View Full Version : Ugh. Skunks ...

Jun. 4, 2012, 09:22 PM
Took the little dog for a walk down to the barn for her last outing for the evening. About 50' away from the barn we have a 40' ocean container that we dropped a few years ago that now stores some of our hay. As I turned the corner towards the barn, there was a damned skunk that skeedaddled back under the container once it saw me. Thank God the dog didnt see it first!

So - on the 4 corners of the container are openings about 8 inches long by about 3-4 inches tall. Thats where Mr or Mrs Skunk went under. I knew we had squirrels and chipmunks living under there but its the first Ive seen of a skunk

So - now how do I block off all of those openings so it either cant get out or cant get in? I know those buggers dig, so do I drive rebar in deep enough and close enough together with chicken wire?

I also dont want it coming into the barn so what a PITA that on these hot days, I cant leave the bottom doors open at all and have to keep them closed all the time

Our little dog is an avid chaser of the squirrels around there so just praying she doesnt see this thing (and that its not hatching a family under there as we speak) and decides it would be a great idea to give chase!

Thanks for any/all ideas on this one

Jun. 4, 2012, 09:32 PM
I've done nuclear level destruction to skunk nest only to have the skunk return. They are stubborn and hard headed lil critters.

The only success I had was to set a live trap, bait it with canned cat food and rehome the trapped skunk to some state land.

Good luck and be careful, they carry rabies.

Jun. 4, 2012, 09:47 PM
Good luck and be careful, they carry rabies.

I know. And thats what worries me the most about the little dog too ... :(

Im going to try the rebar sunk down 4 feet or so. I mean Hell - they cant dig THAT far down can they???

Jun. 4, 2012, 09:50 PM
Good luck :) We now have a "barn skunk". Ours decided to visit and now comes back just about every night but .... I did catch it curled up sleeping in one of the stalls the other day. We now close the stall doors when not in use. :)

He/she has been "visiting" now for 6 months. Non-aggressive, doesn't offer the tail end but will raise it if you startle it, but once he sees that it is one of us then down goes the tail.

We have beetles that flock to one of the barn lights and then fall to the barn floor. The skunk nicely eats them all up for us :)

Here are some photos of ours.

Jun. 4, 2012, 11:03 PM
ammonia and moth balls can deter them. they ( ironically) do not like strong odors.-except their own.

Jun. 5, 2012, 06:47 AM
sfstable - congratulations. I think you're the first person Ive ever met with their very own "Barn Skunk!" :lol:

I think I have this figured out. I am going to get 4 pieces of metal that fit the openings and get hubby to weld 2 on at one end, shoot a bunch of moth balls under there, and then get the hose and put it into one of the smaller circular openings and try and blast them out the other end that is still open. The only hiccup to this plan is that the container is 40' long - the water may not reach even halfway down underneath but all I can do is try ...

And then we'll seal up the other end as well

I DONT want my very own "Barn Skunk":no: Not at all - in any way!

Jun. 5, 2012, 07:38 AM
I have had bad issues with skunks too. In the barn too, omg there are too many incidents to tell of, which does include having my very nice $$ tack sprayed. Dogs one morning walked out the dog door and not 10' from it were sprayed head on by a skunk. Every evening and morning we smelled skunk BAD. They have been under our hay also.

You know you have a skunk when you smell what I have termed: skunk fart. They will emit a tiny skunk fart warnings to let you know they are there.

THIS is how you deal with skunks. There is NO way to chase them off. And no they should not be relocated. This one is umm, not living btw.


This is just ONE of many I have trapped. My horse thanks me too, she hates skunks and gets very goofy around them, but who doesn't? If she says there is a skunk, there is one, and thus I place a trap. And when you trap you have to shoot them. So careful where you place your trap. They do go out at night, so get them well away from the barn area.

I have trapped 3 epm makers, and some other critters too. What do you have you need caught, I can help you on bait. Skunks are easy to catch. That is the easy part.

My husband told me last night leaving work he saw a skunk making its way across the parking lot, he said he was very careful to avoid it. I asked him, do you want me to come trap it for you? Yes!

Jun. 5, 2012, 08:52 AM
What is the best skunk bait then? Peanut butter? Tuna? Cat food?

I have no problem going to get a trap today. I do not want a litter of little skunkies to deal with instead of just one and then once this one is gone I can baracade the container openings and hope no more return

Thanks! :)

Jun. 5, 2012, 12:02 PM
And when you trap you have to shoot them.

Oh for Christ's sake - NO, you DON'T HAVE TO SHOOT THEM, Davey Crockett.

Throw a large towel or sheet over the trap & let the poor thing go somewhere else. Just because it's bothering you doesn't mean you automatically have to kill it. Lord, I do so hate that mentality - "It's wildlife intruding on my life - KILL IT".:rolleyes:

Jun. 5, 2012, 12:38 PM
Trap it, then shoot it or drown it, or you are likely to have a stinky family of the obnoxious little sh*ts!

Jun. 5, 2012, 08:57 PM
First of all let me start by saying that I have been an Animal Control Officer in 3 different states over the years. I have picked up well over 100 skunks in those years in traps. And NOT ONCE did I get sprayed. These traps were not all covered either. I would just slowly and quietly approach the trap with a garbage bag and drape it over the trap. Then I would bag the trap with a second trash bag leaving the end open. Then I would simply pick the trap up and load it in the truck. To release them simple open the end and step away. Skunks are very curious and not aggressive. The adults if not frightened will not spray! Didn't any of you watch the Mythbusters show about the skunks? They couldn't get the skunk to spray him! The adults know they can't reload quickly so will not spray but as a last resort. The babies spray more often. The only time I was ever exposed was from a skunk that had been hit by a car and I had already sprayed and I had to pick him up on a catch pole to put him in a cage. It was everywhere!

Second of all, any warmblooded animal can get rabies. If that animal is shedding the rabies virus, it will be dead within a week to 10 days Nothing just carries rabies. If it's been exposed it will eventually died, there may be a long period of time before it sheds the virus depending on what part of it's body it was exposed but it's going to die.

Also skunks are not good diggers. They tend to use burrows that are already there. They can climb and will use holes in trees, hay lofts, under porches and houses.

Jun. 5, 2012, 10:26 PM
They can climb and will use holes in trees, hay lofts, under porches and houses.

Skunks can CLIMB??? Say it isnt so! :eek:

Ive just never heard of a skunk being up a tree before!

Jun. 6, 2012, 08:13 AM
My parents have a skunk problem under their house every spring for 7 years now. This year we trapped and...er... 'relocated' 12 of the buggers! The worst was when they started fighting for space under the house and spraying one another. The dogs would go buggy at 2am, then you'd smell skunk perfume wafting through the heat vents. It was lovely.

We bait them with cat food or tuna in a Have a Heart, then my husband takes them out back for relocation. We tried trapping and setting free, but (thanks to DH's trail cam for proof) they came right back....even when we drove miles away.

My dad tried to board up the space under the house, but they usually just dug under or destroyed his creations.

They are trying to set up an alternative housing program on the back part of their property, so that at least if they insist on being there, they'll stop taking residence under the house. Dad half buried three or four 50 gallon drums on their side in the dirt in the back corner of their property, and threw some tuna/cat food in the back of them. My Mom thinks that all creatures (including the possum she found stowed away in her car..!!!!.. and the giant snake that curled up in their shoe basket) are wonderful and she has decided that she would love if they all came to live on their land. Oh dear.

Good luck OP!

Jun. 6, 2012, 10:40 AM
tuna, cat food and Apples make a good bait. Good Luck!!

Jun. 6, 2012, 11:07 AM
I had a skunk have babies near my barn and for awhile there were skunk babies everywhere in the morning. The only time one peed was when I scooped it with the muck rack to move it before it was stepped on by a horse and he just tinkled a little on the ground. I took some rags with ammonia and put then near the burrow and momma skunk moved them away.

Jun. 6, 2012, 01:26 PM
This is what I do for bait.

I get dog food, sprinkle a little outside the cage in front of the door a few not alot, and a little on the way to the back of the cage. I get cooked chicken diced (not canned), or turkey diced, and put a little pile in the back of the cage. I get a few baby carrots and slice those lengthwise in qtrs and put that in the back of the cage. I also will use shredded cheese, and this is really important, the smell will travel and be strong. Preferably a medium cheddar or sharp cheddar and do a sprinkling on top of the other stuff. A 1-2 tablespoons of each is good.

Once inside the cage the skunk will dig to china and mess the cage up alot.

I am not about to handle a skunk. Did you ever figure MAYBE somebody dumped it off at your place and that is how it got there? I have smelled SO MUCH skunk I am not about to let it out of the cage alive. Sorry.

Skunks can climb, and dig like nobody's business. Those long toe nails are not from a fancy nail salon.

Skunks can carry rabies, and their poop well I am sure there is all kinds of not so nice wormy things in there too. Not going to handle an animal, or want it around which may have rabies.

You can catch possums on the same food. They do love strawberries.

At first I used a small can of cat food, and opened it a bit and put it at the back of the cage. Well, the next day, the WHOLE CAN WAS GONE, and the cage was not tripped. So I used more canned cat food in the can and nobody ate it but the ants. So I would not use the ole favorite canned cat food, unless your skunk or possum or whatever is already eating it and is used to it. So if you want *my* gourmet style food, you have to come in the cage and step on the trigger. Also you can put food UNDER the trigger pad, either tossing some under it or better yet put it under the cage and set the cage on top of it. You may need to anchor the cage so it is not flipped over. I used rocks, or step in posts.

I caught a small ground hog on fresh strawberries, and 2 large marshmellows, one marshmellow I tossed down the hole so it could have a taste of what was in the cage. I did release this animal in a perfect place 10 miles away from here. The rabbit I caught, the cage was totally empty go figure, and it was released 3 miles away, into a corn field next to the elementary school.

The two coons were caught on fresh strawberries and dog food.

I caught a squirrel also on 2 large marshmallows, and horse feed. Tried peanut butter and I caught nothing. Ants loved it though.

Dog food is Blue Buffalo small bite.

If you know where their den is, set the trap right there. Knowing where they live is really a good thing to know. Remember you will smell skunk farts. Also the right dog or horse (or horse at least my horse did so) can tell you if somebody is in a den. During the day the dog/horse will say so.

My horse hated these bossy smelly little things. She put her nose right where the den was. I caught 3 skunks right there.

Luck be with you, be careful and be prepared when it is in the trap. IOW who will do the deed, who will remove it from the trap, where are you going to put the body. etc. You need to make sure NO HORSE or dog or cat or HUMAN is around to get hurt. Best time to shoot it is when it is asleep, that is during the day. If you unload the 10 bullet clip or place one correctly placed bullet into it's head, it is gonna smell regardless. The bigger the skunk the worse the smell. Once all are gone peace will be all around. It is safer to not have skunks around. We tossed ours so the buzzards enjoyed them. This was in Jan of this year so a welcome meal was nice for them. Oh, after you dump the body out of the cage, use a metal pitch fork to scoop up the body. I would use a mask on your face, and afterwards immediately bathe and wash your clothes. IOW remove clothes and toss right away into the wash. Watch what footwear you use too, and use disposable gloves. After the hype, reset the trap.

good luck!

Jun. 6, 2012, 02:44 PM
I feed the barn cats. last year they moved the area where they wanted me to feed, from the main barn, to the overhang area of the hay barn across an irrigation ditch at the back of the property. Unbeknowest to me, there was a family of 4 baby skunks living under a pallet there. When I would feed the cats, I had all 4 babies running up to the plate of food as I put it down. They never threatened to spray, and were right at my feet. they'd poke the cats in their side with their nose, to make the cats move away from the plate of food.

I moved back across the ditch and up to the main barn to start feeding the cats there, since the back hay barn had no light, and it was getting dark early. Skunks soon figured out new feeding place. I ended up stepping over one, that I thought was the black and white barn cat. Never sprayed.

They even learned to recognize my car. One day I arrived early hoping to avoid the skunks. I fed the cats, and as I drove down the driveway, one of the babies saw me driving away, as it was coming around the corner, and thought it missed out on dinner. It started running down the driveway after my car, like "WAIT!!! Come BACK". It was pretty funny.

Skunks usually have their own territory of about 30 acres, and when the skunks got a little older, they all left, so we only have the mom still there. Never tried to relocate them, as they do leave eventually, and they've never sprayed anyone or in the barn. Cats and horses are vaccinated for rabies.

Jun. 13, 2012, 09:40 AM
Oh joy. The baby skunks have "hatched". Saw 2 of them yesterday - no idea if thats it or if there are more of them around

Off today to get a trap. Yesterday while I was loading up hay out of the container that they are living under, I guess I disturbed them by walking around above them and got the definate "skunk fart" odours. Last thing I need is my hay stinking of skunk. They have GOT to go and live somewhere else ...