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Keep Skunks Out of Your Backyard With Something You Usually Throw Away

It's a cheap and effective option.

Skunks roaming the backyard can be a real headache. We’ve all heard stories about getting sprayed by one of these critters — and it does not sound fun. The awful stench is nearly impossible to get off your clothes and skin. Luckily, there’s a quick and cheap way to get rid of skunks with something you usually toss in the trash: citrus peels.

The tip comes from gardening expert Heather Rhoades of Gardening Know How, who explains that skunks hate the acidic smell of citrus fruits — so placing orange or lemons peels around your yard acts as a natural skunk repellent.

This hack might sound a little weird at first, but critters like skunks are attracted to the smell from your garden, leftover food in the outside trash can, and compost piles. It’s hard to keep them away once they feel like your yard is an all-you-can-eat buffet, but the strong scent of citrus peels should make them choose a different dining spot.

Simply save any leftover lemon halves in a plastic bag after you’ve made a salad dressing or marinade with them. The same goes for fresh orange peels after you enjoy the fruit as a snack. Keep them in the fridge and when you’ve gathered a good amount, scatter them outside to keep those skunks away. 

Heat can cause peels to dry out and lose some of their acidity after about two or three days, so be sure to replace them often. It’s definitely worth giving it a shot to make sure your patio area isn’t full of unwanted (and smelly) guests.

If you’re also looking to steer away deer, try tying a few bars of Irish Spring soap (Buy on Amazon, $14.21) to string and hang around your garden. Skunks don’t seem to be a fan of this strong scent either, so it works to keep both pests away. Again, just remember to switch out the bars of soap if you notice the aroma starting to fade.

Whichever method you choose, you should have a cheap, safe, and reliable way to ensure your backyard remains a relaxing spot to soak up the sun.

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