Saturday, July 08, 2006

Natural Obstacles


Sunday and Tuesday we put in 12-hour days getting the garage totally primed, and painted on 3 walls.

While taking a bathroom break on Tuesday, L made an odd comment:
"I thought they were nocturnal?"
Me: "Who?"
L: "Skunks."
Me: "What?!"

Sure enough; the view from our bathroom window was of 4 skunks, wrestling and playing on the mound of dirt 10 feet from the back door of our garage! This dirt hill has been here since we bought the property. I hauled many wheelbarrow loads of dirt out of that hill to landscape our side yard, when we first moved here. Now, the skunks have dug themselves a cozy little den in that pile of dirt. You'd think that the skunks would have moved out when our contractor dug up the garage site and dumped several loads of rocks and dirt in front of their den, but NOOOOO. Our presence doesn't bother them in the least.

In the picture above, the skunk's den is located behind the fresh mound of dirt and rock, and under the trees in the background.

The skunks have slowed our painting progress considerably. We now have to be conscious of what's behind us, at all times. We must check the bottom of the ladder, before getting down, so we don't step on a skunk. Z's head turning tic has worked to his advantage this time. So far, the skunks have stayed on the wooded side of our property during the day.

We have discussed several grisly ways to dispose of the skunks, but we just can't do it. They're just so damned cute when they come rolling out of their den. Besides, our granddaughter would NEVER forgive us if we killed the skunks! (Would you Demi?) The first thing they do, when they get outside, is shake the dirt out of their fur. Then they start pouncing on each other, like a pack of puppies.

Hairry's area of the yard is 30 feet from the den. Hairry just quietly watches the new neighbors. I think he sees them as new playmates, like his chipmunk buddies. NOT a good thing! We now tie Hairry out in the front yard when the skunks are out.

The new rule at our house is: do NOT make friends with or feed the skunks. Skunks domesticate very easily. We don't want them constantly romping around at our feet. Do NOT name the skunks. If they become too big of a nuisance, we'll have to dispose of them.

28 Comments:

At 7/08/2006 12:14 PM, Blogger European said...

My uncle once had skunks living underneath his front porch steps in Boston. He ended up having someone come to catch them and then release them into the wild (far, far away). Good luck!

 
At 7/08/2006 2:17 PM, Blogger Scrubs & Shines said...

Wondering how to get rid of skunks? There is no magic spray or device that you can use to make them go away. Some people try to sell predator urine, such as coyote or fox urine to get rid of skunks, but that doesn't work. They also try to sell ultrasonic sound emitters. These devices are worthless at eliminating skunks. Some old wive's tales recommend the use of mothballs or ammonia-soaked rags to make them leave, but I've been to countless homes where these techniques failed - biologists know that these attempts won't work. The ONE AND ONLY WAY to take care of your problem is with trapping and removal of the animals. If you need to find a professional trapper in your hometown, just click our comprehensive list of hundreds of wildlife removal professionals,

Or Dougs way... set up a couple speakers and play Alanis Morissette > Jagged Little Pill as loud as the neighbors will alow you, let it play over and over, p.s. buy ear plugs

 
At 7/08/2006 6:29 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

euro, we're hoping that we can all live in harmony together. No matter how you get rid of skunks, it's a messy, smelly ordeal. :(

Thanks Doug. The Alanis Morrisette would drive ME off the property. I haven't seen the skunks since early this morning, and we've been out painting all day.
BTW, ammonia DOES keep the bears out of the garbage can.

 
At 7/09/2006 9:24 AM, Blogger --R said...

I think that "trapping and releasing" is the only way to take care of skunks. Opossums too. My parents swear though, that fox urine keeps the squirrels and chipmunks out of the flower beds. Now if only something would work to keep the deer from eating the rest of the garden...

 
At 7/09/2006 10:57 AM, Blogger Notta Wallflower said...

Skunks are cute until you get sprayed. :-P

 
At 7/09/2006 6:48 PM, Blogger Vest said...

--r: The Manure, Dung or whatever you wish to call (it) from the deer's traditional predator will deter the deer if it is spread on the the perimeter of your garden.
EX Pat Afican deer after generations of abscence will ignore Tiger poo, but shy away from lion poo.

 
At 7/09/2006 7:19 PM, Blogger Squirl said...

Oh no, they sound cute but man would they stink. Alannis Morisette would drive me away, too.

Good luck with them.

 
At 7/10/2006 8:55 AM, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

I vote for catch and release elsewhere. Or catch, remove scent glands, fix so they can't reproduce and live in peace with them. :-)

 
At 7/10/2006 10:17 AM, Blogger Bridget Jones said...

critter ridder. Get some. Or dog hair. They will leave.

 
At 7/10/2006 11:47 AM, Blogger Sadie Lou said...

ew. Skunks.
My husband, the weirdo, actually likes that skunk smell. I heard if a skunk sprays you--you should take a bath in tomato sauce. Sounds fun!

 
At 7/10/2006 7:49 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

~r, I'd live-trap anything but a skunk.
The only thing that works on deer is an extremely high fence, or a chicken-wire cover over the garden.

You've got that right Notta!

Squirl, we're hoping they'll grow up, split up, and move ELSEWHERE.

VV, welcome back! Right now we're opting for living in peace with them. So far they're staying out of the yard during the day.

Bridg, they're not scared of the WHOLE dog, so I doubt if hair would work.

Welcome back, Sadie!!
Tomato JUICE does help neutralize the smell, but not completely. They have a product on the market that's supposed to work really well. I want to buy some and have it on hand...just in case.

 
At 7/10/2006 8:35 PM, Blogger Bridget Jones said...

ROFL about dog!!!

Reminds me of a true story--uncle is a retired doc. Before he retired, someone for some reason gave him chickens (Rhode Island reds) as a thank you for something he did. Doctors don't pay each other, they give each other stuff. I guess the chickens were a joke.

Anyway, my grandmother, who lived with them, was going to ummm cook them. Uncle John would not hear of it.So he named them after Grandma and my aunt.

Neighbors thought it was hilarious when he'd go out mornings and call the chickens to feed them.

Don't let them do that with the skunks.....

 
At 7/10/2006 11:02 PM, Blogger SME said...

Demi would never, ever forgive you. Hope you can get a picture of 'em! :)

 
At 7/10/2006 11:03 PM, Blogger SME said...

Neil Diamond might also work, heehee.

 
At 7/11/2006 7:15 AM, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

Sadie Lou, You're husband is not a weirdo! Having grown up around skunk cabbage and grown accustomed to the scent, skunk smells don't bother me either. :-)

SME, You know, I've heard about the Neil Diamond effect as well. It will scare off quite a number of unwanted critters, except then you'd have a problem with lizards. Yep, ol' Neil has been known to attract his fair share of lounge lizards. ;-)

 
At 7/11/2006 10:40 AM, Blogger lorguru said...

good luck with this! I have one question, and I'm sure there is a perfectly good answer for this, but for all the things about the fox urine, etc...how does one go about getting fox urine, anyway. The next time you see a fox, you hand him a little cup and a fresh wipe, tell him to fill it and leave it on your window sill????

 
At 7/11/2006 11:10 AM, Anonymous Saby said...

Da flame thrower is da ting to use

das get da burning feelin too muv fastes too sum uthur house garden

visittation fra das locale ferret makedem goe pronto

 
At 7/11/2006 11:59 PM, Blogger Vest said...

I reckon Saby could be a skunk, I too am having N I M B Y problems with this Saby the elephant boy.

 
At 7/12/2006 12:03 AM, Blogger SME said...

Saby needs a speech thewapist.

 
At 7/12/2006 1:53 AM, Anonymous julia said...

vest, who is this saby person and what do you mean by NIMBY.

 
At 7/12/2006 4:30 AM, Blogger Vest said...

Julia: I have been to your b/site out of curiosity, I wish to let it be known you are not the person listed below.
Saby Aliases sourced from india read the following.
Jim.
Hedwig dasouza.
Deewan.
Johnny be good.
Julia.
Keshi.
There may be others, should I find them i'II add them to the list.

N I M B Y reads; Not In My Back Yard.

 
At 7/12/2006 10:37 AM, Blogger Vest said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7/12/2006 10:37 AM, Blogger Vest said...

If you come to my website and click on to Saby you have access to a host of saby's sites, some of his icons draw you to dead ends these will give you an insight of the real saby, the total asshole.
this guy is blogger enemy no 1.
we must combine our efforts to rid this creep- (possibly the arch zombie who knows) from the face of the earth. we must all make a concerted effort unilaterily and without fear of condemnation tittilation, maste-----on and what have you to get rid of that bastard. signed jack daniels orvest im not too sure, good night going to bye byes L Y

 
At 7/12/2006 10:55 AM, Anonymous vest junior said...

M.y dad is really pissed off with Saby. Dad and his friend dave B, izzy dave' have seen off a bot of Jd tonight, Rose my mother is away in Newcastle. He posted that comment before I could stop him.
my dad is a no 1 person and a great guy, Vest Junior.

 
At 7/14/2006 2:34 AM, Blogger SME said...

VV - I'll take the skunks, thanks! :D

 
At 7/14/2006 9:35 AM, Blogger greatwhitebear said...

Doug:
As an Alanis Morrisette fan, I can't imagine that the skunks wouldn't respond by forming a little skunky mosh pit and banging of heads to "you outta know"

tshs: I feel your pain. We have an urban skunk problem here. I am just dreading the day when Kipper tries to make friends with the little bugger.

 
At 7/16/2006 9:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

gone to sleep or busy painting

 
At 7/18/2006 2:22 AM, Blogger SME said...

GWB: Congratulations! You're the first male Alannis fan I have ever, ever heard of! Ever! :D

 

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