Looking for the best trap for your skunk problem?
Perfect, you're in the right spot! In this Pest Strategies guide you'll learn:
- What skunk traps are
- If they're effective at catching skunks quickly
- How to use a skunk trap properly
- If they're safe around children and pets
- And our recommended picks!
Ready to get started?
J T Eaton Spring Loaded Catch and Release Humane Skunk Trap
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Northern Tool & Equipment Spray-Proof Skunk Trap
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Northern Tool & Equipment Plastic Skunk Trap
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Z TRAP SKUNK-N-MORE Live Trap
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THE SNARE SHOP Spray Proof Skunk Trap with Removable Back Plate
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Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
(updated as of 8/2/2019)
Live capture skunk traps need to be enclosed in order to keep the skunks from becoming agitated and spraying you when it is time to relocate them. The J T Eaton Spring Loaded Catch and Release Humane Skunk Trap is the best in this category. Its polyethylene construction won’t rust and the spring loaded door can be set and opened from the outside. It also allows for easy baiting.
The top handle makes it easy to transport. The trap is large enough for skunks to readily get into it but small enough to prevent them from lifting their tail to spray.
Skunks are actually quite beneficial to farmers, landowners, gardeners, and forester They are nocturnal omnivores who eat large numbers of pests such as cutworms and grub beetles.
They provide a source of pesticide-free bug control that is absolutely free.
They’re not aggressive unless provoked and give plenty of warning before spraying when they are provoked.
If you want to get rid of them though, which is quite understandable, there are a number of live capture traps on the market that are designed with skunks in mind. These traps allow you to trap, transport, and release skunks without getting sprayed.
Top 5 Best Skunk Traps
Are you short on time or just want a quick answer?Check out our list below for a summary of our results. Keep on reading to learn more about skunk traps.
What Are Skunk Traps?
Skunk traps are dark enclosed boxes or tubes with a spring-loaded trap door that will close when the skunk trips it from the inside. The darkness inside the trap provides a secure feeling for the skunk. This dramatically reduces – but doesn’t eliminate – the chances of the skunk spraying.
How Do Skunk Traps Work?
Traps have to be baited with food that will attract the skunk. They have an excellent sense of smell and are drawn by sardines, fish-flavored cat food, peanut butter, and eggs. Be sure to use peanut butter and/or eggs if there is a chance raccoons or cats might be caught in the traps.
Place the opening of the trap near the mouth of the skunk den. Do this in the middle of the day when skunks are least likely to be active. Once the sun goes down they will begin to stir around.
Read Also: What are the best kinds of skunk repellents?
When they emerge from their den, they’ll smell the bait and enter the trap. Stepping on a pressure plate will trigger the door behind them. The spring on the door will snap it closed and they’ll be caught.
How Do You Find The Best Skunk Trap?
Pest management experts have partnered with colleges and universities to determine that dark, enclosed traps are the best kind for capturing skunks alive and unharmed. From there, manufacturers have built traps in accordance with their findings.
All the traps we’re reviewing today match those recommendations. The type of material, quality of the spring loaded doors, the hinges, and the ease of releasing the animals are what differentiate one trap from another.
Are Skunk Traps Effective?
Yes. Although skunks are generally considered beneficial due to their preferred diet of insects and grubs but they can also do a lot of damage to your yard when they’re digging for those grubs.
Except during mating season, they are solitary by nature, so there will normally only be one skunk per burrow. Once you’ve caught it, you can shovel dirt into the burrow to fill it up and use the trap on the next one.
Are Skunk Traps Safe Around My Pets and Children?
That depends on the age of your children and the size of your pets.
- Small children below the age of 10 should not be left alone with traps or allowed to have access to them. They can get their hand, arm, foot, or leg caught in the trap and become frightened. The trap can injure them when it closes but their panicked efforts to free themselves may cause them more injury than the trap itself.
Older children can be taught the basics of trap safety. You can even train them to help you set the traps and release the skunks when they’re caught.
- Your pets regardless of size should be kept away from the traps. A small pet can be caught in the traps just like the skunks. Large pets can get their muzzle or a paw stuck in the trap. They will most likely injure themselves trying to break free.
Although live traps are generally safe for adults, they should never be considered safe around pets, and their safety around children should be based on a sliding scale according to your child’s age and developmental level. When in doubt, don’t leave your children unsupervised around traps.
Best Skunk Traps Reviewed
This dark polyethylene trap is square instead of round so once the animal is inside they can’t roll it over and over again. It stays in place. It is easy to transport and release the trapped skunk, with a convenient handle on top. The release mechanism is well designed, although there are occasional quality issues with it.
The transparent plastic piece that allows you to see inside the trap is too thin. Many people have replaced it with something thicker and stronger.
This is a green PVC pipe with a metal handle on top and a square door on one end. The PVC pipe is six inches in diameter on the inside, big enough for the skunk to get inside, but too small for them to raise their tail and spray. Skunks can’t bite or scratch you either.
There isn’t any way to look inside the trap and see what you’ve caught. Skunks can dig in their claws and brace themselves when you try to empty the traps. Several users have had to sling the trap around to dislodge the skunk inside it. A slightly bigger diameter would eliminate that problem.
This is a white, rectangular trap that is 24 inches long and nine inches on the sides, top, and bottom. The construction is sturdy polyethylene and the spring-loaded door is sheet metal. There are openings where you can look inside to see what you’ve caught but the skunk still can’t spray you. It’s nice to know you didn’t catch the neighbor’s cat before you drive it 10 miles away to release it.
It is easy to set up but frankly, this trap is overpriced. If the price was a little lower, this would be our number one pick.
This is another PVC tube trap with metal slots on either end so you can see what you’ve caught. The six-inch interior diameter prevents skunks from raising their tail, therefore they can’t spray. The trap door is gravity operated. Once it drops it locks itself until you open it to release the animal.
It is 24 inches long and six inches in diameter, dark color, and a large carrying handle for easy transportation. All the metal components are zinc coated to prevent rust. The back door pivots to all for baiting, not for releasing the animal.
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This is another PVC tube trap, but with a removable plate on the back end for baiting the trap. The front door is a gravity operated “guillotine style” that drops straight down when the animal triggers it. The door is powder coated. Although this trap is identical in many ways to other tube traps it doesn’t work as well as the others. There may be something in the manufacturing process that leaves a repugnant odor the skunks don’t like. It is also fairly pricey compared to other traps that work better.
Final Thoughts On Skunk Traps
Skunk traps should be large enough for skunks to walk into, dark so they’ll feel safe and secure inside them, enclosed so they can’t spray or scratch or bite, and have some way for you to look inside them to see what you caught.
They need to be easy to set, transport, and empty once you’ve caught a skunk in them. Of particular importance is the ability to open the trap from the outside without alarming the skunk or getting in their way when they’re exiting the trap. These are the qualities you should be looking for.
Other Skunk Guides
Curious about other skunk articles? Check out our other detailed guides to help you deal with your pest problems.