Outdoor PestsSkunks

How Do Skunks Get Into a Fenced Yard?

How Do Skunks Get Into A Fenced Yard?

If you’re reading this, chances are that the fence around your yard didn’t do much in keeping skunks away. Probably you set up a fence and discovered that skunks still invaded your garden.

Skunks, as intelligent mammals, can devise several means to enter a yard, even when it is fenced.

In this article, we will consider some of those ways.


Skunks are generally strong-willed mammals that can go the extra mile to get what they want. Even with a fence, they can get into a yard through any of the following ways:

  • Digging holes from under
  • Climbing over fences
  • Maneuvering through fences

This guide will uncover three ways skunks can get into a fenced yard. Afterward, we will walk you through six ways to permanently shut the door against them.

3 Ways Skunks Can Get Into Your Yard

Ways Skunks Can Get Into Your Yard

You weren’t entirely wrong if you innocently thought that having a fence would eliminate animals from your yard. Fences are very effective in deterring many animals.

However, to keep skunks away from your yard, you must do more than construct a perimeter fence.

Regardless of the fence you put up, these animals can find their way into your compound.

If you find skunks in your fenced yard, they got in through one or more of the following means:

1. Digging Holes From Under

Digging Holes From Under

It is amazing how smart these little creatures can be. Skunks will do anything to get what they want: hell or high water. They usually go the extra mile seeking food and shelter, especially when a baby is coming.

Since they have a strong sense of smell, they can detect the presence of leftovers in your trash or the tomatoes in the garden. They can also smell the grasshoppers and bugs underneath your land and look for them.

One of the ways they look for these goodies is by using their long, sharp claws and teeth to dig their way through. They usually dig about two feet outside the fence and enter the backyard/garden.

They also dig through the soil to find pests like grasshoppers, beetles, spiders, worms, etc. Their digging skills are enough to help them get into your yard regardless of any fence around.

2. Their Climbing Skills

Their Climbing Skills

Some species of skunks would turn your fence into a playground because of their climbing skills. These skunks have black and white spots and sharper claws that aid their climbing.

There are, however, some limitations to their climbing skills. Skunks could climb over a fence of six feet, but anything more wouldn’t be possible.

Their climbing also depends on the nature of the fence. If the fence has a smooth surface, it may be difficult for them to climb. But a fence with a rough surface would be easy for them.

Materials with little allowance, like a wire mesh, would also make climbing easy for skunks.

Aside from climbing over the fence, skunks can also climb over a branch that stretches into your house. You may notice a branch from a big tree just outside your window or across the fence.

Skunks can use the branches to their advantage and get into your garden or home. They are excellent climbers and strong-willed when they have a goal in view.

3. Maneuvering Through Fences

Maneuvering Through Fences

The way skunks get into your compound through the fence remains a mystery. Some of the skunks compress themselves and pass through the same fence that should keep them off.

They usually find a way to maneuver themselves through the slightest space or hole in the fence. Though this strategy depends mainly on the kind of fence, skunks will come through any tiny opening.

These openings may not necessarily come from any damage to the fence. If you constructed your fence to have some space or rails, baby skunks might fit it.

6 Ways To Get Skunks Away From Your Yard

Ways To Get Skunks Away From Your Yard

Now that we’ve identified ways skunks could enter fenced yards, let’s consider effective ways to keep them away permanently.

Below are six strategies for you to consider:

1. Use Motion-Sensor Floodlights

Use Motion-Sensor Floodlights

Skunks come alive in the night-time, and you’d never see them in broad daylight. This explains why you’re confused when you wake up to the mess they cause.

One of the ways to get rid of them is by irritating them with motion sensors or motion-activated lights. Lights generally repel them, and they would avoid very lit areas. Motion lights will not only repel them but scars them off.

One thing you may want to do is to weigh the cost of installing floodlights. You can opt for a solar-powered option if you don’t want to cut deep into your budget.

2. Modify Your Fence

Modify Your Fence

You may want to use higher fences in your war against skunks. Since they are spotted species that can climb fences of over six feet, you could increase the height of the fence.

Another way to use a more effective fence is by choosing materials that make climbing impossible for skunks. You could consider using closed, smoother surfaces or materials to erect a fence.

Using a DIY wire mesh may not be the best. You can contact a pest control company or construction company to install a suitable and effective wall.

3. Use Repellents

Citrus Plants On Fence

Many repellents will effectively eliminate skunks from your house. One sure organic repellent is beneficial nematodes.

When you apply these nematodes to the soil, they terminate those organisms serving food supplies to the skunks. The skunks have nothing to return to, and your compound is free from dangerous insects.

Some machines combine both sound and liquid to deter skunks. Skunks hate noise, and the slightest sound will get them running.

Citrus plants also repel skunks, so that you can keep some lemon peels around your garden or fence. You can also spray orange or lemon juice to deter skunks.

We will not leave out species like black pepper and chili. Pepper irritates skunks, so sprinkling them around your house will significantly ward off them.

You can also apply DIY repellents using vinegar, onions, pepper, and water.

4. Declutter and Keep Your Environment Clean

Declutter And Keep Your Environment Clean

You may often want to clean your gardens and surroundings to reduce skunk invasion. We mentioned earlier how branches could overgrow into your fence or compound and serve as a bridge for skunks.

Leaves and grasses also attract skunks. You’d be inviting them when such things are scattered around your house.

The best you can do is to maintain a clean home and surroundings.

Perhaps you just moved into your home and are busy with work. You could employ the services of cleaning agents to clear out debris, leaves, weeds, and litter from your home.

5. Look Out for Holes and Close Them

Look Out For Holes And Close Them

Holes in the fence will grant easy access to skunks to come in and wreak havoc. They already have a tiny frame that can get in through any space.

If your fence has been around for a while, you may want to check it often for holes or openings. Sometimes, the wind may be so intense that it bends the side of the fence or damages something.

You can look out for such damage and begin repairs immediately. Living these holes to chance may bring in skunks and other unwanted guests like ants, snakes, rodents, etc.

6. Protect the Fence Base

Protect The Fence Base

Even if your fence is as high as a mountain, the base will still be accessible since skunks are well-known for their digging skills.

So, you may want to install metal bars or rods to protect the bottom of the fence.

Asides from metal bars, you can also apply organic or inorganic repellents around the fence base to discourage skunks from digging through.

However, ensure you use substances that only affect the skunks, not your family or neighbors.


Skunks are generally stubborn and stop at nothing to get what they want.

Having only a fence won’t solve the problem. You have to employ other methods.

You could try these methods and watch them stay off your premises.

Skunks will likely form a thick skin if you slack in deploying these strategies and come back stronger.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I Do When I See a Skunk in My Yard?

Upon seeing a skunk, resist the urge to run away in fear or scream, no matter how difficult.

You can try using a bat to distract it and get it off your yard.

Running toward the skunk could be more dangerous because they can release their toxic stuff at the slightest sense of danger.

You could also move back quietly and reach out to a reputable pest control agency.

Another way out is to remain still and wait for the skunks to leave. When they eventually leave, apply any of the above methods immediately.

Should I Bother About Skunks Invading My House?

Yes! Aside from their awful powerful smell, skunks can cause much damage to the plants in your garden. Tomatoes, for instance, are one of their favorites.

Skunks can also make your house untidy by eating through your trash.

If you ever sense the presence of skunks, take immediate measures to eliminate them.

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