What should I do with a skunk after I catch it?

If you see a skunk around your property for more than one day, you may have a skunk living in close proximity to your home and that cannot be good. When a skunk moves in, they bring with them diseases that can be spread to all your domesticated animals. They can also tear up your garden and your yard as they dig for their food. If you find that a skunk is living on your property or too close for comfort, here are some suggestions on what you can do about it.

Relocate the skunk
In order to relocate a skunk, you will first have to trap it in a live cage. When it comes to trapping, you need to determine what size trap will be sufficient. Most skunks will fit into a medium sized trap. A live trap will come equipped with a door that will close when weight is pressed down on the trigger mechanism placed underneath the paw of the skunk. You can lure the skunk inside the trap with some cat food. The skunk will smell the food and go into the trap that you have set at the entrance of the den.

If you are not sure where the den is, you will need to keep an eye out on the skunk’s routine for a few days until you learn where they are going in and coming out. Once you determine this location, you will want to watch the skunk enter the den and then carefully and quietly set the trap at the entrance to the den. Once the skunk wakes up and gets ready to venture out and notices the smell of the cat food, they will cautiously go to it. Once in, the door will close shut quickly, trapping the skunk inside.

You will want to give the skunk a few minutes to calm down before approaching the trap. When you do approach the trap, carry a sheet so it covers your face so you don't make eye contact with the skunk. Making eye contact gives the skunk reason to spray.

While some do shoot or euthanize a skunk after they trap it, it's important to note that the blood of a skunk could still contain some contagious diseases and if you are exposed, or your domestic animals are exposed, then the diseases could be transferred.

Another alternative to killing a skunk is to relocate it. You should have your plan in place before you set the trap. You don't want to wait until you have a skunk in a live trap before making the decision of where you are going to take it.

To relocate the skunk, you will want to place a towel or sheet down on the cage so the skunk is covered and cannot see out. This will help the wild animal calm down a little. Take the skunk to a wooded area where they will have a high survival rate and then slowly put the trap down on the ground and release the door. In some cases, the skunk will come at you and try to spray you because they are agitated but, in most cases, they are happy to be free and will take off running into the woods to get away.

Tips for a better chance to relocate
1. Wear gloves. This animal is wild and if they come at you they might scratch you, spray you, and try to bite you if given the chance. You want to ensure that you have a good set of gloves on your hands when you are going near the skunk.
2. When considering a relocation area, you want to choose a place where there are woods or near woods so the skunk has a better chance at finding food and shelter.

Go back to the Issaquah wildlife removal home page.