Poisons for Skunks & Raccoons

By Sarah DeWitt Ince; Updated April 24, 2017
They may be cute, but raccoons can destroy your house and yard.

Skunks and raccoons are adorable animals, except when they damage your garden or the shingles on your home. Skunks might just spray a foul scent in your yard that will remain for months. Raccoons enjoy digging through garbage and destroying trees and gardens. Poison is one way to deter and get rid of raccoons and skunks. However, chemicals and some foods may seriously harm or kill these animals. Call animal control first to determine the best course of action. They might be able to move the animals to another location, so they can continue to live.


Chocolate is very poisonous to many animals, including raccoons and skunks. Animals are not able to digest the chemicals found in chocolate. This causes severe reactions such as vomiting and sometimes death. Leave chocolate bars on your porch or in your backyard as bait. When the animals enter your yard, they will get very sick from eating chocolate and this will cause them to avoid your residence. The chocolate will not kill skunks or raccoons unless they eat a lot. Raccoons are also more likely to eat the chocolate than a skunk because raccoons are scavengers who are willing to eat just about anything.

Naphtha Flakes

Toronto Animal Services suggests sprinkling naphtha flakes on and around the area where skunks and raccoons like to visit. These flakes are the active ingredient found in mothballs. You can find these at home improvement stores or online. These flakes are poison to these animals. Raccoons and skunks are repelled by the scent and stay away. Ingesting the flakes can kill them, but the smell alone is typically enough to scare them away.


Ammonia is a cleaning product, but this chemical can also be used to deter skunks and raccoons. Ammonia is poisonous if the animal ingests it, but most animals are put off by the smell. Soak rags in ammonia and place in open jars throughout your yard for several weeks. This should keep these animals away for a long time, but if they come back, repeat these steps.