As some of you know, because I haven’t shut up about it for the last few weeks, we have our house on the market. It’s rough, not only because the market is rough, but because trying to pretend a house full of kids and animals is a pristine model home is an exercise in futility.
The furniture has some vestigial bite marks left over from Brody’s youth; the grass has some brown spots despite my best efforts; the walls have some stickers I haven’t managed to completely remove yet. However, those are things we can work with. These are workable.
The skunk, however, is not.
We’ve had a resident skunk for as long as I can remember living here. I believe it resides under the deck. Most of the time it’s not a big deal; he can’t be that bad if he’s never pegged Brody, because you know Brody would be all up in his business if he could be. I just get an occasional whiff in the evenings when I let the dogs out. No biggie.
However, the last few months he went nuts and sprayed all over the side of the house. It was bad. I wasn’t sure what to do. Over time, it’s lessened, and I thought we were in the clear. We had a realtor come by last week and he didn’t say anything, so I thought, well, maybe it’s not as bad as I thought.
“We have a skunk,” I told him. “Is that going to be a problem?”
“Don’t worry,” he responded.
Then the realtor came back over the weekend. I guess the skunk had made an epic return, because the realtor did an about-face and said, you need to do something about the skunk. He said, I can’t open the windows. And really, no matter how nice and clean your house is, a big noseful of skunk is enough to deep six any sale, unfortunately.
We made some calls. We were bounced around from animal control to exterminators before finally finding a licensed wildlife trapping service that is licensed through the state to carry out wildlife relocation services.
“We have two options,” the guy said. “We are only allowed by law to relocate within 50 yards of the place he was trapped,” which ruined my initial plan to relocate him to the yard of the person who complained about my Valentine’s Day matchboxes. “And if you put them down within 50 yards, they always come back.”
“What’s the other option?” I asked.
And you know, I just couldn’t. I mean, it is what it is, and we have this yard, and he lives in it, and barring the occasional whiff he hasn’t been a terrible roommate. And I just can’t bring myself to kill him in order to help us move.
So I told the realtor, who by now is probably beginning to regret his decision to work with a nutter like me, that he just has to keep the windows closed and hope the skunk is sleeping on the days we need to show. And that’s all I can think of to do.
Good for you!
I wouldnt do it either. You can get rid of the skunk, we had one at a foster home I used to work at. We put chicken wire all around the area where the skunk was, then let an opening with a special mesh tube that the skunk could get out of but would close and couldnt get back into. It worked great!
Dr. V says
That’s a really good idea. I’ll have to see if I can figure out how to do that. Thanks!
50 yards?! Someone with absolutely NO knowledge of any animals must have thought that one up! Gives you just enough time to build him a little condo under your deck before he comes back! I agree with you, though, not the right reason to euthanize him. Good luck, hopefully you’ll find the most animal friendly family in San Diego that finds your home just perfect for them!
50 yards?! Someone with absolutely NO knowledge of any animals must have thought that one up!
are you serious?! if that animal is a nusiance to you, do you really want to relocate it to be a nusciance to someone else?!
The law is written to eliminate nusiance animals.
I think the point is that there are places more friendly to wild animals than someone else’s house where it could be re-located, and more than likely these places are going to be more than 50 yards away in most cases.
ha! Build a condo 🙂 yea…. it seems like the law would say more than X amnt of miles away from residential area….
Sue W. says
“which ruined my initial plan to relocate him to the yard of the person who complained about my Valentine’s Day matchboxes”
I like Tabitha’s idea – except simpler. Relocate him the 50 yards, then block off the below the deck area. Chicken wire ain’t pretty but once you explain to a potential buyer *why* you’ve done this, (and if they understand wild animals at all) they will appreciate it. *Anything* living under the deck becomes a problem. If they die under there, if they drag “kills” under there…it all becomes an issue eventually.
Good luck and I respect your decision. My husband would never let me make one like it, but I respect it.
Dr. V says
If he lived in the yard and just not under the deck butting right up to it I think that would be fine. Good point.
That’s a hard one, you have my sympathy. I was going to say hire a cage and re-locate skunky more than 50 yards away. But transporting a scared, maybe angry, skunk in your vehicle would be a whole new set of problems. Perhaps you could trap him and tranquilize him with some doped food, and then move him to the bush. But yeah, I couldn’t kill him either. He is just being what he is.
Dr. V says
Oh, yes, I don’t think I want to take that task on myself. lol. We have an open space maybe 200 yards down the road, which would have been perfect, but c’est la vie.
Lisa W says
Wish you all the best with that. The skunk thanks you!
i’ve heard that playing a radio all night, preferably on a bible thumping type station (acccording to my southern friend), can keep them out. if the radio is on a talk station, they percieve it as people being there, and go elsewhere. a light would probably help, too. once s/he’s out, you can block access to the under deck area.
we had a couple of skunks that liked to ocme and eat the seed from under our bird feeders. when i turned the outside light on, they’d waddle over and pull themselves through the lattice fencing. they got so big, i was afraid their butts were going to be stuck in our yard, primed for spraying.
All kidding aside, I wonder if you could get your hands on pheromones that would entice your skunk to relocate on his own…..
Kate @ Savour Fare says
I’ve heard that placing mothballs around the perimeter of the property can help keep the skunks out. (We get them too, and unfortunately, Agnes thinks it’s her sacred duty to defend the homestead, especially against skunks). For a while, we had a possum living under the house, and the skunks were less prevalent.
Laura in KY says
This particular post reminds me why I love this blog, and you (even though I don’t know you!). I actually got a tear in my eye over your second-last paragraph. If that seems dumb, I blame it on the fact that I’ve been getting up at 3am for the last 2+ weeks. I’m tired, but that doesn’t change the fact that YOU ROCK.
Kristen Seymour says
Wow, what a horrible dilemma. I can’t imagine coming to any other conclusion — I’m right there with you. (And, in fact, this only makes me dig you more.) But I really do feel for you. What a tough position to find yourself in.
If you can lure the complainer of the Valentine’s adventure closer to your house…..box the sweet critter and give them the Valentine’s of a life time….
But, if you don’t wanna even contact this said sub-human, I think blocking any entrances at night when little skunky is out playing with his woman-folk, would definitely be the best answer. That way you are evicting him without any stress.
Good for you, Dr. V!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
as I have said before…. you rock! good decision; he is not life threatening just olfactory threatening! seriously….. could you dope him with some food and move him to the woods? or maybe he’ll behave himself while you are trying to sell….. let’s just hope your buyers will desire to live as harmoniously as you….. hang in there and keep us posted for sure!