The Best Skunk Repellents of 2022

Use these top repellents to make sure skunks don’t have an opportunity to stink up your home.

By Tony Carrick | Published Mar 28, 2022 9:27 AM

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The Best Skunk Repellents Option

Photo: depositphotos.com

Although skunks may be a less common nuisance to homeowners than other pests, when they do come calling, they bring with them a unique threat—the ability to spray a foul-smelling liquid that’s detectable up to 3 miles away. In addition to engulfing one’s home in a cloud of stink, skunks can also build nests in crawl spaces and under decks, causing structural damage.

Fortunately there are ways to get rid of skunks without having to engage them directly. Some repellents use natural chemicals, such as essential oils and predator urine, to ward away skunks. There are also electric repellents that can scare them away with ultrasonic frequencies.

Ahead, find out what to look for when shopping for the best skunk repellent, learn about the different types of skunk repellents, and find out why the products below are some of the best skunk repellents on the market.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Natural Armor Animal & Rodent Repellent Spray
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Bonide BND2361 Repels-All Animal Repellent
  3. BEST ODOR-BASED: PredatorPee Original Coyote Urine
  4. BEST NATURAL: Essentially KateS Peppermint Essential Oil
  5. BEST ELECTRONIC: Heyouou Ultrasonic Solar Powered Animal Repeller
  6. BEST GRANULAR: Safer 5929 Brand Critter RidderRepellent Granules
  7. ALSO CONSIDER: ZOVENCHI Ultrasonic Animal Pest Repellent
The Best Skunk Repellents Option

Photo: depositphotos.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Skunk Repellent

Understanding the different types of skunk repellents and how they work is crucial to choosing the right one. Ahead, learn how the best skunk deterrent products work and find out whether they’re more effective than traps.

Types of Skunk Repellents

Skunk repellents come in three main types—spray, granular, and electronic.

  • Spray repellents consist of a liquid that’s distributed via a spray bottle. While these types of repellents are inexpensive and generally easy to apply, they typically only last for a few weeks before they must be reapplied.
  • Granule repellents consist of small, dry pellets that contain substances that are irritating to an animal’s sense of taste and smell. Skunk repellent granules typically come in a shaker bottle, which makes them easy to apply. While a granular skunk repellent may be more expensive than sprays, it will last longer.
  • Electronic skunk repellents consist of a small box that contains a motion detector and speakers. The unit sits on a stake that sticks into the ground in close proximity to skunk activity. When an animal triggers the motion sensor, the speakers emit a high-pitched noise that scares them away. The speakers and motion detector are often powered by a battery and solar panel on the top of the unit.Electric skunk repellents are easy to install and do not wear out, making them the skunk repellent of choice for many. However, they do have their downsides. The noise from the speakers, though inaudible to humans, can irritate pets. And since this is designed to scare animals, it has the potential to provoke a spray from a skunk.

Natural Ingredients

Since skunk repellents must be distributed throughout the yard to work, they typically use natural ingredients that are nontoxic to humans and pets and safe for the environment. Common ingredients include peppermint essential oil, which is irritating to skunks but pleasant smelling to humans. Other repellents use putrescent egg whites, dried blood, and garlic oil as a repellent, which have a bad smell when applied but are undetectable by humans once dry.

Black pepper, piperine, and capsaicin, which are irritating to a skunk’s sense of taste as well as its sense of smell, are also common ingredients in animal repellents. Some skunk repellents use urine from common skunk predators, such as coyotes, to scare skunks away.

Weather

Since skunk repellents are applied outside, weather largely determines how long an application remains effective.

  • Most spray repellents will wash off in the rain, requiring the user to reapply them to maintain an effective barrier.
  • Skunk repellent granules are better able endure wet conditions than sprays.
  • Electronic skunk repellents, which are waterproof, do the best job of enduring the elements. However, they require a certain amount of sunlight to charge their batteries; otherwise, they’ll cease to function.

Skunk Repellents vs. Skunk Traps

Deciding whether skunk repellents or skunk traps are a better option for one’s skunk problems depends on a few factors. Situations in which skunks have nested in the crawl space or beneath the deck may require traps to relocate them from the area.

If skunks are only making occasional nighttime visits, repellents will most likely suffice. Before trapping skunks, keep in mind that doing so is illegal in some states. Also consider that a trapped skunk is more likely to spray, so it may also make sense to call in the pros.

Our Top Picks

The list of top picks narrows the field to some of the best skunk repellents on the market and consists of all three types of repellents. The products below are humane and use natural ingredients that won’t harm the environment, and they are safe for use around the home.

Best Overall

The Best Skunk Repellents Option: Natural Armor Animal & Rodent Repellent Spray
Photo: Amazon.com

In addition to being a humane way to ward off skunks, Natural Armor is also one of the most environmentally responsible methods of solving a skunk problem. That’s because it uses peppermint essential oil to send skunks packing. Not only does this make Natural Armor safe for the environment, as well as the lawn and landscaping, but it also means one can spray it in earnest without worrying about harming the family dog or family members.

And, unlike other repellents that have an unpleasant odor, this spray puts off a pleasing peppermint scent. The repellent comes in a 1-gallon spray bottle that can be applied both indoors and outdoors. One bottle covers 1,000 square feet and lasts for up to 90 days.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Spray
  • Active ingredient: Peppermint essential oil
  • Longevity: Up to 90 days
  • Coverage: 1,000 square feet

Pros

  • Uses natural ingredients that are safe for animals and the environment
  • Lasts for up to 90 days
  • Can be applied indoors or outdoors

Cons

  • More expensive than other options.

Get the Natural Armor animal repellent on Amazon or at The Home Depot.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Skunk Repellents Option: Bonide BND2361 Repels-All Animal Repellent
Photo: Amazon.com

This jug of granules is concocted from dried blood, putrescent whole-egg solids, and garlic oil, so it isn’t a surprise that it repels all sorts of animals, including deer, squirrels, and rodents as well as skunks. To use, simply sprinkle the granules around the perimeter of the home then lightly water. With its granular form, this repellent holds up better than sprays to rainy conditions.

Despite its witches’ brew of ingredients, the granules won’t harm animals or plants. Just keep in mind that the granules’ scent isn’t just unpleasant to four-legged critters but to humans as well, so sprinkle it well away from outdoor living areas. One container covers around 1,500 square feet. Reapply every 2 weeks for best results.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Granules
  • Active ingredient: Dried blood, putrescent whole-egg solids, garlic oil
  • Longevity: 2 weeks
  • Coverage: 1,500 square feet

Pros

  • Biodegradable ingredients won’t harm plants or animals
  • Holds up well in wet weather
  • Easy to apply

Cons

  • Short longevity of 2 weeks
  • Unpleasant odor

Get the Bonide Repels-All animal repellent on Amazon or at The Home Depot.

Best Odor-Based

The Best Skunk Repellents Option: PredatorPee Original Coyote Urine
Photo: Amazon.com

In the wild, a skunk’s ability to survive depends on its ability to detect and evade predators with its powerful sense of smell. By using coyote repellent as its active ingredient, this repellent uses against a skunk its powerful olfactory abilities and natural instinct to flee from predators.

The product includes a 16-ounce spray bottle, which contains the coyote urine, and 10 scent tags. To use, distribute the tags to create a perimeter around the property, then spray the tags with the coyote urine. The kit includes enough tags to create a 120-foot perimeter around the home. The urine serves as a deterrent for about a week or until it rains, after which each tag requires a reapplication. Despite its unpleasant makeup, PredatorPee does not harm the environment and is nontoxic.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Spray
  • Active ingredient: Coyote urine
  • Longevity: 1 week or until it rains
  • Coverage: 120-foot perimeter

Pros

  • Uses natural ingredients
  • Easy to apply using scent tags
  • Covers fairly large area

Cons

  • Short longevity
  • Expensive

Get PredatorPee Original Coyote Urine spray on Amazon.

Best Natural

The Best Skunk Repellents Option: Essentially KateS Peppermint Essential Oil
Photo: Amazon.com

With its pleasing smell and all-natural ingredients, this peppermint essential oil is one of the best and safest means of driving away skunks and other unwanted animals. The 4-ounce bottle comes with a dropper and thorough instructions for how to dilute it. Simply mix it with the recommended amount of water, add it to a spray bottle, and then spray the perimeter of the home.

The peppermint smell is pleasing to humans but irritating to skunks and other animals, convincing them to go elsewhere. The essential oil can also be used for more than just repelling unwanted pests; it’s also an effective household cleaner and air freshener.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Spray
  • Active ingredient: Peppermint essential oil
  • Longevity: Up to 30 days
  • Coverage: N/A

Pros

  • Creates a pleasant smell
  • Safe for humans and the environment
  • Can be used for other household needs

Cons

  • Requires user to mix it

Get the Essentially KateS peppermint essential oil at Walmart.

Best Electronic

The Best Skunk Repellents Option: Heyouou Ultrasonic Solar Powered Animal Repeller
Photo: Amazon.com

It’s tough to beat an ultrasonic skunk repellent when it comes to maintenance-free options. Whereas sprays and granules wear away, an ultrasonic animal repeller keeps on ticking, thanks to a solar panel that sits on top of it and powers its speakers and a motion detector.

When an animal trips its motion detector, the repeller emits a high-pitched tone that is irritating to animals but undetectable to humans. A single repeller can cover a 40-foot radius and mounts easily on the ground via a stake. With its rugged waterproof construction, the repeller will also work in the snow and rain.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Ultrasonic
  • Active ingredient: Uses a high-pitched tone
  • Longevity: Indefinite
  • Coverage: 40-foot radius

Pros

  • Requires no sprays or granules
  • Produces no scent
  • Works indefinitely
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • Risky to use with skunks, who may spray when startled
  • Can be irritating to household pets

Get the Heyouou ultrasonic animal repeller on Amazon.

Best Granular

The Best Skunk Repellents Option: Safer 5929 Brand Critter Ridder Repellent Granules
Photo: Amazon.com

While other skunk repellents use the scent of unpleasant essential oils, rotten eggs, or even animal urine as a repellent, this product uses both scent and taste. The granules are infused with the oil of balck pepper, piperine, and capsaicin, which is irritating for skunks to smell or to taste.

The granules come in a convenient shaker bottle, which makes the product easy to apply without having to come into contact with the granules. They also last longer than most sprays, providing up to 30 days of protection. While this product is biodegradable, it can be irritating to humans and pets, so apply with caution. One 5-pound bottle covers up to 300 square feet.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Granular
  • Active ingredient: Black pepper, piperine, capsaicin
  • Longevity: Up to 30 days
  • Coverage: 300 square feet

Pros

  • Irritating to both a skunk’s sense of taste and smell
  • Easy to apply
  • 1 bottle covers large area

Cons

  • Ingredients can be irritating to humans and pets

Get the Safer 5929 Brand animal repellent on Amazon or at The Home Depot.

Also Consider

The Best Skunk Repellents Option: ZOVENCHI Ultrasonic Animal Pest Repellent
Photo: Amazon.com

Given that they work with solar power and require no repeated applications or use any chemicals, ultrasonic pest repellents are one of the easiest ways to ward off unwanted four-legged trespassers.

This repeller consists of a small set of speakers and a motion sensor that sits atop a stake. When the motion sensor is tripped, the repeller emits a high-pitched noise that drives pests away. A solar panel charges the device, so there’s no need to replace batteries, giving it a true set-it-and-forget-it design. Just keep in mind that it will also be heard by dogs, so use wisely if there are pets in the home.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Ultrasonic
  • Active ingredient: Uses a high-pitched tone
  • Longevity: Indefinite
  • Coverage: 40-foot radius

Pros

  • Requires no reapplication
  • Produces no unpleasant odors
  • Not audible to humans
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Also irritating to dogs

Get the Zovenchi ultrasonic animal pest repellent on Amazon.

Our Verdict

With its use of natural ingredients that aren’t smelly and a large spray container that makes it easy to apply, Natural Armor rodent repellent spray is one of the best options for keeping skunks off of one’s property. Those looking for an option that requires the least amount of maintenance may want to consider an ultrasonic repeller, such as the Heyouou untrasonic animal repeller.

How We Chose the Best Skunk Repellents

To make our selection of the top skunk repellents, we used several criteria. First and foremost, a skunk repellent needs to not harm animals or the environment in order to make our list of top picks, so we considered sprays and granules that are nontoxic and biodegradable as well as electronic repellents.

A top-pick skunk repellent also doesn’t repel the home’s occupants, so we chose those that use either pleasant-smelling active ingredients, are placed away from areas used by people and pets, or those that would cease to emit odors detectable by humans shortly after application. Since many skunk repellents must be reapplied fairly often, we mainly chose products that come in either spray bottles or shakers that can be applied with minimal preparation.

Tips on How to Use a Skunk Repellent

There are a few strategies that help when using skunk repellent to get the most out of the product’s effectiveness. First, be strategic about where you place it. Identify how skunks are coming onto your property, then spray the area so they come into contact with the repellent.

Common areas to treat include garbage cans, trees, and gardens, all of which commonly attract skunks. If necessary, create a perimeter around the property with a spray or granules to provide comprehensive protection. Reapply regularly. While it may be a hassle, remember to reapply liquid or granular repellents every few weeks or after it rains to keep skunks at bay.

  • Treat areas that skunks commonly frequent
  • Create a perimeter of repellent around the home
  • Retreat the area regularly

FAQs

Knowing more about the enemy is crucial when attempting to rid skunks from the yard. Ahead, learn about what skunks like to eat, what smells they hate, and other crucial intel about these odiferous invaders.

Q. How do skunk repellents work?

Skunks have a very powerful sense of smell, which they use to locate prey, such as grubs and other food. Repellents use this acute sense of smell by filling the surrounding area with odors that skunks find offensive.

Q. What smells do skunks hate?

Skunks particularly hate the smell of ammonia, mothballs, predator urine, citrus, and certain essential oils.

Q. Are skunk repellents safe around my pets and children? 

Most skunk repellents are safe to use around pets and children. However, take care with use of repellents that use such substances as pepper oil and capsaicin, which can be irritating to humans and pets. If using a skunk repellent that’s listed as safe for dogs, always check the label before using.

Q. Do moth balls repel skunks?

Most animals, including skunks, cannot stand the smell of mothballs and typically withdraw when they are near. Keep in mind that mothballs contain naphthalene, which is toxic to the environment and can also be harmful to humans.

Q. Do skunks like light?

Skunks are night-dwelling animals and therefore do not typically appear in the daytime.

Q. What do skunks eat? 

A skunk’s diet includes mainly grubs, crickets, beetles, earthworms, and other insects.

Q. How do I keep skunks out of my yard at night?

The scents that repel skunks include citrus, ammonia, mothballs, and predator urine. You can also use motion-activated lights or ultrasonic repellents to scare away skunks.