This Stinks

Skunks! We have a family of skunks living under our front stoop. More than a week ago I noticedhow to trap a skunk an odd pile of dirt and, later, a fuzzy black and white blur that quickly disappeared after I spotted it. And I realized we suddenly had pets. Now, they never made a stink around our place, but apparently they would head out at night at make their presence known to some of our neighbors. Still, with all their burrowing, they could do damage to our already crumbling front stoop. How do I get rid of skunks?

Devra from Parentopia suggested using mothballs to stink up their den. Ironic, huh? Also illegal, at least in Illinois. “Though shalt not scatter mothballs throughout the land.” Or something like that.

Debi from  SA Busy Kids suggested shining a light on their home and filling it in whilst the skunks were out foraging, but I never saw them head out for the night and who wants to surprise a skunk with something like that? Or anything, really.

Debi also sent me a link with info about how to choose the right wildlife professional for the job. It should be noted I asked almost none of these questions, but instead, relied on my Angie’s List membership and price points of the various service providers.

I was hoping to bring in a catch and release service (we’d fill in the empty den to keep the skunks them away). But then I learned that mothballs weren’t the only legal concern. According to Illinois law, captured skunks must be killed. Okay, euthanized, as the pros say, but they’re just trying to be polite.

I feel bad that they’ll need to be put down. The skunks are just doing their thing. They didn’t do us any much harm (she said prior to learning it would cost $3,000 to rebuild her front porch*), but apparently skunks carry and transmit rabies and other diseases.

As bad as I feel about being responsible for the murder of these little guys (and their mother. sniff.), it gets worse. In addition to paying for the traps (Note to self:  I just realized they put down two traps, not one. Cha-ching! I’m making a phone call later today.), each skunk has a price on its head: $55 per adult and $25 per baby, though some firms define adult as being able to leave the den and walk around.

It’s possible for a mama skunk to have up to 8 babies, (Cha-ching!) though 3-5 would be a more common litter size.

It gets worse.

The trappers kill them on my lawn.

“The technicians’ wives don’t like it when they come home all stinky. And caged, wild skunks generally do not appreciate being taken for rides in strange vehicles.”

Ugh. I mean, I get it, but, ugh.

This whole situation just really stinks.

You ever have a critter problem? How did you resolve it?


*This did not happen.  I’m just imagining that it might.

3 Responses to This Stinks
  1. Red-winged black birds in my yard
    July 2, 2011 | 7:02 am

    […] skunks traps have remained empty for days. Perhaps our noise, lights and activity helped the wise skunk mama […]

  2. Irene
    July 3, 2011 | 5:53 am

    Hi and thank you for checking out my blog.

    Before we even owned our house, there was a raccoon living in the house. UGh! Don’t even get me started.

  3. Tips for Keeping Skunks Away
    June 21, 2012 | 7:53 am

    […] skunk making its home beneath our front stoop. It was like deja-vu all over again. Last year, I called in a trapper to catch the skunk, but once the traps were set, we never saw our wannabe pet […]