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One of the main reasons that a skunk is considered to be a pest animal is that they are particularly adaptable in terms of their diet, and one of their best food sources in urban areas is what they can steal from people's garbage. Despite the fact that they can produce a putrid odor to drive away predators and other threats, the skunk actually has an advanced sense of smell, and can pick up the scent of food even through sealed plastic bags. There are however some techniques that you can use to keep the skunks away from your garbage.
Reduce The Amount Of Food Waste Placed In The Garbage
This may seem to be a straightforward measure, but with less food going into the garbage then there is less of a scent to attract the skunk to your garbage. Being more efficient with your meal planning and minimizing waste is one good way to do this, while making sure you make the most of your waste disposal unit if you have one in the kitchen is another good measure.
Use Garbage Cans To Store Your Garbage Sacks
Skunks are animals that have particularly strong front legs and claws, and it is these that they can use to find their way into the garbage sacks. Where possible, try to have a few metal or durable plastic garbage cans that you can use to store the garbage, so that there is a much more durable layer of material to stop the skunk from carving through the sacks and spreading your garbage across the yard or garden.
Keep Your Garbage Indoors Until Collection Day
Like most scavengers, skunks take advantage of the opportunities that they are given, and because many people will store their garbage outside, it makes it easy for the animal to get hold of the food waste inside. If you keep the garbage inside a sturdy shed or in the garage, then this can help to stop them from getting to the food source.
Keeping Your Garbage Cans Tightly Shut
There are some skunks that have actually become quite clever when they are scavenging, and are even able to remove the lid from a metal or plastic garbage can to get at the food source within. If this is happening, using a bungee cord to tie the lid to the can is a good move, and if this doesn't thwart the skunk, then dousing the bungee cord in a hot chili pepper solution should stop them from gnawing their way in. For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does skunk removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of skunks - my main skunk removal info guide.