A MAJOR caveat re: mothballs.
We had a chipmunk chew through the outside tongue and groove on our cabin
and take up residence in the void. We asked what to put in there, and Ace
Hardware said mothballs.
My wife had me put two boxes in there. I don't know what I was thinking of
at the time, but good private I am, I carried out Sarge's orders.
For nearly a year, we had an overpowering aroma of mothballs. To get them
out would have required MAJOR removal of components. Finally, this summer,
when we got to the cabin, the mothballs didn't hit you in the face the
moment you walked in.
You may be able to put a lot of mothballs in there. Just be darn sure that
they are in a place you can get them out easily once the skunks vacate. I'd
go get some of those net bags and put a bunch in those, and then retrieve
the bag once they're gone.
As for the ammonia, I don't know how long that takes to dissipate, but
remember that you will be smelling it, too. And humid conditions or rain
might activate it in the future if you spray a lot under there.
I might not have foreseen this either. I don't think a net bag is
good though because I think the holes are too big. The moth balls get
smaller as time goes on. Maybe socks would be better. It will slow
the naphtha from getting out, but it will still get out a day later.
I used to have some metal cans with hooks to hang them in the closet.
I think the holes were only one or 2 mm, and thats when there would
have been no problem removing the can. I'd use socks.
So you think you can out stink a skunk?
While I try to personally avoid them, and they can become a bother, I
agree with those who have noted that they have their good points. Eating
mice voles and grubs is a real plus. When I was a kid the family bought a
de-scented skunk for a pet. They don't make great pets.
I just avoid them. They hang around my yard at night, but they seem
preoccupied with snuffling around for grubs. However, one night, I stepped
out on my porch and one of them came jettin' into the flower bed 10 feet
away. Never saw a skunk move that fast. I assume it was after a mouse, or
maybe it caught wind of a predator. I just stood there nice & still for a
minute until it left. Never saw a skunk move that fast.
I hear that they will not spray when confined in a trap. End of July, I
accidentally trapped momma skunk when I thought raccoons were getting in
my garbage cans. Trap was surrounded by 4 little skunks that would not
leave momma. I managed to open trap at a distance with assistance of my
pole pruner and did not get sprayed.
Besides getting sprayed, rabies is endemic around here so you need to be
I took a plastic coated table cloth, held it up against my body and
walked slowly to the trap and placed it over the trap. Thay won't
spray if they are covered. I then put a plastic garbage bag on the
floor of the van, placed the trap there and brought the little guy for
a long ride. I stopped at a field that had woods at the side and put
thge trap on the ground then lifted the end of the table cloth up
slowly and opened the trap door, little devil didn't want to come out
so I lifted the trap end up and he went on his merry way into the
woods. You need to do all things slowly and don't spook him and it
Understandably, you're probably not in the mood to hear this, but skunks are
valuable to have around. They eat grubs & mice. Is there any way you could
use sturdy fence wire to block access to the underside of the house once
you've got the skunks out?
We had skunks under our front porch,
which is a piece of concrete about 7' x 5'.
They dug a den under the concrete. I
filled it several times with new concrete.
Each time they would dig under the new
layer. I talked to local animal control and
they told me that I needed to put
hardware cloth (coarse screening)
vertical on the
sides of the stoop down about 4 or 6
inches underground. And then out, under
the 4 or 6 inches of dirt, about 12". I
did it, they tried to return and dug down in
to where they encountered the screening
and then they moved on. I also did this
on my storage shed ... worked equally
well. Around an entire cabin might be a
big job. BTW, when animal control traps
a skunk here, they kill it. They use a
needle on a long handle. They let the
animal see it and then inject it.
skunk doesn't spray, but sometimes they
Too bad they have to kill the animal. Letting the animal "see" the
weapon seems a bit cruel. I realize that skunks are a pain but they do
have some value (eating grubs adn other pests).
I have a room with a crawl space under it (supported with columns and
latice work to hide the columns) So far I have been fortunate. No
skunks. I do see them in my driveway at night. I'm always worried that
I will step on a skunk at night because it is dark in my driveway.
Well, they used to just relocate them
after trapping, however,
now, because there seems to be a lot of
rabies, they do euthanize
skunks. Apparently, the percentages are
pretty high in this area.
Also, showing them the needle avoids
startling the animal to prevent
spraying. I don't think the skunk has
the thought process to think
that the needle is a weapon. As far as
eating grubs, etc., yes they do
and yes they tear up an entire lawn.
I've had some small damage,
however, the people across had about 50%
of their front lawn
Go to a pet store and pick up a couple of live mice. Place them in her
house. After the resulting entertainment ends, tell her skunks are better
mousers than most cats. That should change her tune.
Or not. :-)
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