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PHEW! There's a skunk under my house!

 
 
Eva
 
Reply Wed 8 Sep, 2004 08:53 pm
Edit [Moderator]: Moved from General to Wilderness, Wildlife & Ecology.

My husband and I woke up at 4 in the morning today and we both smelled something strange. We'd never smelled anything like it before.

When he left for his office at 7:30, he stopped the next door neighbor and asked if they could smell it, too. They could, but not as strongly as we could. They are veteran campers, and swore it must be a skunk.

My son thought it was probably under the deck, but my husband thought the smell was coming from under the house. He said the neighbors told him they'd had a problem last spring with one under their deck. Anyway, it took me until about noon to get up the nerve to walk all the way around the foundation of our house looking for a place where something could get in. I couldn't spot any gaps. So I went back inside, fluffed up the potpourri, sprayed air freshener everywhere, and lit scented candles.
It helped, but not much.

Tonight, after I left to take my son to karate class, hubby got out his flashlight and did a more thorough inspection. He found the spot! Something had knocked over a brick that was holding up a grate that led to the crawl space under our living room. (It had been in place when I checked.) Gathering up his courage, he shined the flashlight into the dark hole. And there it was. A big skunk. Absolutely rigid, staring straight at him. And deader than a doornail, to use an old Southern expression. It had electrocuted itself by chewing on some wires under there. Still had the wires in its mouth, hubby said. He took a pair of long-handled pliers, reached in, got it, dragged it out, and plopped it into a trash bag. Then bagged it again and set it out by the curb. Trash pickup is tomorrow morning...will they get a surprise! Then he emptied the rest of the air freshener can into the crawl space.

Can anybody tell me how long it takes for the smell to go away? This is BAD. But we're laughing now!!!
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 3,726 • Replies: 28
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Sep, 2004 08:54 pm
Ewww...

Littlek had a thread on getting skunk smell out... I seem to remember there was something unfortunate about bagging it... just a sec...
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Sep, 2004 08:57 pm
Eww! If the only opening is that one grate it might take a while. I don't know if spraying some "skunk-off" sort of spray that vets sell under there would help or not.

(and get someone to fix that wiring before your house burns down!)
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Sep, 2004 08:59 pm
Parker the cocker spaniel got skunked on Monday... he had been going after it. S. (business partner) picked him up before he could roll on their new carpet to get the spray off (it burns) and put him in the shower, along with herself. I have been going to look up that old thread...
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Sep, 2004 09:01 pm
http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=28200
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Sep, 2004 09:01 pm
Don't worry, fishin'. Hubby is an electrical expert. He shut off the power, cut the wires & capped them before pulling the skunk out. He thinks the wires go to the upstairs air conditioning unit, but will check it for sure in the light tomorrow. It's nice and cool tonight so we don't need the a/c anyway.

There are several grates, btw. So maybe it won't take too long. I've never heard of such a spray, but it's worth a call to the vet in the morning! Thanks!
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Sep, 2004 09:12 pm
Uh, thanks for the link, soz. (Ugh.)
I'm just going to cross my fingers and hope the trash guys throw it in their truck in the morning and haul it off before it gets to that point.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Sep, 2004 09:19 pm
Pepe L'Ouch!
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colorbook
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Sep, 2004 09:32 pm
This actually happened to us about 7 years ago. We lived in a wooded area at the time and somehow a skunk got under the house and had a litter of skunkettes. I'm assuming when the skunk went into hard labor she sprayed so hard that the smell woke us up out of a dead sleep. The city Animal Control lured her into a cage with food. We sprayed everything under the house with about 20 bottles of Fabreze.. Believe me this helped. I also positioned a large fan at the opening to suck out the smell. I was embarrassed for anyone to come over for a while. This happened in September and from what I remember it took a good month or so before we noticed the smell wasn't so bad.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Sep, 2004 09:36 pm
Once about forty years ago one of my brothers caught a baby skunk and brought it home. We played with it in the house a couple of days before losing it deep in the woods.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Sep, 2004 09:39 pm
My mom and pop in law had a skunk under their house and it's spray got into the ventilation system.

They had to have all of their carpets ripped out, had to throw all of their furniture and drapes away, throw away all of their clothing, sheets, towels -- everything!

Still they had to move out to the guest house for about two months.

I just say this so you'll know that it could be worse.

I hope you live somewhere that allows you to open the windows, Eva. If not, I understand that a bit of Vicks under your nose can really help a lot.
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Sep, 2004 07:17 am
http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2830

We've had skunks several times. The spray is similar, chemically, to the stuff put into gasoline to give it an odor, so you may notice it almost smells like a garage. Sometimes the smell can be bad enough to wake you up or permeate your dreams.

In addition to what you're doing, take a good, look whiff of any draperies near the area, including a flight above it. You may have to launder them, too.

I never tried Vicks under the nose but I have gone with scented lotion right under my nose. That helps a bit or at least helps you get back to sleep.

Skunks den but they usually move on after a night or two, unless the eating is particularly good or there are very young babies. Since it's past skunk baby time, your deceased guest may have been looking for food. So, be careful with edible garbage. If you have a disposal unit, use it, and put all items that cannot go into the disposal into ziploc bags and then seal them. That means everything - banana peels, chicken bones, whatever. If you don't have a disposal, you'll have to do this with everything edible that's heading into the trash, so no more scraping plates over the can - scrape the refuse into ziploc bags and seal them, then toss them in the can. BTW, if you've had problems with neighborhood dogs getting into the trash, this should stop that or at least slow it down considerably, because you're masking the smell. Of course this doesn't do anything about your neighbors' trash habits, so you may still smell skunks if they visit your neighbors' garbage cans, but the smell should at least be a bit diminished.
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Sep, 2004 09:28 am
YAY!!! They hauled it off!!!

I would open the windows, but the smell is stronger outside the house (especially on the side where the skunk was) than indoors. I'm going to the pet store today and look for "Nature's Miracle" that was recommended on the thread linked above.

Jes, that's interesting about the garbage. For the last few weeks, we've been having problems with something chewing holes in the bottoms of our trash cans. We've had to reinforce them with metal mesh, but the problem isn't solved yet. It can't be dogs, because our yard is fenced & the gates are locked at night when it happens. I think we will try the ziploc bag idea.
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blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Sep, 2004 09:35 am
Eva when I first saw this thread, knowing that you live in Oklahoma, I though bush had gone home for another vacation.......
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Sep, 2004 10:02 am
The smell's not THAT bad, bear. Laughing
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Sep, 2004 10:19 am
here all along I thought the skunk was the Okladamnhoma state endangered aroma-species. Damn, I do learn something new every day. I am going directely to P.E.T.A. national head-quarters and report Eva for failure to nuture.
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Sep, 2004 10:46 am
"Failure to NUTURE?" That's a new one, dys. Not that PETA would care...one reason to riot's just as good as another.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Sep, 2004 11:38 am
Pouring a bit of bleach on a paper towel in each garbage bag helps to discourage critters: dogs, raccoons, skunks and most bears. This is easier than zip-locking all one-time edibles.
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blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Sep, 2004 11:43 am
Noddy24 wrote:
Pouring a bit of bleach on a paper towel in each garbage bag helps to discourage critters: dogs, raccoons, skunks and most bears. This is easier than zip-locking all one-time edibles.


the bleach doesn't work on all bears...how do you think I keep my coat so nice and white?
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Sep, 2004 11:55 am
You know, with the scent glands removed, which any competent vet can do, skunks make great pets, and scare the bejeesus out of everyone when you walk them.
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