Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Banishing stinky squatters

Steve over at World of Okonomy had an uninvited resident recently.  He emailed me how he got rid of this cute but smelly pest.

"Our neighborhood has tons of skunks. I've had one (or more) living under my shed  forever (they love the compost pile! One bad thing about composting, no one tells you.) That's just have to be aware at night. I never go out without a flashlight. But recently, one has taking up residence in my crawl space (skunks need only 4" of space to squeeze into a spot) and has left my house smelling of skunk every morning (which open dishes of white vinegar eventually will dispel.)

I asked around. Skunk removal is close to $200! So I did some research. I prepared all this in advance in the daylight (skunks are nocturnal.) 

My lure: A bowl of rice crackers and sunflower seeds. Wet cat/dog food is the best,but I was determined not to pay a penny for this. Also, the seeds/crackers have the benefit of being noisy.

 I checked the bowl regularly during the night. Around midnight I could see that he had rooted through the bowl, so I knew he was out. I had an arc-lamp that I checked under the house to make sure there were no babies (a mother would have killed herself trying to get to them.) I sealed the crawlspace up with double layers of chicken-wire (galvanized wire is the best) making sure I stretched it out in front of the crawl space so he could not dig himself back in.

I finally soaked an old pair of my shorts with with ammonia as a stinky message back that he was not welcome anymore.

Seems to have worked!"


  1. We had skunks in our area when I was growing up. Our cats would periodically get in a tussle with a skunk and come back with that smell. My mom used to wash the cats in tomato juice. Supposedly that neutralized the odor. What did others use to get out the stink?

  2. I had the following skunk smell removal mixture on hand, just in case the worst happened:

    1 Quart Hydrogen Peroxide (3%)
    1/4 Baking Soda
    1 Tsp. Dishwashing Soap
    Here's more:
    This exact recipe was repeated many time at different sites. Tomato juice is the classic cure, and I've seen orange juice as well.

    The next day, after I did this, Teja and Katie were visiting and as we were coming back form the lake we all saw a skunk during the DAY, near my house looking for shelter. It made sense that it was the one I had made homeless!

  3. Hee hee, skunks sound funny in an irritating kind of way. just how bad is the smell? IS there anything worse?

    1. There are worse smells, but theirs have staying power! It's weird because they are very, very cute!

  4. The smell has been compared to rotten eggs, sulphur, and burning rubber. I also think there is a metallic undertone and is the *worst* smell I've ever smelled!

    I came home late a number of years ago and there were *two* males fighting and spraying one another in the back yard. Ug! That was just AWEFUL!!! At least that was outside, and I could shut the window.