15 Scents That Skunks Hate And How To Use Them

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Skunks are generally fearful animals and would rather run away than attack. Do you know about the 15 scents that skunks hate and how to use them? The smell of certain plants and herbs may help keep pests away from your garden.

You can take advantage of the fact that skunks have a keen sense of smell in order to ward off skunks by using smells that they find offensive. But what do skunks hate? Skunks hate the smells of ammonia, predator urine, putrescent whole egg solids, black pepper, vinegar, capsaicin, citrus, peppermint oil, vegetable oil, chilli pepper, coffee grounds, and lavender. Skunks are sensitive to these smells and will avoid them.

Skunk repellents come in the form of sprays, granules, or pellets that you can spread around your property. Looking to keep skunks away naturally? Look no further; this complete guide has everything you need.

What’s a skunk?

Skunks are small, black and white mammals related to polecats, weasels, and badgers. They are known for their ability to spray an unpleasant liquid odor as a form of defense.

15 Scents That Skunks Hate and How to Use Them

These creatures will spray any danger or predator they encounter and aren’t afraid to do so. The skunk smell is extremely difficult to clean and can linger for days or weeks.

Where do they live?

Skunks are found all over the United States, except for Hawaii. Skunks prefer to live in protected spaces like dens, which they migrate between often.


Skunks can also be found living in a variety of habitats, including forests, prairies, wetlands, and even some suburban and urban areas. This comprehensive guide covers the many signs and tips of skunks that you can find in your yard, house, and outdoors.

Why Do You Need to Repel Skunks?

Skunks may spray to defend them if you get too close, and their smell can linger for a long time. Moreover, they are known to eat vegetables, so keeping them away from your garden or farm is important.

In general, if you see a skunk near the outskirts of your property or doorstep, it’s not a huge deal. However, if they start to nest underneath your deck or porch, then it’s all the more likely that they’re here to stay, and you’ll need to take some preventative measures.

how to repel skunks?

There are many ways to repel skunks, but the most effective ones are very simple.

  • Skunks are looking for three things: food, warmth, and trash cans. If you can remove either of those things from the equation, you will likely be successful in repelling a skunk.
  • Skunks are also fearful of loud noises and bright lights, so using deterrents like these may help as well.

what smells do skunks hate?

Now you know that skunks hate certain smells, but what smell do skunks hate? There are a variety of smells that skunks hate. Some of these include vinegar, garlic, and tomato juice. Each skunk has a different set of preferences when it comes to smells. However, there are some generalizations that can be made about what skunks hate.

First, skunks generally do not like strong smells. This is because the smell overwheltical ability of a skunk is much stronger than that of a human. When they encounter a strong smell, it can be overwhelming and even painful for them.

Second, skunks also generally dislike smells that are unpleasant to humans. This includes things like garbage or rotting food. The reason for this is likely because these smells are associated with danger or illness in the wild.

Finally, skunks also seem to dislike sweet smells. This is likely because sweet smells attract predators in the wild.

what scents do skunks hate and how To use them?

Below are 15 scents that skunk hate


One of the smells that skunks hate is citrus. Both the fruits and their peels are strong skunk repellents. They work effectively because the scent is unpleasant to skunks.

You can use citrus in a variety of ways to repel skunks, such as placing lemon peels in your yard or spraying citrus-scented products around your property.

Lemon peels contain a high amount of citric acid, which releases a strong odor.

Citrus fruits which can be used to deter skunks

Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil is a natural and effective way to deter skunks from invading your home or yard. Peppermint is an essential oil that you can use in a variety of ways, including as a spray, in a diffuser, or as a topical application.

Peppermint oil will irritate the nose and eyes of skunks and will help keep them away from your yard.

Ammonia spray

Ammonia is a chemical repellent that you can use to keep skunks and other pests away. It is effective because the smell is offensive to these animals. Pour it into a spray bottle and mist the area where you have seen the animal.

When dealing with skunks with ammonia, it is important to be aware of the dangers. It can cause respiratory problems and other injuries if not used with caution. Pour some ammonia into a container and soak an item of old clothing.

Next, hang the shirt or toss it outside. The odor from the clothing acts as a diffuser to help keep skunks away from you and your pets.

Use pepper spray

You can use pepper in various ways to repel skunks. Pepper is an effective way to get rid of skunks. The reason is that the strong, spicy smell will make them leave the area.

You can use pepper in different ways, such as spraying it, scattering it around the area, or using a pepper-based repellent. You can also spread pepper around your property.


Vinegar is a popular and effective skunk repellent. It can be used to clean up the smell of skunks as well as to help prevent them from coming near your property.

Vinegar will help to neutralize the smell that skunks are known for. Vinegar stations are also available, which can help suck up and clean the air. You can either use a spray bottle or pour it directly near the animal.

Be sure to keep it away from your eyes and mouth. You can also use air circulation, like fans, to help drive the airborne particles away.


Mothballs are a type of pesticide that is made from naphthalene. It is used to get rid of pests. However, mothballs are toxic and should be used with care.

They work to get rid of skunks hiding in dens or other enclosed spaces because the scent released over time from the mothballs is toxic to them.

Coyote and dog urine

Skunks are repelled by the scent of coyote and dog urine. This is because those animals are natural predators of skunks. You can purchase coyote or dog urine online or from a hunting store.

While it is not certain, It may also attract other coyotes or dogs in your yard due to the smell. This could mean that using urine as a repellent could potentially work by attracting the skunk’s predators.

Vegetable And Castor Oil

Skunks effectively use their keen sense of smell to find food, identify predators and communicate with other skunks. What they hate the most are oily smells because they make their fur greasy and matted.

This is why vegetable oil and castor oil are popular ingredients in skunk repellents. Castor oil is a repellent that you can spray around your yard to keep skunks away safely.

Chili And Cayenne Pepper

Skunks are repelled by the scent of chili and cayenne pepper. These spices contain capsaicin, which is a compound that skunks find unpleasant. You can use powders made from capsaicin to repel skunks.

You can spread this mixture in your yard to keep the skunks away from your property. It is important to reapply the mixture every few days so that the scent remains potent.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are used as a natural skunk repellent. They are effective because the smell is unpleasant to skunks and will keep them away. You can either spread coffee grounds around your property or put them in a bag and hang them near the area you want to protect.

As it turns out, the bitter scent of the coffee grounds will inform the skunks that humans are nearby, and they will keep their distance.

Bowls of uncut and ground coffee beans to repel skunks naturally


Lavender is a type of flower that has a strong scent. It is believed that skunks do not like the smell of lavender, and thus using lavender as a repellent may be effective in keeping skunks away.

However, it is important to note that lavender is not as effective as some of the other skunk repellents available.

Lavender is a beautiful, easy-to-grow flower with a soothing smell. It is often used in aromatherapy and can be distilled to make lavender oil, which has many applications.

Aromatherapy lavender oil

Irish Spring Soap

Irish Spring Soap is a soap made with mint and other essential oils. It is an effective skunk repellent when used in conjunction with other methods.

Interestingly, the smell of Irish Spring Soap is believed to be a deterrent for skunks. Skunks have an incredibly keen sense of smell, and the soap’s fragrance is thought to signal to them that the object they are smelling is unedible.

This knowledge can be used by homeowners in areas with a high population of skunks to deter them from coming onto their property.

Putrescent Whole Egg Solids

Putrescent whole egg solids are a type of animal repellent that has been around for many years. It is specifically meant to repel rodents. Although skunks are not technically classified as rodents, they despise the smell of this repellent just as much.

This is a repellent that you can make yourself by mixing eggs that have gone bad with water until they form a slurry. You can then spray this mixture around your garden or home to keep skunks away.

Bell Pepper

Skunks hate bell pepper and capsaicin, which are two ingredients that you can use to repel skunks. Bell peppers are a common ingredient in many skunk repellents, while capsaicin is the compound found in chili peppers that makes them spicy.

Bell pepper is a vegetable used for centuries in both food and medicine. The pungency of bell pepper comes from the compound piperine, which is similar to capsaicin.

DIY natural home skunk repellent mix

Skunks rely on their spray to defend themselves from predators. The smell of the spray is offensive to human noses and can thus be used as a repellent. The natural skunk repellent is spices, which you can mix to create a spray that will keep skunks away.

You can make your own homemade skunk repellent by mixing chopped onions, a couple of jalapeno peppers, and a tablespoon of cayenne pepper in a water bowl.

Allow it to boil for at least 20 minutes. Once it has cooled, strain the concoction to remove the solids and place them in a spray bottle. Use this skunk repellent spray on anything from your fence to your plants.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to skunk repellents, you have a few different options. You can either make your deterrents using natural ingredients or use ready-made products. Some natural oils like castor oil and vegetable oil can affect a skunk’s fur, chili pepper will irritate their sense of smell, citrus fruits can repel them, and many other ready-made products on the market may work for you.

You can use the scents listed above to make a homemade repellent. Whichever option you choose, use it consistently and reapply it as needed.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.