"Old Wives Tales" NOT Working For Skunk Control!!

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Hi All,
Does anyone know of any EFFECTIVE way to keep skunks out of the yard. For about 3 weeks now, we have had a skunk coming out at night and destroying the yard. Also, they aren't destroying it because of grubs ( we did a grub treatment back in July ), the skunk is eating the earthworms.
I know this because in the morning, there are holes everywhere in the grass, and there are half-eaten, dead earthworms everywhere in the soil.
Also, I definitely know it's a skunk because I have witnessed him at different times throughout the night in the backyard. A few times I was able to scare him away by banging on the metal storm door, but because he comes at all hours of the night, it's hard to stay up all night and wait for this pest.
Anyway, here is what I have tried so far that HASN'T worked:
1) I left a portable radio out all night long on a AM talk show radio station - didn't work.
2) Human hair from shower - didn't work.
3) $40 dollars in different hot and/or strong smelling spices - Red crushed pepper, cayenne pepper, black pepper, ground cinnamon, garlic, chili powder, onion powder.
The Cayenne Pepper seemed to work, but the stuff goes fast, and what the skunk does, is he just digs in another location where there is no cayenne powder!!! 2-3 bottles of the stuff at $4 dollars a bottle, isn't enough to cover 5,000 square feet!!!
4) Ammonia and/or ammonia soaked rags - TOTALLY USELESS!!!! The skunk actually took a dump and left a nice big pile of his poop right next to an ammonia soaked sock that I put out there!!!!
5) Spotlight/Floodlight - totally useless!!!!
6) Bits of shredded "Irish Spring" soap - useless
So besides leaving a sprinkler on all night long, and wasting precious gallons of water, what options am I left with here??
I have read everything on the internet from human urine, to bear urine, to antifreeze, to chocolate, to rat poison?? Most of those are all out, because there are stray cats in the neighborhood, so I don't want to poison anything with antifreeze or mouse/rat poison.
Shooting this thing is out of the question. I live on a residential street, and I have neighbors houses 5 feet on the left side of me, and 5 feet on the right side of me. Also, the neighbors weren't to happy when I left the AM talk station on all night long!!!!!
We don't have an "animal control" officer in our city. The only thing the useless city will help you with, is if its a large animal like a deer, bear, wolf, moose, etc, etc.
I called a couple of exterminators, and they all want between $150 and $200 dollars to try to catch the skunk in a cage and then relocate it. The problem with that is I am only working part-time right now, and CAN'T afford those prices.
My neighbors lawns aren't getting destroyed by this nuisence skunk, only our yard!? I guess the previous owners of the house had 4 big truck loads of dark, rich loam installed in the backyard, so there are lots of earthworms for him to eat before winter.
What the heck is chocolate supposed to do!? I know that it can be dangerous to dogs, but why would it be dangerous to skunks when they rip open peoples garbage bags and eat through there anyway!?
Does human urine really work? Am I supposed to pee in a cup, and dump that everywhere? But won't that kill the grass?
What about mothballs? Will the smell of mothballs keep the skunk away? But aren't they bad for the lawn and grass? What if they were in a cup?
Someone told me to use powered lime, coffee grounds or dried blood?
What about a strobe light?
All I know is that in the last 2 weeks, I have spent $40 dollars on hot pepper spices, $30 dollars on topsoil, $25 dollars on grass seed, and $18 dollars on peat moss, and I just can't keep this skunk away so that he stops destroying my backyard.
Like I said above, I can't just wait for him to show up at a specific time, because he comes at different times throughout the night. One time he came at 9 pm. Another time it was 11 pm. Once it was 4:30 am. And once at 5:30 am.
I am at "wits-end" with this skunk, so ANY suggestions will be greatly appreciated!!!
Thanks!
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MICHELLE H. wrote:

...
Trap him yourself.
Cover the trap with a blanket. Take the skunk to the gardens around city hall. Release.
Alternatively, get some earthworm killer.
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On Thu, 14 Oct 2010 19:48:49 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (MICHELLE H.) wrote:

or a wolverine. They are just plain nasty and smell worse than a skunk.
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (MICHELLE H.) wrote in

Have a heart trap. After it's caught, call the Animal control people.
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On 10/14/2010 10:38 PM, frag wrote:

That was my advice to her in another group but first time I accidentally caught a skunk, an exterminator wanted $200 to remove it. From what I'm reading from others you can transport and release yourself but I would only do it in an open pickup truck and not the trunk of my car.
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MICHELLE H. wrote:

Look, Ms Skunk is just trying to make a living in this tough economy. You might try working with her.
There are tried-and-true techniques:
TRADING TERRITORY FOR PEACE * Toss a quarter-pound of hamburger meat over the fence into your neighbor's yard each evening.
APPEASEMENT * Set out a can of cat food each night.
BARRIER * Skunks can't climb worth squat. A secure fence should keep the terrorist from firing into your land.
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So I go to Home Depot to see if they have this stuff that I read about called "Critter Ridder". It's made by some company called "Hav-A-Heart", and it is supposed to be a pesticide-free way to keep all kinds of wildlife out of your yard and garden. It comes in a blue bottle, and it is suppose to repel dogs, cats, squirrels, skunks, raccoons, opossums, etc, etc. from your yard and garden.
It is made up of a bunch of different strong smelling peppers that the animals don't like to smell, like Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Red Pepper, Hot Chile Pepper, etc, etc. All these hot and spicy peppers are mixed together, and they put something on it, so that it's waterproof, and it lasts for 30 days, so you don't have to worry about the rain washing it away, or it washing away when you water your lawn and/or garden.
Anyway, I didn't see it in the garden section of Home Depot, so I ask the guy working there. He tells me that they "don't have any in stock".
I tell him that "I have a skunk destroying my yard every night".
He says "you got grubs".
I tell him "no, our grass is nice and Green ( grubs turn the grass Yellow/Brown ), and we did a grub treatment back in July".
I tell him that "in the morning we are finding half eaten, dead earthworms all over the yard".
He says "oh yeah, skunks will eat earthworms too, because they love them!".
He then says "If you want to get rid of the skunk, then you have to get rid of the earthworms".
HUH!!!!!!???? WHAT THE HELL!!!!!!?????? GET RID OF THE EARTHWORMS!!!!???
Oh my god, this guy is working in the freakin garden center at America's biggest home improvement chain!!?? I felt like telling this guy that he needs to either transfer to a DIFFERENT department, or he needs to go back to school and retake Science class, because number #1 unless you plan on pouring something like gasoline, nuclear, and toxic waste in your yard, there is no way to kill every single earthworm, and number #2 earthworms are BENEFICIAL to the soil in your yard!!!! You WANT earthworms in your lawn!!!!!!
Home Depot guy: "well if you want the skunks to stop digging up your yard, YOU GOT TO GET RID OF THE EARTHWORMS".
OMG!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!
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On Oct 14, 7:48pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (MICHELLE H.) wrote:

There probably isn't any effective way to keep skunks out of your yard permanently.
It's possible that human urine will discourage them. We had a ground wasp nest, which my husband killed with the usual poison. Then, something came along and dug up the nest to eat the tasty dead wasps. We don't know if it was a skunk. We filled in the hole and it was torn up again. Re-filled the hole, husband peed on it. Never disturbed again. This might not be a good area defense.
We have a havahart trap. If we get a cat in it, my husband pees on it and lets it go (just for the annoyance factor). If we get a rabbit in it, we let it go, because we like watching them in the back yard.
Anything else either gets a pellet behind the ear (we're just a little too urbanized for him to use the .22), or is drowned in a box that he made that will just fit the trap. Then the corpse is bagged and put out with the trash. If he needs to drown a skunk, he covers the trap with an old towel so it won't get alarmed and spray him.
If you won't pee or kill, you'll have to hire someone to kill for you, even though it seems expensive. Shortly after one skunk is gone, you can count on another coming in to replace it.
Cindy Hamilton
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Fi-Shock.
Yer Welcome.
Steve
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On Oct 14, 6:48pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (MICHELLE H.) wrote:

Try a motion-activated sprinkler. Expensive, but kept away a dog that was visiting my yard. Worked for about 2 years, then it stopped working (I mean the sprinkler, not the idea).
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wrote:

I've got a couple questions on that one. 1. Does the motion activation work at night? 2. what is a skunk's reaction to a face full of cold water?<g>
Jim
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It did work at night, it was supposedly heat-activated. Don't know about skunks, but it triggered for cats (in addition to the dog), so it was able to catch animals of that size.
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As others have stated, get a Havahart trap ( I believe you want the 3030 model sized for squirrels and skunks). When you catch it, carefully cover the trap with a strong plastic garbage bag and relocate the critter in the next township or the afterlife. Be advised that some jurisdictions have laws against trapping by any other than licensed pest control personnel (never stopped me). In DC, someone tried to pass a law that mandated that pest controllers not break up rodent families, where possible. Really:
"A wildlife control operator shall make every reasonable effort to preserve family units using humane eviction and/or displacement and reunion strategies. Wildlife captured by a wildlife control operator may be held in captivity for up to 72 hours when reunion attempts are employed. A wildlife control operator shall not knowingly abandon dependent young in a structure."
http://wtop.com/?sid 69751&nid%
After much derisive debate, they decided not to include rats and mice in the "pest family protection act."
-- Bobby G.
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Robert Green wrote:

Harbor Freight has a serviceable model considerable cheaper than the name-brand version:
32x10x13" http://www.harborfreight.com/32-1-2-half-inch-l-x-10-inch-w-x-13-1-4-quarter-inch-h-collapsible-medium-animal-trap-9646.html
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I find the Havahart traps well-designed and well made with heavy galvanization. My three traps have been used outside for a few years without any signs of rust. I have augmented them with two rubber coated neodymium magnets so that when the locking wire drops I can keep it in place with something other than gravity. Found out I need that extra security the hard way after a 10 lb squirrel rocked the trap by zooming back and forth inside the trap as I was carrying it so that it tilted enough so that the rectangular lock wire popped out of stay and that little SOB shot right out, climbed up my leg onto my back and then jumped off my head to a nearby branch and vanished. Man do they have sharp little claws.
I paid a little over $30 each for my Havaharts, which are two door traps, and the Harbor Freight model only has one door and normally sells for $29 according to the listing you noted. A two door trap, IMHO, is very important when trying to catch smart critters. They can look through the trap to the other side and thus are much more likely to enter it than they would a trap that only had one entrance/exit. I use emptied pudding cups as bait. I attach one to the trap treadle with phone wire and then wire one to the outside the trap within easy reach. Once they've finished the peanut butter in the cup outside the trap, they are much more likely to enter the trap to get to the other peanut butter filled cup.
There's also another very important feature the Havaharts have that the HF model lacks, and it's a feature I would not want to face a skunk without. The Havaharts have solid metal doors and a top, the HF uses wire mesh. That means if a skunk decided to lift its butt and spray you in a Havahart, they will be spraying against solid metal. In the HF design, they would be able to shoot through the mesh door or top at the person lifting the trap. NOT good.
I notice that they have, however, at least placed a metal plate under the handle, which is a very good idea. Squirrels will go for any finger that they can reach and can put their very long and VERY sharp teeth into your finger in a NY second. It's a very painful bite and feels like you got your hand caught in a sewing machine because they bite as frantically and repeatedly. Putting the plate below the handle is obviously meant to keep the user's fingers from getting too near a very pissed off little rodent.
I'd still prefer to pay a little more and get a trap with solid metal running all the way across the top and a second trap door for the wiliest of the critters. It's so effective I've caught crows, possums, the neighbor's cat and a raccoon that was so big he barely fit in the trap. My neighbor's Labradoodle got his head stuck in it once and dragged it half way across the yard before he shook it off. One night I woke up to a loud clattering - a pair of huge raccoons was tossing the trap all over the porch to try to get the peanut butter. They didn't even run when I came out to see what the matter was. They kept fussing with the crate until I went at then with a broom.
-- Bobby G.
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Robert Green wrote:

http://www.harborfreight.com/32-1-2-half-inch-l-x-10-inch-w-x-13-1-4-quarter-inch-h-collapsible-medium-animal-trap-9646.html
Excellent points all. I still have observations: * The link I posted has a "today" price of $20, not $30. * HF does have traps that open at both ends. Here's one for $30: http://www.harborfreight.com/two-door-live-animal-trap-95117.html * Your point about quality and durability is well-taken. The OP, however, has a ONE-SKUNK problem and does not make a living (as some apparently do) by skinning muskrats or Nowhatian Bog-Hogs. Too, if I was concerned about the indigenous trapped animal being sufficiently strong enough to trash the device, I think I would live above the tree line.
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (MICHELLE H.) wrote in

Revisit. Try rap station.
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Would that attract teenagers?
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
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On Sun, 17 Oct 2010 15:36:30 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

Living on a corner lot in a university town I'm not sure which is more objectionable - a skunk loitering in your back yard or a bunch of teenagers - - - - . At least the skunk doesn't leave broken beer bottles empty cigarette packages, butts, and used condoms lying around.
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Curses! Foiled again...
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