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Does Citrus Repel Skunks? (Read This First!)

Skunks are not the meanest, nor the most hostile of animals that you might have in your garden or backyard area. However, their infamous spray and stinking presence make everyone want to keep them at bay.

One of the many ways to repel skunks is to use their smelling sense to our advantage. With that, citrus is one of the smells that might work to keep skunks away.  

Citrus to repel skunks

Citrus can effectively get rid of skunks from your yard, garden, or house. Skunks dislike the sweet, sour, and acidic smell of citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemon, or lime. This is because skunks have a strong sense of smell, which repels from away from potent scents.

While we mentioned how skunks are not the most hostile of animals as compared to a snake that you might have in your yard, skunks can be quite bothersome to have on your premise.

Skunks are a danger to your vegetation and they would eat any fruits or vegetables in your garden. Other than that, once they get threatened, they can spray all around you and the expanse.

The smell of the spray is similar to that of a rotten egg and makes living in the same space an ordeal. Moreover, they could be an irksome threat to other pets that you have at home. With their spraying tendencies, they could upset the animals in your home.

Most importantly they may start to nest in your garden, yard, or under your deck. With so many reasons to get rid of skunks, citrus smells come off as a superhero.

Citrus works to repel skunks because of several reasons. Skunks have a strong sense of smell, enabling them to sniff scents from miles away.

This is the same way that they detect their food sources. With eyesight that barely helps in securing food and fending off danger, skunks rely on their nose to show them the way.

Citrusy smell, although pleasant to us, is potent for the sensory receptors of most animals and insects, including skunks.

Other than that, skunks are repelled by the acidic nature of the citrus smell. Whether it is lemon or orange, the acidity is what keeps skunks away from a place that exudes a citrusy smell.

There are several in which citrus can be used to repel skunk most effectively. Whether you are using orange peel, lemon peel, or oils from these two fruit extracts, the message would get there as long as you use the citrus repellent in the right way.

Sprays can also do wonders to keep the area filled with citrus smells but they would fade away more quickly. If you are using citrus peels, you would need to be vigilant about replacing the peels with new ones.

The smells from peels last much longer if you are using the peels inside the house, as opposed to outside. The peels dry off quickly under the sun, with the effect of the smell gone as soon as the peel dries.

One of the more long-term ways to use citrus smell to get rid of skunks is to plant citrus trees around your house.

How effective is citrus in repelling skunks?

You may want to remember that skunks are opportunistic, and the reason they would want to visit your area is either that they have detected a food source or because they need some warmth.

And to ward off these critters, citrus is indeed an effective method. It’s the very acidic smell of citrus that may be too potent for the sensory receptors of skunks.

Simply put, apart from the strong fragrance, which is otherwise pleasant to us, skunks are not a fan of the nature of citrusy smell, whether it is lemon, orange, or grapefruit.

Peels or rinds of citrus fruits can make skunks keep their distance as long as they are not dried up.

Other than that, if you have one or more citrus plants in your area, you might never have to worry about the entry of skunks since plants give off a smell that covers a much wider region. Additionally, the smell of plants would not fade away like the peels.

What kind of citrus do skunks dislike?

Different types of citruses can help repel skunks. Let’s get to know them.


Skunks dislike lemon because nothing gives off a citrusy smell as lemon does. As compared to other citrus fruits, lemon does not possess any sweetness even in its scent.


Orange air sprays, orange peels, and orange smells have always been used to keep many animals at bay, including skunks. Skunks are also not fond of orange because the smell is overpowering to their smelling senses.


Grapefruits are also similar to oranges in how it works to keep skunks away since skunks avoid the sweetly bitter aroma.


Lime and the smell of it is too acidic and potent for skunks to be around.

How to repel skunks with citrus?

Using citrus fruits to your advantage can be life-changing if you have skunks visiting your backyard often.

Skunks should be kept away from garden areas because they can cause damage to plants and vegetation. Other than that, their stinky sprays can be disturbing if the smell lingers. Here is what you need to do:

Clean garden:

At first you would have to make sure that your garden does not seem inviting or appetizing to skunks.

Make sure you clear your area off any possible food sources, which may include leftover food trash, pet foods, or fallen fruits from trees. Other than that, trimming plants, long shrubs, and bushes are equally important.

Gather citrus peels:

Keep any citrus peels from fruits like oranges, lemons, lime, or grapefruit. You can either select rings from any one of the fruits or make a combination of more than one. It is best to have peels fresh before they dry out.

Spread them:

Now spread the peels all around, especially in crawl spots. You can also place them near openings and under the decks. Put more peels in places where you think skunks might enter from.

Replace after sometime:

Keep the peels outside as long as they are effective. This means you would have to replace the peels with new ones if the rinds dry up under the sun.

Plant citrus plants:

You can also plant citrus fruit trees around your yard. Although this might sound like a long-term plan, this works wonderfully to keep skunks at bay for a long.

Use citrus oil:

Another way is to use citrus oil infused repellents that would make sure the area is filled with the smell. You can mix the oil with some water to make a solution to spray on your garden once every while.

5 other ways to get rid of skunks

Citrus may be one of the potent smells that work wonders to repel skunks but there are several other methods you could apply to get rid of those critters. Here are a few possibilities:


You would have to remember that skunks do have a strong sense of smell. While this can work to their benefit to find food sources, you can also take advantage of their smelling abilities.

Other than citrusy or acidic smells, skunks do not like the smell of detergents. One way is to mix castor oil with dish washing detergent. Dilute the solution and spray around the yard or garden.

Since skunks are nocturnal animals, spray the mixture at night. Other than that, using mothballs or ammonia-soaked rugs also deter skunks due to the smell being unbearable to them.

White light:

Easily you would drive a skunk away if you have some sort of white light outside. Since they have weaker and more sensitive eyesight, these critters avoid areas where there are bright flood lights.

Predator urine:

Using predator urine has been an age old and effective way of repelling skunks from your area. You can find predator urines of other animals in stores.

Predator Pee 100% Fox Urine - Territorial Marking Scent - Creates Illusion That Fox is Nearby - 16 oz

Automatic sprinkler:

If you want to scare away skunks, it is also a good idea to install automatic sprinklers. This works similarly to flashing lights but may be an option for people who would not want to disturb their neighbors.

Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler with Day & Night Detection Modes,Black

Clean the garden clean:

You may want to keep your garden area clean and neat. For that, make sure there are no food lures that might attract a skunk.

Keep food trash or pet food out of the region as well. It is also important to keep shrubs and bushes trimmed.

Final Thoughts

Peels from citrus fruits like oranges and lemon can be spread around the yard to keep away skunks. Skunks have one of the strongest smelling receptors which can detect citrus smells from distances away. They simple are not fond of the smell of citrus. Skinks also dislike ammonia and urine scents.