Homeowners, farmers and ranchers can trap skunks using baited gravity door traps or spring-loaded traps set near the skunk's home or feeding area. Covering the trap on three sides usually prevents the skunk from releasing its scent after being caught.
Consumers can buy cage traps at hardware or feed stores. Gravity door traps have doors that drop and snap shut and open safely from a distance with a pole, while trappers must open spring-loaded traps directly by hand. Trappers should practice opening spring-loaded trap doors before they attempt to trap and then release a skunk.
Although trappers can use almost any food to lure a skunk, using fruit such as pears, apples or bananas rather than meat avoids the possibility of accidentally catching a hungry dog or cat. A trail of food leading into the trap attracts the skunk. Covering the trap on three sides with cloth, burlap or plywood makes the skunk less likely to spray its scent, as skunks usually spray threats that they see. Trappers should approach the trap quietly and check through the door to be sure they have caught the skunk before moving it to a location where they can release it.
To prevent skunks from returning, property owners should close possible entries under buildings with hardware cloth or sheet metal, place fences around yards and place wire mesh under the fences. They should also take bird feeders, uneaten pet food and water bowls in at night and secure lids on trash cans.