Thursday, July 2, 2009

Those Stinkin' Skunks!

When we moved to the country almost 2 years ago, we knew we'd have a few more wildlife experiences. For the most part it has been positive such as seeing a fox cross the road at night or watching a deer cross through our field. However, last February we noticed a smell starting in our living room upstairs and couldn't figure out why it smelled "skunky". It wasn't until we went over to the former owners house one evening for a visit, that they mentioned that there was a history of skunks digging under the front porch. Sure enough, when we got home at checked at the end off the porch, there was freshly dug soil sitting on top of the snow.

I'm not a hunter and don't like the idea of killing animals in general, but when it comes to skunks, all bets are off. We acquired a trap and my brother-in-law came the next morning to shoot the skunk. Bad Idea...Our house stunk for a month. About a month ago I mentioned to my husband that there had been some more digging at the end of the porch. After the last fiasco, we had filled in the hole with broken glass, hoping to deter future animals from digging and had laid large rocks over the area. My dear hubby ensured me that if we had a skunk, we would smell it. A few weeks later, there had been more digging and I mentioned that I was beginning to notice a bit of a familiar smell in the living room and perhaps we should take care of it in case there were any babies in the hole, it being later in the year than last time. Once again, he insisted that no we didn't have a skunk under the porch, and there definitely wouldn't be any babies. Last week, I was coming around the side of the house at dusk with my cats and I noticed something moving by the hole. Skunk!!! (Did you know that skunks will play with cats a la pepe la pew?, so gross)

I quickly ran around the other side of the house and called my husband. He couldn't deny it this time, we really did have a skunk. We phoned the exterminator the next day, but all of their skunk traps were out (apparently this is a really bad year for skunks?) but were informed that we could buy a trap for $150 and still have the exterminator come and pick up whatever we would catch. Done. Meanwhile, that afternoon, I was cleaning our house when I smelled skunk in the house. Great, I thought, our skunk just sprayed right next to the house. When I went outside, no skunk. What we think happened it that it was hit on the road close to the house because we haven't seen it since.

However, that isn't the end of the story. Guess what my husband saw playing with the cats the next day? A baby skunk. That's right, a baby. And yesterday I saw a grand total of four babies wandering outside their burrow in the middle of the day as I was doing some work in our front yard. (Did I mention that my husband is gone out of town for 9 days?) Nervous that I would accidentally have a run in with them since they haven't developed their sense of smell, but needing to finish the work in the front yard, I began singing showtune-like, made up songs very loudly in the hopes that they would know I was out there and stay away (thank goodness we don't have any neighbors close around).

So, now I am left with 4 baby skunks under my porch, unable to trap them because they haven't developed their sense of smell, so they won't go for that smelly, KFC chicken bait (apparently this is the best bait for skunks).

Well, I'm off to make a plan and to drown my troubles in a Starbucks Latte. Wish me luck?

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