Invaded by Skunks Need Help

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Tango, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Our house sits on a cbs foundation- the crawl space is closed and ventilation is provided by grates, but somehow a family of skunks got in. They removed some of the insulation from beneath the house and are living beneath the wood floor. I was suspicious of the constant skunk smell and the times my dog had gotten skunked recently but tonight I saw one of them, dancing with his little hind legs in the air. I took the .22 air rifle and popped a couple of shots- missed both times. My dog then went in and got skunked and spooked it. So, my question is: how can I get rid of this skunk family? Do skunks go into traps? We have a large havahart trap I can set down there. Any other suggestions? I love them but the stench is too much and they are tearing up insulation and who knows what else. I guess that means that I only love them at a distance.
     
  2. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We had luck baiting the traps with fish heads or cat food.


    Tracy
     

  3. syringaweb

    syringaweb Well-Known Member

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    But who gets to let the skunk out of the trap?????

    Although I don't like them, I 've heard mothballs work.


    OR, did you click on the ad links at the top of the page on your thread. How convenient!

    Good luck with your little guests. Cute animals, except for their smell and habits.
     
  4. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    I heard this years ago,so it might not be all accurate.But take a board,tack Sardiens on it,they will follow it out block the hole.

    big rockpile
     
  5. I recently relocated 4 skunks by using a live trap with cans of stinky fishy cat food in it. I threw an old sheet over the trap when I caught one and moved it to the back of the truck and made sure the sheet was securely wrapped underneath the trap and took them about 40 miles away and let them loose. Letting them loose was the easy part. I did get sprayed 4 times. I washed me with backing soda and peroxide mixed with liquid soap and got the smell out of my clothes using lemon extract in the wash.
    The game warden lent me the trap and told me I had to take them at least 30 miles away or them might find their way back home. I live in an isolated area and it is 50 miles to a grocery store with not many houses inbetween so it worked out okay. I didn't want to put them where they would become someone else's problem. If you are in a populated area you might be better off trapping them and then shooting them or else hooking the trap up to the exhaust of your running vehicle.
     
  6. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    If possible, tie a rope to the trap, set it. Once you catch one, just pull the trap out with the rope. Keeps a safe distance. You can then throw the whole trap in a pond and bring it up later with the rope.

    Check with your local game warden though. Trapping could be illegal.

    Jena
     
  7. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Using your trap and the suggested baits set it. Additionally cover the trap with a tarp and try to run a garden hose or some type of pipe to the trap. When you catch the skunk connect the lawnmower exhaust to the pipe and eliminate the skunk. He should go to sleep permanently and not spray.
     
  8. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As an exterminator I have trapped hundreds of skunks. They are easy. You might catch the neighbors cat, though.

    Fishy cat food works great, so does a raw egg broken in the trap.

    Use an old shower curtain. Hold it up so the skunk never sees your eyes. Walk up slowly, lay the shower curtain over the trap. Pick up both, don't let any part of your body show to the skunk. In 15 years the only time I got sprayed was when I put my hand on the cage within sight of the skunk.

    Momma skunk is very close to giving birth now. Dad moves out if he hasn't already.

    Evict them now. Make a one way door over the entry point. Cut a piece of hardware cloth the shape of the hole plus some on top. Use "U" nails or a couple of screws on each side to act as a hinge. This makes a one way door. Mom can push out, but ithe door wont swing in.

    Hopefully, mom will come out before she gives birth and not be able to get back in. If the dirt is soft around the house, she'll just dig in somewhere else. Get a load of landscape rocks, put it on top of a skirt of hardware cloth attached to the house. This will prevent the critters from getting in.

    I don't think its a good idea to relocate animals. Skunks are a known carrier of rabies, and by releasing you may cause someone else a problem. There's almost no place that isn't someone's elses back yard anymore.

    The shower curtain over the cage and the tailpipe is a simple and painless way to exterminate the critter. Its illegal for an exterminator to use because of some beaurocratic BS.

    As for the odor. I chuckle when I hear some of the antics of people trying to get rid of it. I just imagine a large dog in the bathtub with someone trying to give the dog a tomato sauce bath. There is a chemical called Epoleon NnZ that gets rid of it like snapping your fingers. You just have to put it where the odor is. And since our noses don't function that way, thats easier said than done.
     
  9. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Wow, lots of advice. Thanks everyone. I am going to try the trap and stinky fish bait first- I know trapping isnt illegal here, at least humane traps aren't illegal. I now know why so many of my eggs in the chicken coop have been broken lately (and here I thought the hens had developed a bad habit). I don't know about relocation, I will probably just let her go here again. I'm pretty sure this is the same girl who had three babies last year on my back patio (beneath the dog house). I don't mind them, just want them out of the crawl space before they cause any damage. I've bathed my dog so many times, it is almost part of the chore list now but I've also noticed this particular skunk smell goes away within 24 hours on its own (probably within 12 hours). They are small skunks with two stripes down their backs. The babies are born with spots- they are so cute! :)
     
  10. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    That wouldbe me :) and I have the red stains over the bathtub to prove it :haha:
     
  11. bearkiller

    bearkiller Well-Known Member

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    I've been luckier than my neighbor.

    He had the same problem you describe. The first skunk he blasted with a .357. Could't get near his door for a week!

    The second skunk he caught in a big Havahart. Booted the trap, skunk, and all into his pond right off the deck. Trap doors both opened and the Skunge swam off, probably thumbing his nose at my neighbor.

    Incredibly, the same skunge got into the same trap in the same place and went through the same drill. The difference was this time Uncle Milty had his cannon with him. End of skunk problems! Somehow the Big Stink wasn't that bad diluted in ?how many acre feet? of water.

    Then there was his boot...phwew! I think he simply buried it!

    Enjoy!

    bearkiller
     
  12. DW

    DW plains of Colorado Supporter

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    When the dog tomato juice baths got to be weekly, we had to do something! Tossed moth balls under the shed where they were living and they LEFT!
     
  13. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    I don't speak from experience. Skunks are not something I have to worry about. Deadly venomous snakes and spiders - yes. Skunks - no. However, I've heard that they really don't like ammonia. Maybe if you mounted the one-way gate as suggested, then got something that would squirt a quart or two of ammonia under the house (maybe a super-soaker, maybe something else). Anyway, something that would reach all the way in. Then have a quick shower and go out for a few hours, until the ammonia fumes have dissipated.

    Be prepared to stay somewhere else overnight if the fumes are too bad. Shouldn't be necessary, but wise to prepare for all contingencies.
     
  14. TXlightningbug

    TXlightningbug Well-Known Member

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    Do what you must, but just don't do what my uncle did when a family of polecats moved into the woodpile. He used a double-barrel shotgun and took a shot at them. :no: Missed. The polecats shot back. :eek: Did Not Miss. :waa: The wood stank so bad, Grandfather made my uncle throw it all away then he made my uncle chop a whole new woodpile all week long. No bathing allowed. Of course, Grandmother wouldn't let him in the house until he bathed...in a cold creek in the lower forty.
     
  15. Amy Jo

    Amy Jo Well-Known Member

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    They are cute when they're babies, aren't they? We found 3 on the road when their mother was hit. I scooped them up in my zip out coat lining and saved them from getting run over after a guy in a pick up said, "Let 'em go, they'll get hit eventually." :(

    We took them to a park where they reintroduce young animals into the wild. The woman there said if they were raccoons they would have to put them down because of the rabies epidemic and the fact that raccoons are more likely to get around people than skunks. They were so cute! I would have loved to keep them!
     
  16. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You know the chicken crossed the road to prove to skunk that it could be done!
     
  17. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    Mothballs have worked for me, but the wife hates the smell (but not as bad as the skunk smell). Have also used the cat food trick to lure them out. Just find a place to hide at least 20 or 30 yards away and wait for them after they abandon their spot under the house. Then a 12 gauge will do the trick, with little or no skunk smell.
     
  18. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    a note regarding moth balls and ammonia:

    They don't always work.

    Mothballs are paradichlorobenzene or napthalene. They are toxic. They take six weeks to decompose. They work best in closed spaces - limit air movement to improve effectiveness.

    Use a cheese cloth bag tied on a string so you can retrieve the moth balls.

    If it doesn't work right away try something else.

    Don't contaminate your breathing space. If you smell it, remove the product or leave.

    Skunks (and white boys) cant jump. If its in a window well, shield yourself as you slide a board for a ramp down the hole for the skunk to get out.
     
  19. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    We have discussed this many times. Check the archives for methods. I have removed many a skunk, here and for other people. Never got sprayed, never had to hurt the skunk. We are surrounded by forest, river and lakes..lots of places to relocate them.

    When you set your live trap put food(cat food, whatever, they are not fussy)and a little water dish in there. Cover the live trap lightly with a sheet, light blanket, whatever. They will go right in. YOu might have to do this several nights in a row to get the whole litter. I place the trap, after it's occupied, in a safe, quiet place(this means locking up your dogs!)where nothing will disturb the skunk until the next morning, then I take it out and release.

    I would suggest not trapping until you are sure the kits can get around by themselves. Try the mothbolls first, but only if the kits can follow mom.

    This is not rocket science and it's not hard and you don't have to kill off those good ratters and mousers. LQ