To discourage skunks, treat areas where a skunk forages for grubs or insects by spraying with a vegetable oil and water mixture, or sprinkle the area with cayenne pepper. Remove convenient skunk food sources such as pet food dishes left out overnight, and use non-chewable trash cans with tight-fitting lids.
To create a natural skunk deterrent, combine in a large pot 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped jalapeno pepper, 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 2 quarts of water. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the cooled liquid through cheesecloth, put it into a spray bottle, and spray in areas where a skunk has been foraging or around a skunk's den. Continue to spray every five days until there is no longer evidence of a skunk in the area.
A skunk's favorite food source is grubs, which move closer to the soil's surface when the lawn is frequently watered. Grubs move deeper in a drier lawn, encouraging the skunk to seek food elsewhere.