News & Announcements

News For You

Posted on: October 27, 2017

Tips on How to Deter and Prevent Skunks


While the Village of Lombard itself does not remove skunks from private properties, there are a number of steps that can be taken by property owners.

Coexisting with wildlife presents challenges, however since skunks are a native species to the area trapping is illegal without a license which is regulated by the Department of Natural Resources. You can deter skunks/wildlife 3 different ways. Site, sound, & smell. Site & sound are the most effective, and below is some information for each option.

  • Sight:
    • Skunks are nocturnal. They naturally prefer darkness and avoid light. Motion detector lights, flood lights, or Christmas lights could help deter wildlife from approaching your property.

  • Sound:
    • Willowbrook Wildlife Center suggests that a radio could be used deter wildlife. While you are in your yard, or if your dog is in your yard, a radio could deter interactions with wildlife. Wild animals tend to avoid humans and a radio (in combination with light) will add to this deterrent. Additionally, wind chime could also be used an another preventative measure.

  • Scent:
    • From August to May, ammonia soaked rags or tennis balls (please use with caution in areas where dogs or children might ), or red pepper flakes as a scent deterrent. The ammonia will deter skunks but only when they are right up next to it. Which is why the site & sound options are a good idea to keep the animals at a farther distance. Willowbrook suggests that using a smell deterrent in addition to the site or sound options above. Scent deterrents could cause irritation to baby animals, but they assured me that the skunks are old enough now, and that August – May is considered a “safe zone” where residents can use scent deterrents. From May – August, scent deterrents should not be used, due their potential to irritate baby animals.

The best way to prevent a skunk from establishing a den in your yard is to make your property less attractive to skunks by following these tips:

  • Use welded wire to block access to crawl spaces and areas under decks, sheds, patios and porches.
  • Never feed skunks.
  • Keep pet food and water dishes inside.
  • Keep grills and barbecues clean.
  • Keep garbage cans inside. If this is not possible, pour 1 cup of ammonia inside each can, sprinkle black pepper on the top bags, or place ammonia-soaked rags on top of the lids and secure them with bungee cords.
  • Use closed compost bins.
  • Keep the ground below bird feeders and fruit trees clean.
  • Install a 3-foot-high chicken-wire fence around your garden. Bury an additional foot underground to discourage digging.
  • Spray plants with a mixture of 1 gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of hot sauce or garlic puree. Reapply after a heavy dew or rain.
  • If skunks are digging up your lawn in search of grubs, place cayenne pepper and ammonia-soaked rags in the area, or spray it with a mixture of 8 ounces of Dawn dish soap, a handful of chewing tobacco and water.

If a skunk has already established a den, try the techniques below, preferably two or three at the same time. After a few days, pack crumpled newspaper into the entrance. If the skunk is still there, it will pull the paper out. If the paper stays in place for a few days, repair any openings.

  • Place flashlights, flood lamps, blinking holiday lights or a constantly noisy device such as a radio, alarm clock or toy in the den. Leave them on day and night — or at least during the day to disturb the animal’s sleep.
  • Place ammonia-soaked rags in the den for one week. Re-soak the rags daily, and pack crumpled newspaper in the entrance to hold in the fumes. Never use ammonia between March and August; it can harm infants too young to escape.
  • If you have a skunk trapped in a window well, place a rough board at a 45 degree angle inside the well. If you do not have a rough board, wrap a towel or carpeting around a board to provide traction. (Skunks aren’t good climbers.) Make sure it’s long enough to reach the top. Place fish-scented cat food or cheese at the top of the ramp to entice the skunk, which may not leave until night.
  • Trapping and removing an animal is not always the solution to the problem. Removing the animal is illegal without the proper permits and only creates an open space for another animal to inhabit. A trapped adult may also leave young behind to die of starvation. Focus on removing the attraction, not the animal.
  • Never move young from a den.
  • Never use poisons. They’re inhumane and may be illegal. They can also result in secondary poisoning of other wild animals or pets.

Additional Resources

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in News For You

child safety seat

Child Safety Seat Inspections

Posted on: May 9, 2019
severe weather preparedness

Preparing for Severe Spring Weather

Posted on: April 11, 2019
2ColorLombardLogo (2)

Video Gaming Workshop: March 7th

Posted on: March 1, 2019

Winter Storm Updates

Posted on: January 28, 2019

SCAM Alert!

Posted on: January 10, 2019
2ColorLombardLogo (2)

101 South Main Redevelopment Update

Posted on: December 18, 2018
boat storage

RV Winter Parking Reminders

Posted on: November 1, 2018
Teen Driving Safety Week

Teen Driving Safety Week: Oct. 21 - 27

Posted on: October 18, 2018
coffee with a cop

National Coffee With a Cop Day

Posted on: September 20, 2018
fall pride 2018

Fall Pride Available Online!

Posted on: September 13, 2018
recycle 1

Recycling Extravaganza Returns September 22

Posted on: September 13, 2018
construction cones and hat 240 pxl

Construction Updates

Posted on: August 9, 2018
Cruise Nights Logo 2018

July 14 Cruise Night Update

Posted on: July 14, 2018
pw logo 2018 rev

May 30, 2018 Storm Update

Posted on: May 31, 2018
one call wreck it all

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Posted on: April 2, 2018
state of the village 2018

2018 State of the Village

Posted on: February 23, 2018

Snow Event Updates: Feb. 8 - Feb 9

Posted on: February 9, 2018
tree trim 240

2018 Winter Tree Trimming Begins

Posted on: January 12, 2018

Composting In the Village of Lombard

Posted on: January 5, 2018

ALERT: Water Main Breaks

Posted on: January 4, 2018
Ice and Snow Logo

Winter Driving Safety Reminders

Posted on: December 28, 2017
pd logo

Click It Or Ticket Thanksgiving Results

Posted on: December 15, 2017
holiday hours 240

Village Offices Closed for Holidays

Posted on: December 15, 2017

JingleBell Jubilee 2017

Posted on: December 1, 2017
shop with a cop

Lombard's 19th Annual Shop With A Cop

Posted on: November 29, 2017

Gatz Pond Outfall Project nears completion

Posted on: September 22, 2017
Labor Day

Lombard Offices Closed for Labor Day

Posted on: August 28, 2017
Graceful Blooms Stacie Popowski

2017 Photo Contest Winners Announced

Posted on: June 16, 2017
construction cones and hat 240 pxl

Maple Street Detour begins June 17

Posted on: June 15, 2017

Heat Safety Tips and Reminders

Posted on: June 9, 2017
construction cones and hat 240 pxl

Well House Scheduled for Demolition

Posted on: April 4, 2017

Aqua Backflow Survey Issued to Residents

Posted on: January 23, 2017
sewer debris 240.jpg

Public Works to conduct street sweeping

Posted on: January 20, 2017
Lombard Police Badge.jpg

Shop With A Cop 2016

Posted on: November 29, 2016
parking sign 240.jpg

Metra Pay Boxes Error Update

Posted on: August 10, 2016
prescription drug take back DEA.jpg

Drug Take Back Day: April 30

Posted on: April 29, 2016

Wind Storm Clean Up

Posted on: February 22, 2016

Village Hall and Offices Closed Jan. 18

Posted on: January 15, 2016
snow storm.jpg

Winter Storm Update: Dec. 29, 2015

Posted on: December 29, 2015

Lombard's 17th Annual Shop with a Cop

Posted on: December 11, 2015
Pride Newsletter

Lombard Pride Available Online

Posted on: December 1, 2015
shoveling snow240.jpg

Sidewalk Snow Removal: Who's Responsible?

Posted on: November 23, 2015