Do you have a trap you need to bait to catch skunks? Certain foods work exceptionally well for capturing skunks. Effective skunk baits include:
Bread crusts coated with peanut butter. Open-faced peanut butter sandwiches make an easy and inexpensive skunk bait. The combination also appeals to rats and squirrels, which may be more abundant than skunks. If you use peanut butter for bait, you should be prepared to relocate or kill many more animals than just skunks.
Skunks are attracted to the fish odor in cat food. Just as a skunk finds an outdoor cat’s food bowl hard to resist, it is easily enticed inside a trap baited with dry cat food. Keep in mind that other animals, such as raccoons and cats themselves, are also attracted to the bait.
Chicken or turkey parts, especially livers and gizzards. Most North Americans discard the “giblets” when they cook poultry. Skunks, however, like the intense aroma and flavor of livers and gizzards used as bait, especially if the poultry parts have been left out in the sun for a day or two. Beware that rancid poultry may also appeal to dogs.
Crackling is hog or beef intestine. It is favorite food of skunks. It is not necessary to cook the cracklings before baiting the trap.
Like humans, skunks like bacon. Slightly burnt bacon that has been cooked to a crisp has a fatty odor that appeals to skunks. Dogs and cats usually do not enter traps set with crispy bacon.
Eggs are a favorite food of skunks. Eggs that are past their expiration date work best.
Fresh insect larvae such as the white grubs of May beetles or June bugs are a favorite food of skunks. Moisten them before putting them in the bait pan for maximum response from passing skunks.
Sardines from the tin are too highly scented for many human consumers, but they are like ambrosia to skunks. The fish will be more appealing to the skunk and less appealing to your outdoor cats if allowed to ferment in the sun.
There are also several commercial skunk control baits. Bob Jameson Skunk Bait, Carroll Black’s Skunk Lure, Wolf River Baits, Graven’s Gusto, and Grubstake are all recommended by professional trappers. Whichever bait or lure you use, it may help to offer your skunk a free sample. Put out small amounts of bait outside the trap. The more realistic the presentation, the more likely you are to trap a skunk. If you are using eggs for bait, for instance, you might put the yolk in the bait pan but leave the egg and egg white outside the trap. Feathers make chicken or turkey parts seem more authentic to the animal. Whenever you find a bait that works, you can use it all the time. A skunk is not likely to fall for a trap trick twice, even if you trap and release and it finds its way back to your yard.
Whichever skunk bait you use, make sure that you use a trap that is designed for only one animal. This should be either a specially built skunk trap or a one-door cage trap. Skunks are aggressive animals that may harm a second animal trapped with it in a cage.