The George Blog – Skunk! & Comments

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Skunk!

We have a skunk (maybe skunks in the plural) who has/have taken up residence under our bedroom.

I should explain for my non-US readers, that our house is built of wood and the foundations of the part where our bedroom is are simply big stones – so there is a space beneath the floor and the earth, which is generally open to the outside – perfect for various creatures to reside in from time to time.

Again, for my non-US readers (hopefully there are some!) I should further explain that Skunks are attractive looking large rodents, with lovely black and white fur. They are nocturnal, harmless and shy creatures. However their last-resort defense mechanism is a long-lasting, foul-smelling spray that they can aim with considerable accuracy.

When they get surprised, or feel threatened, they spray. And it stinks. And if they happen to spray a domestic pet, then they stink for several months - and then your home stinks too. So, although harmless, they are not entirely welcome guests under our bedroom.

The answer is re-location.

I have purchased a skunk trap, consisting of a longish length of aluminium tube, with a drop-door controlled by a bait platform at the far end. When Mister Skunk enters to eat the bait, the door drops shut and he is trapped in the tube. Because they are used to burrowing, it is said that they feel less stress in this type of trap than in an open cage trap. And the great advantage is that they can't lift their rear end up enough to spray ...

Once having caught the Skunk – and having ascertained that it is not a local cat – or even our own cat – we have to transport him (or her) to a suitable location several miles away, and not near other people's houses or anything. The protocol then is to open the trap and walk away for 20 - 30 minutes to allow the Skunk to feel OK to come out and look for a new home.

I really don't fancy the whole procedure much. Left to myself, I would probably choose to co-exist with the Skunk and put up with the occasional bad smell. But we run vacation rentals in the apartments in our house and our visitors won't like it - nor do our neighbours either. I'm just hoping that it is a single Skunk, not a whole nest of them!

Comments

The skunk trap has arrived!

I'm thinking my step-daughter, who is an animal scientist might be a better bet to do the job - though I'm getting a bit of resistance from that quarter .....
Date posted: Friday, 27 Mar 2009 | posted by: debenriver

The skunk seems to have sloped off somewhere. Maybe the advent of Jake – our son's large, friendly but skunk-adverse dog – on a visit for a few weeks has done the trick. Anyway the skunk trap remains unused.

Yesterday I saw a half-grown Racoon disappearing under our bedroom ....
Date posted: Wednesday, 06 May 2009 | posted by: debenriver

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