Scaring Skunks Away



All of a sudden, after years of peace in the skunk department, we had a nasty nightly fragrance in multiple adjoining yards. Several dogs and a couple of people had been squarely hit, and the neighborhood smelled decidedly skunky most mornings. Just a few weeks before our Open Garden and a family party, a serious scourge of skunks. Oy.

One night I saw the stripey fellow go through the yard. Luckily I was behind a window observing unsuspected. It would seem he or she was trying to make a home under our upper shed. Having just seen the preferred path through the yard, what could I do with that information?

Tethered leftovers from a garden party, two shiny mylar helium balloons bounced around in the wind. I had noticed that in our night lighting, their silvery hue and bright smiley faces eerily jumping in the breeze made them seem startlingly alive. At least, they kept startling me, so I tied the balloons low down, right where they would glare at the wanderer alongside the runways of his nightly journeys. If you know the likely skunk paths you could tether a balloon near each of them. It would seem that our visitor was spooked, because he moved camp within a day or two.

Skunks have low vision and a keen sense of hearing, so the shininess of the balloon may have mattered, and the crinkling of the plastic as the balloon bumped into its tether post may have helped too.

In case if it was the balloons, it would be an inexpensive trick to try if you want to discourage a visiting skunk. The Dollar Store will provide. You will need some outdoor lighting to shine on them. Maybe it was all those people, dogs and balloons to defend against in this neighborhood, but ………..might it have been the guard balloons ? You could call them semi – automated skunk scarers. I hope this trick may help some of you to discourage skunks from making their living too close to your home.

This is the fourth successful year with this technique…..there are only a few times in the year that the skunks do much moving around, so the dollar balloons are bought perhaps twice each year, when ‘skunk is in the air’. They do their job for a couple of weeks since they are wind-activated.

 Ellen Cool


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One Comment

  1. Posted September 2, 2014 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing! What a great idea! Bravo!

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