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How to Get Rid of a Skunk in a Live Trap Without Getting Sprayed

By Amanda Richards ; Updated September 21, 2017
A skunk needs to be able to raise its tail to spray.

Although cute with their fluffy black-and-white fur, skunks can pose a nuisance around the home. These animals forage for food at night and are docile in nature, but occasionally may make dens under property or cause an issue around small livestock such as poultry. Trapping and releasing wildlife is illegal in some states, but you can trap and hold the animals until you have secured the access points. Skunks will spray when they feel threatened and receivers of skunk spray will not want a repeat experience. It is possible to trap a skunk while lessening the potential of getting sprayed.

Note, if possible, the size of the skunk you want to trap. Trap the smallest first if you need to remove several skunks of varied sizes. Use the smallest trap possible, as a skunk cannot spray if it can't raise its tail.

Purchase a smaller-sized trap (usually a medium). Bait the trap with cat food or dog food. Tie a long string to the door so you can keep some distance while releasing the animal. Place the trap along the skunk's usual path. Cover the door end with a heavy towel. Set the trap door.

Move toward the skunk in the cage, quietly. Approach the end covered with the towel. Drape another towel over the rest of the cage. You can now move the cage.

Grab the string to open the door. Do not move or agitate the released skunk. Wait for the skunk to run away before collecting the trap.


Things You Will Need

  • Live trap
  • Towels or bath mats
  • String


  • There is no need to camouflage the trap because, unlike raccoons, skunks generally will enter.


  • Check local wildlife regulations, which often require that the skunk, or other wildlife, be released on the same property. It may be illegal to relocate the skunk.
  • Skunks often carry rabies and may transmit this fatal disease to pets and people.