Darned skunks

There’s two skunks that have taken residence outside my back fence these last 4 nights or so.

I live in a rural area and have about 2 acres of property, but the fenced area of my yard is fairly small. The skunks have a burrow just outside the fence, and every night I’ve been hearing them. Skunks make quite a racket – they dig for grubs and such, and don’t really care who hears the noise.

I’ve called county pest control and pest control services. Nobody will come out and trap these darned things and get them out of my yard, for any price.

And I really want them out of here, because:

a) Skunks are the largest carrier of rabies in the western united states.

b) I’m worried they’re going to get into my yard and get trapped there (yikes!)

c) They’re really loud and tearing up the area something fierce outside the fence.

d) They’re skunks. I’ve already run into one 10 feet outside of my office, tail raised and ready to squirt. This was night before last. I backed off slowly. Now I’m afraid to go out at all after dark. This sucks.

If they were on the other side of the property, I’d probably shrug and say live and let live. But this is almost outside my back door. Every damned night.

So – my choices are:

  • trapping. Get a live trap, and trap the suckers. From there I can i) take them in a vehicle to some other location (and I don’t own a pickup, so there’s no way in heck I’m going to do this, ii) drop the trap in a barrel and drown 'em. Big chance of getting sprayed or bitten (think rabies).

  • Or shoot 'em. I just borrowed my neighbors 20 guage, I’m going to sit out near the fence this evening and if I get a good safe shot, take one or both out. Jeez, I hate to do it, but I don’t see what else to do.

Darned skunks.

Be sure to aim for the head.

No! Don’t kill them. Please.
I understand your concerns, but can’t comprehend why you’d resort to such measures.

I thought there were regulations about killing fur-bearing animals…? Several years ago my parents had an entire FAMILY of skunks living under their house. The smell was…er…memorable. They hired an animal control guy to live-trap them and move them to another location and he was the one that told them that they couldn’t be killed.

Blonde, while I can appreciate your sentiments, it’s commonplace for destructive critters to be killed when you live in the country. It may not be pretty but IMO, necessary.

Well, heck. I don’t want to kill them. I hate the thought utterly. I’ve never killed anything intentionally.

But I can’t get anyone to take care of the problem for money or otherwise, and they won’t leave.

What am I supposed to do, move?

FYI, I just sat out in the side yard with the 20-guage for 40 minutes, not a peep out of 'em. They must sleep in on Wednesdays. I’m going to go back out in a minute and see if the light from the half-ish moon is going to be good enough to see em. Or hang it up and try tomorrow; I’m tired, and don’t want to be handling a firearm half-asleep.

11pm and no sign of the little critters.

Last night (and every night) by now it was Jurassic friggin park out there. You’d think an elephant was trampling the weed – very loud sounds of digging and blatently loud skunk rave parties. I could look over the back fence and spot 'em every so often, and they’d sneer back.

Tonight – zip. Quiet as a crypt. Must be the bright moon out tonight.

Or maybe they’ve moved on. I sure doubt it, but one can hope.

I’m too damned tired to play Rambo tonight. Maybe tomorrow. Or maybe one of those pest control idiots will finally call back. Fuck this.

Really close call with a potential band name there, squeegee.


Ok, this may sound like an odd solution, but living in the country we do this a lot to keep deer and other such animals out of the garden. Fill a plastic bottle, like 2 liter coke bottle with urine, preferably your own, unless your not to shy to ask strangers to pee in it for you. Leave this bottle outside for a few days with the lid on, then use a nail to poke a hole in the lid and spray this around the area where the skunks live, hopefully without getting it on yourself. The strong scent of stale human urine will drive them off, you may have to repeated this process for a few days. It’s a good, even if nasty, way to drive them off peacefully.

Please, try to hold out for a trap! Skunks may have some major drawbacks, but they’re really cool animals.

If, by any chance, you DO end up with a dead skunk on your hands, for goodness sake bury it DEEP!!

I had an unfixed skunk as a pet a few years ago. She was a very nice little thing, but unfortunately she got phnuemonia. When she died, it was winter and I kind of slacked off on the hole depth…

Come spring, she started to rot.

Deep. VERY deep!

Sounds like the critters heard you thinking. Seriously, try Verick’s solution first.

We had a thread about this last monthhere.

Good luck…

Ugh… I feel for you squeegee! We spent over an hour on our back deck with our cowering dog scrubbing skunk spray off of her face a couple of nights ago. Yay for the internet as I wouldn’t have known the right stuff to use! She managed to get sprayed when we let her out for ‘last pee’ before bed. It will probably be funny someday but right now there’s still a faint skunk smell in my house :frowning:

Verick, I’m going to try your idea right away. I really don’t want to kill the critters, I just want them GONE.

Zoogirl, if I trap one, I’m going to drown it. That’s a lot less humane than shooting it to my mind. There’s no way in heck I’d try to transport it (rabies & spraying in the car). My neighbor said he’d dig a whole with his tractor if we end up with a corpse.

I’d prefer c) none of the above.

Maybe it’ll be quiet tonight, and this is all mootsville because the skunkers have vamoosed. Here’s hoping.

Mootsville? Is that near Hooterville?

:eek: :frowning:

squeegee If you can take it somewhere to drown it, why can’t you just take it a little further and let it go? Or leave it in the trap and ask Animal Control to do it for you?

koee (out in the country, too)

koeeoaddi, I wouldn’t take it anywhere to drown it. I’d dump the entire trap in a barrel of water close at hand. To transport it, I’d have to carry the cage to my car, drive somewhere hoping the skunk doesn’t spray, and release it, all while risking getting bitten by a frightened and possibly rabid skunk. You first.

Animal control says they won’t lift a finger.

don’t know if this works for skunks, but when rabbits were nibbling on my gladolias, i put good ol’ fashioned moth balls around the house. seemed to keep them away after that.

(got the idea after neighbor behind me specifically bought “rabbit repellant” pellets. we were talking about the rabbits, and trying to identify the smell, when it finally clicked for me – camphor!)

I preferred not to kill anything, but when we had our problem there was little else to do. One neighbor tried transporting one and it did spray. Animal control doesn’t really do anything about skunks, and the Dept of Natural Resource people really don’t want you relocating rabid skunks into their woods. Plus, you are most likely just making your skunk problem someone elses. It’s unfortunate, but skunks are not easy to coexist with. Squeegee, the best method we came across was to trap the skunks in a covered trap, then run a hose from your car exhaust to the trap. It’s the least creepy way of getting rid of them (you’ll see what I mean if you try to drown one).

We were not in a situation where we could drive them off. If you can get them to move on, then great (try some bleach soaked rags).