Keeping Skunks at Bay in Toronto: Proven Techniques for Safeguarding Structures in Your Yard

Welcome to our blog, where we reveal the secrets to keeping skunks away from yards throughout The Greater Toronto Area! Skunks might be cute and fuzzy from a distance, but encountering them up close can quickly turn into a stinky nightmare. Whether you’ve had an unfortunate run-in with these notorious creatures or simply want to safeguard your backyard structures, this article is specifically tailored for you. Get ready to discover proven techniques that will keep those skunks at bay and restore peace in your outdoor sanctuary. Don’t let the fear of roaming skunks ruin your blissful yard experience – read on to reclaim control over your territory!

Introduction: The issue of skunks in yards throughout Toronto

The Greater Toronto Area is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including the infamous skunk. These small mammals are known for their distinct black and white markings, as well as their powerful odour. While they may seem harmless, skunks can become a nuisance when they start invading yards and structures.

One of the main reasons why skunks are attracted to our yards is because they provide an ideal habitat for these creatures. Skunks prefer to live in areas with plenty of vegetation, food sources, and shelter – all of which can be found in residential yards. This makes them more likely to venture into backyards in search of food or a place to make their den.

Skunks are primarily nocturnal animals, meaning they are most active during the night. This can make it difficult for homeowners to spot them until considerable damage has already been done. Some common signs of a skunk infestation include damaged lawns from digging for insects and grubs, holes around decks or sheds that lead to dens, and the pungent smell that lingers around the yard.

In addition to causing property damage, skunks also pose health risks due to their potential to carry diseases such as rabies and distemper. Their strong odour can also become overwhelming and difficult to remove once it permeates buildings or living spaces.

Understanding Skunks: Behaviour and Habits

Skunks, known for their distinctive black and white fur and pungent smell, can be a nuisance for homeowners in the Greater Toronto Area . While they may seem intimidating, understanding their behaviour and habits can help you effectively safeguard your property from these critters.


Skunks are mostly nocturnal animals, meaning they are most active at night. They are omnivores, feeding on insects, small rodents, fruits, and vegetables. Due to their poor eyesight and slow speed on land, skunks rely heavily on their sense of smell to find food. This is why they often dig up lawns or gardens in search of insects or ripe produce.

In addition to being excellent diggers, skunks also have formidable defence mechanisms. When threatened or startled, they will release a strong-smelling spray from their glands. This oily liquid contains sulphur compounds that can cause severe irritation to the eyes and nose of predators or unsuspecting humans.


Skunks are solitary animals that prefer to live alone rather than in groups. However, during the winter months – usually between October and March – they may den with other skunks for warmth.

During breeding season in late winter/early spring, male skunks become more aggressive as they compete for females’ attention. At this time of year, it is not uncommon to see an increase in skunk sightings in residential areas.

Skunks are also known for creating dens under structures such as porches, decks, sheds or even inside abandoned buildings. These dens offer shelter from predators and harsh weather conditions.

Prevention Techniques for Safeguarding Structures

Safeguarding structures in your yard from skunks can be a challenging task, but with the right prevention techniques, it is possible to keep these critters at bay. In this section, we will discuss some tried and tested methods for safeguarding your yard’s structures from pesky skunks.

1. Securing Trash Bins and Compost Piles

One of the main reasons why skunks are attracted to urban areas is because they find easy access to food sources such as trash bins and compost piles. Therefore, it is important to secure these potential food sources to prevent skunks from being lured into your yard. Make sure all trash bins have tight-fitting lids that cannot be easily opened by animals. For compost piles, consider investing in a sturdy bin with a locking mechanism.

2. Galvanized Mesh

Skunks are excellent diggers and can easily burrow under traditional wooden or metal fences. To prevent them from entering your yard or getting under your shed, deck or porch through their preferred method of entry, consider installing galvanized mesh around the perimeter. The mesh should extend underground by about 12”-18” and come out like an “L” about 8”-12” and fasten to the structure (fence, shed, etc.) to deter any digging attempts by the skunks.

3. Motion-Activated Sprinklers

Another effective way of keeping skunks away from your structures is by using motion- activated sprinklers. These sprinklers work by sensing movement and releasing bursts of water that startle the animal and encourage them to flee the area. This serves as both a deterrent and a humane way of keeping these critters off your property.

4. Eliminating Potential Den Sites

Regularly check for any openings or holes under structures like decks, sheds or porches on your property. Seal them off with galvanized mesh or hardware cloth to prevent skunks from creating dens.

It is also recommended to perform regular inspections around your structures and seal any potential entry points. By implementing these preventative measures, you can effectively safeguard your structures and keep skunks at bay.

Tips for Securing Sheds, Porches, and Other Structures

Securing sheds, porches, and other structures in your yard is crucial for keeping skunks at bay. These areas can often become vulnerable to skunks due to location and easy access. In this section, we will provide you with some valuable tips and techniques for securing these structures and preventing skunk infestations.

1. Build a fence around the perimeter: Installing a sturdy fence around your property is the first line of defence against skunks. Make sure that the fence is high enough (at least 3 feet) and has no openings or gaps that skunks can squeeze through. You should also consider burying the bottom of the fence as discussed above, to prevent skunks from digging under it.

2. Seal any openings: Skunks are known to be excellent diggers, so it’s important to seal off any potential entry points on your sheds or porches. Check for cracks in walls or floors, holes in screens or windows, or gaps around pipes or utility lines. Use heavy-duty materials such as metal mesh or hardware cloth to cover these openings.

3. Keep garbage bins away: Skunks are attracted to food sources like garbage, so it’s essential to keep your garbage bins secured and away from your structures. Store them in a locked shed or garage when not in use, and make sure they have tight-fitting lids.

4. Install motion-activated lights: Skunks are nocturnal creatures, so keeping the exterior of your structures well-lit can discourage them from coming too close to your property. Consider installing motion-activated lights near doorways and walkways leading up to your sheds or porches.

5.Remove potential hiding spots: Skunks love dark and sheltered areas where they can create dens for themselves. Keep bushes trimmed back from structures, remove piles of debris or woodpiles near them, and make sure there are no overgrown areas around your property.

6. Regularly inspect and maintain structures: It’s crucial to regularly inspect your sheds, porches, and other outdoor structures for any signs of damage or potential entry points. Addressing these issues promptly can prevent skunks from accessing them in the first place.

By following these tips for securing sheds, porches, and other structures, you can significantly reduce the risk of skunk infestations on your property. Remember to always be vigilant and take necessary precautions to safeguard your yard from these pesky critters.

Professional Skunk Removal Services

If you have a persistent skunk problem in The Greater Toronto Area, it might be time to consider professional skunk removal services. While there are many DIY methods for deterring or removing skunks, sometimes these pesky mammals require the expertise of trained professionals.

Why hire a professional?

There are several reasons why hiring a professional skunk removal service is beneficial. First and foremost, skunks can carry diseases such as rabies and should only be handled by individuals with proper training and protective gear. It is also important to remember that skunks are wild animals and can act unpredictably if they feel threatened.

Additionally, professionals have the necessary tools, equipment, and knowledge to safely remove skunks from your property without harming them or causing damage to your home or yard. They also have experience in identifying potential entry points and can provide recommendations for preventing future infestations.

What to expect from a professional skunk removal service:

When hiring a professional for skunk removal services, you can expect a thorough inspection of your property to determine the extent of the infestation and any potential entry points. The expert will then develop an appropriate plan of action which may involve live trapping or exclusion techniques.

Exclusion techniques involve sealing off potential entry points around your home such as under decks or porches where skunks may take up residence. This method not only removes existing skunks, but also prevents future ones from entering.

Some companies like TruTech Pest & Wildlife Control offer additional services such as clean-up of any damage caused by the infestation, sanitation or deodorization treatments to eliminate any lingering odours left behind by the animals.

How to choose the right professional:

When selecting a professional skunk removal service, it’s important to do your research. Look for a company with experience and a good reputation. You may also want to ask about their methods of removal and any guarantees or warranties they offer.

Hiring a professional skunk removal service is often the most effective and safe way to rid your yard of pesky skunks. By doing your due diligence in selecting the right company, you can rest assured that your home and yard will be safeguarded from future infestations while also protecting the well-being of these wild animals.

In conclusion, skunks are known to be pesky and troublesome creatures that can cause damage to our property. However, with a few simple techniques and precautions, it is possible to keep them at bay and protect your yard from their destructive tendencies. By eliminating potential food sources, and securing structures in your yard, you can create a safe environment for both yourself and the skunks. Remember to always handle these creatures with care and respect their place in the ecosystem. With these tips in mind, we hope you can maintain a skunk-free zone in your outdoor oasis.

Reviewed By Matthew Sawyer

Matthew is the founder and business director of TruTech Pest & Wildlife Control. A Structural Exterminator with government licensure and training from Guelph University. As a dedicated member of both the Canadian Pest Management Association and the Structural Pest  Management Association of Ontario, he takes great pride in his profession.

Matthew’s extensive experience has made him a valuable and forward-thinking  member of the pest control community. He consistently strives to improve the  effectiveness and environmental impact of pest and wildlife control methods.

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