient as we’d like them to be. I recommend using a combination of low-tech and high-tech solutions if you want to ensure full protection for your property.

For example, light or ultrasound repellents can be excellent to use at night, because they don’t depend on weather conditions. Also, they’re unlikely to harm or scare your pets.

Natural sprays or granules are also useful since they can also work during the day. A significant benefit is that you can control their area of activity. But, in terms of weather resistance, they’re often not as efficient as modern gadgetry.

What Makes a Good Skunk Repellent?

What I’ve found is that natural repellents often give the best results when used to keep skunks away from your property. Another interesting thing is that even though skunks release the foulest of odors as a defense mechanism, they’re easily deterred by scents considered pleasant or at least bearable to humans.

As such, I recommend using products mostly based on essential oils. Ingredients such as peppermint, black pepper, and capsaicin are very efficient.

You may also want to consider repellents that use fox urine as a main active ingredient. Fox urine is known to induce fear in skunks and other rodents. That’s because foxes are their natural enemies.

How to Use Skunk Repellents Properly

It’s vital to pick a product that will be harmless to your pets. If that’s not possible, then at least know when to let your pets roam the property and when to bring them inside.

Therefore, I recommend a combination of natural products and modern gadgets. It allows you to keep an LED repellent on during the night, and natural formulas for daytime protection.

I would also suggest placing a repellent barrier inside and outside your fenced property to account for weather conditions and high-jumping rodents.

Granules vs Aerosolized Repellents

I don’t really have a preference between the two. Each one has its own purpose and use, depending on certain factors such as weather conditions. In most cases, granules are best used if you live in a humid area or an area where it rains a lot.

Water-based aerosolized repellents are perhaps more versatile as they can also be used indoors without the fear of pets or kids swallowing the formula. It’s also a lot easier to create a concentrated barrier when using a sprayer.

Concentrates vs Ready-to-Use Repellents

This is another interesting debate with no easy answer. Ready-to-use repellents are obviously more convenient to use as they’re already well-formulated and can be applied quickly if your situation is dire.

On the other hand, concentrates can also be very convenient at times too. They can be slightly cheaper and those made from natural ingredients don’t require special protective equipment.

You may actually appreciate concentrates more since you can choose the potency of the formula yourself. By mixing less than the recommended amount of powder with water you can make an otherwise foul repellent less annoying to humans and pets.

Are All Ultrasound Skunk Repellents the Same?

No, they aren’t. Not all have adjustable frequency emitters. It is an important feature that can help protect your dogs or cats from the powerful ultrasonic humming that these gadgets send out.

While humans usually can’t hear the sound ultrasound animal repellent emit, keep in mind that some humans have very sensitive hearing. That’s why some adjustability can be even more helpful.

Keep Your Property Skunk-Free

There are many pros and cons to each type of animal repellent, and it’s no different when it comes to skunks. However, going for more than one kind of repellent might be the best solution. Even more so, as some of them work on renewable energy and represent a one-time investment.

As you can see, the smell of a skunk repellent can be far more bearable than what a skunk can do to your garden or home. There’s no reason not to use one, especially if you’re interested in a humane way of controlling the skunk population on your property.

If you want to consider a humane approach to deterring skunks and other pests from your property, take your pick now. Solutions offered in this article won’t permanently harm skunks; they’ll only prevent them from sneaking around your property.

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