Common methods for killing skunks include shooting, injecting poisons and drowning, according to the Humane Society and AAAnimal Control. Trapping and removing skunks is the preferred method of getting rid of the garden pests, especially in urban or suburban areas. There are humane methods for trapping skunks that prevent the mammal from spraying its stinky musk directly on people.
Shooting a skunk may prevent the animal from spraying directly on a human, but local laws may prevent the discharge of firearms for the purpose of killing animals within municipal limits. Some animal control companies use long poles with syringes on the end to poison skunks with acetone. Long poles are also used to drown skunks in pools.
A body grip trap quickly kills the skunk using a powerful spring. However, even after a skunk dies, the foul musky odor persists; it is very difficult to kill a skunk without the animal discharging its spray.
Skunks are one of four primary carriers of rabies, so these animals should be removed whenever possible. Preventing skunks from denning on property is one way to keep them away from homes, gardens and sheds. The Humane Society recommends homeowners remove outdoor garbage and leftover pet food, and prevent denning sites in holes, under porches, beneath elevated sheds and close to crawl spaces.