Our recent varmint problems have led us to use repellent as a preventive for further digging, uprooting of young bean plants, turning of freshly seeded carrot plots, etc. Though we have rid ourselves of raccoons for now, we still have the occasional skunk crawling under the fence and feasting on our soil fauna, not cool. The last thing I want to do is trap and relocate a skunk, so repellent it is. We tried two methods, the powdered pepper method winning out for several reasons.
As the raccoon trapping extravaganza was winding down, we tried garlic-pepper tea. For those who haven’t heard of this, it is a bunch of hot peppers and garlic blended into water, strained, then placed out on plants and soil. Producing the product proves a difficult task that will leave you with watery eyes. That on top of the cost of the garlic cloves and hot peppers (free for now, but not during the winter months) and it just didn’t seem worth it. The yard smelled too… rather bad I should point out. And And And… when using it you will splash yourself, then unknowingly touch your face, not good. So on to plan B.
We found ground cayenne pepper powder for an amazing bulk price and bought a pound of it. After each watering you go out and dust the plants and soil you would like to protect from the grub hunters. No smell, no watery eyes unless its very windy, low cost, and effective.
Both methods require reapplication after watering, but the powder method, lacking in preparation requirements, is the simpler of the two methods.
Last night we watched a skunk saunter up to a bean plant, sniff around the ground, and walk away, YES! We still need to patch up the areas under the fence they are using for entry, but that will take some time. For now, just keeping them away from the beans and carrots is sufficient.