Apparently skunks have taken up residence under the tackroom in my barn. Normally I love nature, I even like skunks. But the little jerks are tunneling under my barn floor (which is dirt and sand) and making it collapse into giant craters. I wasn't sure what it was today until I stepped down, sunk through the dirt into another tunnel and smelled the very unmistakable smell of skunk. Strong enough to make me ill.
So obviously trapping and relocating is not an option. I am not going to shoot them (with my eyesight, I'm not safe with a gun!). How can I get rid of them?
I believe I read they do not like mothballs; you could try
sprinkling those into the tunnels. Of course, they don't
smell much better than a skunk. We did live trap the
one who was living under our front porch and had the
township chairman come and remove the tenanted
livetrap. He put a tarp over the trap and loaded it
into his pickup. Skunk did not spray. Don't know where
he took it but it didn't come back.
A couple weeks back I learned a skunk had built a nest under a hay pallet in my barn. With the front end loader of the tractor I moved the hay, exposed the skunk then turned on the water hose with a nozzle that creates a strong pressure spray and blasted the skunk. It has not returned. So maybe if you could get a dog to flush out your skunk you could try water blasting it.
Don't bother trying relocation. They will come back a number of miles, and you're just transferring your problem to another hunting area for other skunks and predators. Once you get rid of them please try to block off the entrances they used (hopefully there is a limited number that you can block off). If anything gets skunked then use the gel toothpaste (one large tube per big dog, and they're minty fresh after) or the usual liquid detergent, peroxide, baking soda mixture. You will also need to wash any fabric (saddle blankets etc) after they leave too or you'll smell it forever. Unfortunately, skunks will come back year after year unless the access is blocked, but of course every animal wants a nice place to live and raise young so you have to eliminate the skunks or else have this happen over and over.
A friend of ours found a skunk kit in his garage. He easily capture it and we started calling him the"skunk whisperer" He did turn it over to the local wildlife rescue who then called the "skunk man" Jerry Dragoo who id'ed the skunk as a rare spotted skunk. Dragoo has a website to help out skunks. dragoo.org
We had this problem a few years ago. Tried mothballs and flooding, neither worked. Got some fox urine from the feed store (Callahan's if you have occasion to be in Austin, cowgirljenn), sprayed it around the holes where we'd seen them coming and going. THAT worked!
Yes, leave door WIDE open and play the loudest heavy metal music you can find.
I also had them take up residence under my hay pallets, so I got informed via the wonderful internet and they do hate loud noises. I had the radio boom box on the loudest it would go on the wildest heavy metal music station there is in our area. You could play a cd too. Leave the area open and make sure their leaving will not be impeded by any person or dog or cat. THEN you must find where they are coming in and fix it right away.
If you can not get rid of them, this would be the time to pay a pro to come out and remove them.
I have had them spray in the barn many times. Then the barn is off limits for a long long time. I put a hot wire on the outside of the barn and left a door open where they were coming in, and made it low enough for them to not be able to go under, and one wire high enough for them not to be able to jump, but an open invitation for them to come on in, and be ZAPPED. This has also worked well.
The do leave at dusk, come on home in the morning. Read up on them. You can put lime of flour down to see them leave. But I have not been able to see foot prints in the lime I have put down. I have tried all tricks.
The music was the best after many trails and errors on getting them out for good. Place music in there right away, and leave everything wide open, play day and night if you must lots of bass, and really close to where they are. But get their entrance and exit closed up right away when you know they are gone. They will let you know they are there by their warning scratching and also they will let out a little skunk fart and you will smell it if they are there. HATE those things!
We had a Momma and six babies living under the shop this spring. I didn't try the music idea but that might work. If not you can hire someone to shot them but it is crazy expensive and we have gun so we just did it ourselves. The babies came out during the day so they were easy but the Momma he had to wait around for.
Trapping is not out of the question...I'm not the expert on this, but you can trap them and then cover the trap with a dark blanket--supposedly they won't spray in the dark. BUT--do NOT relocate wildlife, it is illegal in many areas. I really like the fox urine idea, tho hopefully I'll never need it.
I figured if we trapped them, we would call a wildlife rehabber/relocator to find out what to do. I wasn't going to go dump them to become someone else's problem.
We bought something at Lowe's designed to deter unwanted small animals. I forget what it is called, I'm calling it Skunk Away. It smells horrid. I think I'm going to run an extension cord out there (no power to the barn yet) and blast loud music, too, and probably put out some bright lights.
I haven't smelled them since we put out the Skunk Away, but that doesn't 100% mean they've moved on. I don't always smell them....
Fortunately they're not IN the tackroom itself (it has a wood floor) but underneath it. So they're not spraying tack and such.
If you call a rehabber they are not likely to help as you trapped a healthy skunk. We've enough to do taking care of orphaned and injured without dealing with nuisance animals. Honest - we love them all but we are busy volunteers.....Rehabbers prefer exclusion over trapping.
So get some fox urine (hunting section) and apply liberally. And put some of the urine on sticks and chuck them down into the hole/openings.
The alternative is the use of a male friend, hubby or boyfriend. Can't tell you how often THAT works