Believe it or not, what I’m about to tell you may come as a surprise. It’s about skunks and their actual disdain for anything humans.
Human urine will repel skunks. Skunks are naturally timid creatures, and by smelling human urine, they will be aware that a predator is in the area and stay away from that location. The smell of urine will dissipate anywhere from a few hours to 24 hours, so it must be frequently applied to be effective.
Honestly, this is probably the most out-there article I’ve written for Pest Pointers, and I’m over the top enthusiastic for it. Let’s take a deeper dive here, shall we?
Why Skunks Stay Away From Human Urine
As I sit here and type, I still can’t believe this is an article I’m writing. I’ve always posted kind of out there topics, but this one is one of the most… unique?
Granted, our research team said, “Hey, if you write this article, lots of people will read it, trust us.”
So, I trusted them – here it goes, I guess?
Anyways, urine and skunks. Let’s get to it.
Skunks, by nature, are SUPER timid creatures. Very much so.
Being primarily defensive creatures as they don’t have a mechanism for attacking. They have sharp claws, but their petite size makes them a target for many wild animals.
Furthermore, skunks are primarily nocturnal, meaning that they mostly come out at night. Again, this is due to them being more of a prey-type species rather than a predator.
To add icing to the cake, the white strips on a skunk are an indication to a potential predator that says if you mess with me, I’m going to make you smell TERRIBLE.
That stinky, smelly spray is their primary defense mechanism in the wild, and to make matters worse for these poor little guys; it takes time for their stink glands to replenish their spray, leaving them defenseless if they have to use it (which is why skunks prefer NOT to spray.)
So, when you douse an area with human urine, skunks tend to stay away. This is because skunks see humans as predators and want to avoid getting close to predators since they are prey.
Hey – by the way, if you need pest or wildlife control, feel free to contact our nationwide partner network, where we’ll connect you to a local exterminator or wildlife pro in seconds
How Should You Use Human Urine to Repel Skunks?
I think you already know the answer to this one, and you probably know what I’m going to say here.
Well, go outside and pee. Some scholars say you need to or could dilute the mixture, but I don’t think we need to overthink this.
Depending on where you live has a factor to this and the area you’re trying to protect.
Essentially, it would help if you thought of this as “marking your territory” the same way that a dog or other animal does.
For instance, our dog Vito would randomly hear something thousands of feet away and absolutely sprint to the backwoods barking.
He would bark like crazy, and then when things were all said and done, he would urinate on a few bushes along the property border – essentially letting other animals know that this was his house and to stay away.
While skunks aren’t predators, they don’t serve a huge benefit to having around. By urinating around areas where you’re trying to repel them, you’re marking your territory and letting the skunk know that there’s a potential predator in the area.
Next, you need to think of areas where you’re trying to keep skunks out. Growing up, we generally had skunks in the woods. Our first family dog (to me) got sprayed on one of our wood walks and had a great tomato bath after that.
Nevertheless, we didn’t have a reason for trying to keep skunks out of our woods because our home was in the middle of a grass pasture where animals weren’t likely to try and get too close. We had a dog, and there was too much open space between the covered woods and the home.
However, if you have a home near the woods or a large area of brush, you may be able to detect, to your best knowledge, where skunks are entering from to get onto your property.
From there, you then have a few choices.
You could either go, yes, “mark your territory” in the area you suspect skunks are entering your property.
Or you could “mark your territory” in the area you’re trying to prevent skunks from entering. Either could be fine and will more than likely be situationally specific, but do some testing and see what works best.
Will Any Other Type of Urine Keep Skunks Away?
Using the same methodology, skunks will be repelled by a few other animal urines.
Most notably, coyote urine is one of the tops of mine repellents that comes to mind.
To skunks, coyote urine (if smelled and applied correctly) is a sure and telltale sign that a predator is in the area.
While they may not be familiar with a human scent, there is a very high probability that they’ve run into the smell of a coyote during their life in the wilderness.
Since they know of the smell, they know that coyotes are predators and that themselves, the skunks, are prey.
If you’re interested in using coyote urine to repel skunks, you need to purchase it in its pure form and make sure you aren’t getting a mixture that is diluted or watered down.
A good starting spot is the American Heritage Industries Coyote Urine – which aims to repel various small critters that are prey to coyotes.
To use, simply spread this along the area that you want to deter skunks from. You could use the same method outlined above to test applying in different locations, such as the woods where the skunk may be finding its way onto your property or in the actual place where you want to keep the skunk out.
See what works best for you depending on your specific situation.
What Other Things Should You Do To Repel Skunks?
Well, it depends.
There are a few things you can do. One of them is to get a motion sensor light to keep animals away.
Once a skunk learns not to be afraid of the lights, though, you may have a tough time getting them to stay away with just a motion sensor light.
A fantastic thing to do is to make sure that your yard is all clear of debris and that you’ve eliminated any areas where a skunk could make its habitat under your home.
Get rid of any trees, branches, logs, clutter, and tall grass on your property, as this will eliminate the majority of places that a skunk could hide out at your home.
If you have a porch, make sure it’s sealed properly. Skunks may be trying to make their way underneath there during the nighttime, and if it isn’t sealed off correctly, they can make quick use out of it as an ideal shelter.
Should I Be Focused On Keeping Skunks Away?
Personally, I think keeping skunks away from your home is essential, but only if you’re not disturbing their natural habitat – especially if they aren’t bothersome to you.
Chances are, if you’re here on this article, you’ve got some skunks that are on your property – and that’s OK.
If you can naturally tell them to go away, like with human or coyote urine, then they’ll hopefully get the hint and move on without you having to interact with them at all.
If the skunks near your property are beginning to look like a potential issue, then you should be focused on keeping them away. Their spray isn’t fun for anyone, especially your pet, which will more than likely be the one who gets sprayed!
If you need wildlife or pest control, call our nationwide network of exterminators and wildlife pros. We’ll connect you with a local professional near you in seconds!
Thanks for reading all the way through. Happy skunk repelling!
Carnivores, C. I. (2004). Ecology and management of striped skunks, raccoons, and coyotes in urban landscapes. People and predators: From conflict to coexistence, 6, 81.
Prange, S., & Gehrt, S. D. (2007). Response of skunks to a simulated increase in coyote activity. Journal of Mammalogy, 88(4), 1040-1049.
Fisher, K. A., & Stankowich, T. (2018). Antipredator strategies of striped skunks in response to cues of aerial and terrestrial predators. Animal Behaviour, 143, 25-34.
Knight, J. E. (1994). Skunks. The Handbook: Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage, 42
Storm, G. L. (1972). Daytime retreats and movements of skunks on farmlands in Illinois. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 31-45.