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View Full Version : Skunk in Hay Shed-How do I humanely get rid of it?



Obi
Nov. 6, 2008, 12:42 PM
There is a beautiful skunk that has taken up residence in my hay shed. I am not too pleased about this because it is leaving its 'droppings' under the pallets and I found a pile on a new bale of hay. I have a "Have a heart" but everyone is telling me that it is a useless battle to try and catch it and let it loose without getting sprayed. Is there anything I can put out to deterr it from hibernating there for the winter? I cannot leave poison out since I have goats and chickens. Any suggestion would be welcome (as long is does not involve shooting it)

Catalina
Nov. 6, 2008, 12:50 PM
Bait the trap with tuna fish. *Make sure you do the rest in the daytime: When the skunk is in the cage, cover it with a tarp. Move the trap to where you want to release the skunk, open the door, pull the tarp away from the door and step back quietly. The skunk will wander out looking dazed and confused and totally uninterested in spraying you.

I have caught skunks before when I was trying to round up feral cats and that method has never gotten me sprayed.

Auventera Two
Nov. 6, 2008, 12:57 PM
I never had luck with traps. I tried cat food and sardines. :( But what DID work was a blaring loud radio played 24/7, leaving the lights on 24/7 for a couple weeks,and a few boxes of moth balls. Put the moth balls into old socks, tie them up, then hang them or toss them into all corners of the shed.

The skunks were terrible in my barn last year. They dug a burrow under my barn, were living in the hay, going in the tackroom, and so forth. I had to remove ALL my horse blankets and tack because the smell was permeating everything. The horses couldn't even stay in the barn because of the smell. I even saw one come from the woods and go right in the barn one day. And then I found rows of skunk tranks going from the woods to the barn. The whole local population of them was moving in! :eek:

They like it quiet, dark, and undisturbed. Apparently they have a strong sense of smell too so the moth balls, radio, and lights did the trick!

Lori
Nov. 6, 2008, 01:01 PM
It is not legal to relocate a striped skunk that you trap. You will be placing it into anothers territory. Is there a way you can repel it or make the shed inaccessible since you are not wanting to shoot it?

I have one that comes around my house and am not too thrilled about it. He is cute and small, but when he sprays it smells the interior of my home strongly for days at a time. I had the tall bushes cut and so far, he is not scrounging for bugs by the dryer vent anymore. :)

Here are some notes from HSUS:

Evicting Skunks

Because skunks are nomadic, their residence under your shed, porch or outbuilding will resolve itself in due time: They'll just move on. However, if you must evict skunks from under a building, try spraying a mixture of eight ounces of dish detergent, eight ounces of castor oil, and one gallon of water around the area where the skunks reside. To determine if the den has been vacated, stuff newspaper in the entry hole; if animals are still present, the paper will be pushed out within 24 hours.

The only way to keep skunks permanently out from under a building is to seal the structure off with chicken wire or hardware cloth. It's important to sink the wire down a few inches into the ground, bend it at a 45° angle, and then run at least 12 inches of wire out away from the building in a reverse "L" shape, so a false bottom is created—foiling any skunk who tries to dig back in. A note of caution: Be sure that all animals are out from under a structure before sealing it off; otherwise, the remaining skunks will starve to death.

Trapping

Although people's initial reaction may be to get rid of skunks, trapping will not solve the problem, because skunks from the surrounding area will quickly replace those removed. As long as an inviting habitat (brush or rock piles, elevated sheds, and openings under porches or house foundations) exists, skunks will use it. Trapping merely creates turnover in the population; in springtime, this can result in orphaned, starving skunks wandering around neighborhoods

greysandbays
Nov. 6, 2008, 01:38 PM
I had a skunk living under the floor of my back porch for heaven knows how long, sharing the back-porch-cat's food. It wasn't until after I chased it off and blocked it's re-entry and noticed there was all of a sudden leftover food from the back-porch-cat that it dawned on me that the darn thing had probably been commuting from under there all summer. It never stunk at all, until my dad accidentally cornered it in the front porch -- until then, I hadn't even known it was around.

Since I don't have a dog to be getting stunk up all the time, if rabies isn't a factor, I'd a whole lot rather have skunks in the barn than raccoons.

Sarabeth
Nov. 6, 2008, 01:48 PM
I never had luck with traps. I tried cat food and sardines. :( But what DID work was a blaring loud radio played 24/7, leaving the lights on 24/7 for a couple weeks,and a few boxes of moth balls. Put the moth balls into old socks, tie them up, then hang them or toss them into all corners of the shed.Yes. This is exactly what worked for my parents, except they used highly fragrant deoderant soaps instead of moth balls, and motion-activated lights. The skunks did not like those.

Nezzy
Nov. 6, 2008, 01:57 PM
Skunks do hate bad smells- Ironically. Mothballs and other smelly things should work.

risky business
Nov. 6, 2008, 02:00 PM
Another vote for moth balls. I didn't want to hurt them, I just wanted them to move!

I threw handfuls of moth balls under the shed and they promptly moved out.

2DogsFarm
Nov. 6, 2008, 02:12 PM
In my area - Midwest - skunks have been identified as a rabies carrier.
So much so that the JVM now recommends rabies vaccinations for horses.

While they may be relatively harmless otherwise I do not want them in my barn for this reason.

bludejavu
Nov. 6, 2008, 02:27 PM
Yes - do what you can to get rid of the skunk. Just two weeks ago we had a suspected rabid skunk that attacked a stray dog that took up residence here. Animal control came out immediately and put a Hav-A-Heart trap out with cat food as bait. The skunk was interested (we were watching), but never went in the trap. It floundered out into our horse pasture but it was getting too dark to try and shoot it so animal control left the trap baited - the skunk has not returned, but the poor dog had to be destroyed.

We did trap a couple of skunks ourselves in the past with the Hav-A-Heart and relocated them down the road in a state park - who ever said it is not legal is not accurate - animal control and the local wildlife center both instructed us to do this at that time. We threw blankets over the traps after the skunks were trapped, very very carefully sat them in the back of the truck, drove to the park and again very very carefully sat them down and pulled the string to release the door - the skunks never offered to spray and wandered away without incident.

I had one in the horse barn that took up residence in my feed room. The local wildlife center gave natural predator feces to put at the door and the skunk went away permanently (I still wish I had asked who might be a skunk's predators :yes:)

Obi
Nov. 6, 2008, 02:38 PM
The skunk is living in the pallet space under my hay. I just re-organized my hay for the winter (150 bales of not so much fun). I found dropping and was concerned it was a possum. I am glad it is not one of those evil little creatures but being a skunk was not my second choice. I poured vinegar and vetrolin liniment on the ground before I restacked the hay (on pallets). Would the moth balls effect the hay at all (if I wrapped them in socks as suggested)? There is no way I can wire off the area as it is an open three sided shed.

And so, if I trap it, does that mean I will be in violation of removing this critter from my property? I wonder if there is a fine for that;)

smilton
Nov. 6, 2008, 03:15 PM
Use in-laws dog to chase it away and then return the dog

Auventera Two
Nov. 6, 2008, 05:18 PM
Oh yeah, another thing I thought of - I talked to an animal control specialist who said another thing you can try is having a man pee around the perimeter of whatever area the skunks are inhabiting. This gives them a predator smell that they feel nervous about and move on. But apparently this person must be a male, as female urine doesn't work. Apparently we aren't considered predators to a skunk. :lol:

Auventera Two
Nov. 6, 2008, 05:19 PM
The skunk is living in the pallet space under my hay. I just re-organized my hay for the winter (150 bales of not so much fun). I found dropping and was concerned it was a possum. I am glad it is not one of those evil little creatures but being a skunk was not my second choice. I poured vinegar and vetrolin liniment on the ground before I restacked the hay (on pallets). Would the moth balls effect the hay at all (if I wrapped them in socks as suggested)? There is no way I can wire off the area as it is an open three sided shed.

And so, if I trap it, does that mean I will be in violation of removing this critter from my property? I wonder if there is a fine for that;)

I would not let the mothballs contact the hay directly, but placing them all around the hay is fine. I've now had mothballs all over in my hay loft for at least 6 months.

cloudyandcallie
Nov. 6, 2008, 05:26 PM
Use in-laws dog to chase it away and then return the dog
:lol::lol:

or try the moth balls. They work with raccoons. We're not in skunk country but when i lived in atlanta the coons would open garbage cans, so putting a few moth balls in the bottom of the cans under the bags really worked.

To keep moth balls away from the hay, hang them in panty hose so that they are in the entrance to the shed or to the area where the hay is.

Obi
Nov. 6, 2008, 06:40 PM
Oh yeah, another thing I thought of - I talked to an animal control specialist who said another thing you can try is having a man pee around the perimeter of whatever area the skunks are inhabiting. This gives them a predator smell that they feel nervous about and move on. But apparently this person must be a male, as female urine doesn't work. Apparently we aren't considered predators to a skunk. :lol:

LOL!!! And I thought it was hard to find a horse friendly, dog loving man to pee in my toilet, let alone piddle around my hay shed. Geez...I wonder if I could post a personal ad for this...

Wanted, man with excellent bladder control. Good aim a must! Must be willing to travel to the middle of nowhere (my farm). Will meet out at my barn for drinks (I will provide refreshments). Must be willing to enjoy nature. If interested, please call ....:lol::lol::lol:

Guilherme
Nov. 6, 2008, 06:50 PM
Turn on a light. Skunks are noctural and do not like light.

You don't say where you are. In our area (East TN) skunks are often rabid. Putting down an animal that carries such a disease is neither inhumane nor irresponsible.

Good luck in ridding yourself of the crittur.

G.

bludejavu
Nov. 6, 2008, 07:26 PM
Oh yeah, another thing I thought of - I talked to an animal control specialist who said another thing you can try is having a man pee around the perimeter of whatever area the skunks are inhabiting. This gives them a predator smell that they feel nervous about and move on. But apparently this person must be a male, as female urine doesn't work. Apparently we aren't considered predators to a skunk. :lol:


OMG - don't know if you read my post or not but my last comment was that I wondered what would be a skunk's predator - never thought about man being a predator! Now I wonder...when the wildlife center sent the feces home with me, I assumed it was just animal feces, but I wonder if one of those guys pee'd on it...ick...ick...ick!

Tom King
Nov. 6, 2008, 08:54 PM
There are more skunks in our part of the country this year than anyone, including some very old people, have ever seen. Anyone I know with chickens has been having trouble with them this year and none of us have ever had skunks bother our chickens before.

carla54
Nov. 6, 2008, 09:58 PM
I don't know about using mothballs in a sock anymore. I had a family of skunks living between the interior and exterior walls of my horse barn. I put mothballs into a sock and threw the sock into the area the skunks were staying in. The next day, the sock of mothballs was lying in the middle of the barn. For the next week they dragged it out of the walls every time I put it in there! They finally moved out on their own, leaving the sock full of mothballs in the doorway of the barn! Pretty arrogant, don't ya think?

hosspuller
Nov. 6, 2008, 11:53 PM
I used a hav-a-hart trap with apples. Was really trying to catch the groundhog. Dropped an old bed spread over the trap. (Hold it in front of you like shield, and move slowly) Then picked up the trap's handle through the cloth. Propped open the door with a rock at the relocation site :winkgrin: but the skunk didn't budge. Pulled the cloth off and the skunk then waddled out and away from me.

PS... Wear leather gloves, you don't want the chance of getting bitten or scratched.

Obi
Nov. 9, 2008, 12:13 AM
I just thought I would update you all with my humane adventures of skunk trapping. So far, I have caught one of my chicken, a possum, the neighbors cat, and my house cat.:eek:

I think I am going to stop using the cat food (must be like crack for every animal in a 10 mile radius of my hay shed) and go to apples.

I am beginning to conisider letting the skunk take up residence until spring at the rate this is going!!!:mad:

MaybeMorgan
Nov. 9, 2008, 12:16 AM
Well, at least I'm told they are good mousers.

Cherry
Nov. 9, 2008, 09:57 AM
Well, at least I'm told they are good mousers.
Yeah, well.... Be that as it may.....

The bad news about allowing them to remain: the little girl I bought my horse from lived in a trailer with her brother and parents. They had a family of skunks living under the trailer but did nothing about it. One night evidently two skunk families had a dispute over whose territory it was!!!! :eek: She said the stench was unbelieveable and they had to buy a new trailer because there was no way they could get rid of the smell.... :eek: So, allowing them to live there over Winter may not be the best idea.... :winkgrin:

The good news is: I watched the episode of MythBusters when they wanted to test out the best product for getting rid of the smell after a skunk sprays. They had a hard time getting a skunk to spray in a room--and they tried everything! I think they went through five skunks before they got one who would cooperate so I wouldn't worry too much about being sprayed.

Moth balls are a no-no if you have cats--I think the naptha is bad news for them: http://pet.tips.net/Pages/T0047_Protect_Your_Cat_from_Mothballs.html .

There is a brand of trap called a "Tomahawk" trap that is better than the Hav-A-Hart traps as it has a door that lifts up at one end so the animal can get out easier!!!!! If I were trapping anything that is the trap I would want. (I used to use it to trap feral cats). :yes: Just drap a dark cloth over the trap and when it's sprung lift up the whole thing and move the critter away.

Honestly though--I'm at that stage in my life where I would just call someone who traps critters for a living and have him/her just trap it and take it away. I don't want to know anymore what happens to these poor souls who end up in my backyard--I just want them gone..... :(

birdsong
Nov. 9, 2008, 10:39 AM
I can attest to the smell after having one spray in my bedroom one night. He came in the doggy door of the patio and came through the open french doors. UGH I didn't realize he was indoors thinking he must have sprayed outside nearby....until the NEXT night when my son shouted in the middle of the night that there was a skunk in his bed!! He had gone to bed around 11:00 and was awakened by the little critter crawling out from under the covers around 2:00...then he hid in the closet where he was only lured out with a trail of dog food...what a cartoon. Picture disassembling the entire bed, mattresses and all at 2:00 in the morning (carefully) trying to get him out from underneath the bed.

Cherry
Nov. 9, 2008, 02:15 PM
Oh, geeze.... Note to self: no doggy doors on the next property we buy.... :eek: :yes: :winkgrin: :lol:

Kate66
Nov. 9, 2008, 02:26 PM
Aaaarrggh, I have just gone through the same thing! Unfortunately the dogs kept chasing it and it would spray, needless to say some of the hay has now been sprayed and the place stinks! However, the other day I went to get the tractor and it was dead, in a corner, I think the dogs got it.

Rienzi
Nov. 9, 2008, 02:38 PM
We used to have a big white skunk at the barn. The dog and the skunk had a truce: the skunk lived under the dog's house and ate the rest of the food when the dog was done, and the dog never got sprayed. However, my poor curious Morgan got sprayed in the face! I'll bet she put her nose right on it. She stank awful for a few weeks (it was in the winter) but the smell went away sooner than I thought it would. The skunk went away too.

I think somebody told me once that they used marshmallows in their traps, and/or sardines. But you might get a raccoon with sardines.