The Secret To Keeping Skunks Away From Your Campsite Is In Your Kitchen

While you are setting up your tent in the remote wilderness the last thing you probably want to see is the black-and-white striped body of a skunk — especially if you are camping with children or pets. While you probably also wouldn't want to see a skunk even if you weren't camping, it's a little more frightening to spot one when you don't have access to a reliable shower to wash off that sticky and oily spray (learn the best way to get clean after being skunked). So, if you are camping and see a skunk, what can you do to try and keep the stinky critter away from your campsite?

As it turns out, the secret to repelling skunks is a common kitchen ingredient: coffee grounds. This works because skunks have sensitive noses and coffee grounds give off a strong acidic smell that skunks dislike. Furthermore, as coffee grounds start to decompose, they continue to release an acidic odor that is sure to keep those black-and-white striped menaces out of your space. This way you can enjoy a lovely time camping at one of the U.S.'s best fall campsites in peace.

How to use coffee ground to repel skunks

To repel skunks from your campsite, all you need to do is take some ground coffee and sprinkle it in a circle around your space. The thicker the border, the more smell it will release into the air and the better it will work. You can use either spent or fresh coffee grounds for this. However, the scent of dry coffee is typically stronger than that of wet coffee. So, if possible you will want to use dry coffee grounds when creating your anti-skunk border.

Now, we know what you are thinking — does this actually work? While there isn't much scientific evidence to back up the idea that skunks dislike the smell of coffee, there are plenty of anecdotal accounts of this trick working successfully. Using ground coffee as a repellent is also an environmentally friendly option as coffee quickly decomposes and can even add nutrients like nitrogen back into the soil. This means you can avoid using chemical repellents that are often damaging to the environment. If you aren't a big coffee drinker but love spicy food, you can try using fresh jalapeños to repel skunks from the area instead. 

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