Skunk-pocalypse 2018

In the midst of our skunk problem, I wouldn’t have used the terms “skunkpocalypse” or “skunktastrophe” because it was no laughing matter. Now that I’ve got a little distance from the issue, it does in fact seem funny on some level!

You see, in mid-February (which, it turns out, is peak skunk shenanigans season), a wild skunk moved in under our basement crawlspace and began making our lives a living hell by waging chemical warfare on our entire house.

I wish I was exaggerating. The stench was so bad, y’all.

She would usually let loose with a spray around 2 am and sometimes again around 4 am. It woke you out of a dead sleep. Our bedroom is two full floors up from our basement crawlspace, and the stench was still so bad that it burned your eyes and throat. It literally made you gag and retch. It was THE WORST!

We are the world’s biggest animal lovers, so our first thought was to put out a live trap and then gently move her to a nature preserve or other “safe” place out in the wild. But the more we read about skunks and skunk problems, the more we realized we were in over our heads. For one thing: you can’t release a wild skunk out into the wild without risk of a hefty fine, as they are considered nuisance animals.

So, we enlisted the help of a professional critter trapper, and they added two more live traps to the one we already had out. They used better bait and said we’d have her in no time… but our skunk proved to be VERY smart. That’s why I call it a “her”! It turned out that we didn’t need to trap and move her – just putting multiple traps out around her hole was enough to dissuade her and she took off for fairer pastures.

Once she was gone, E was able to spray her burrow with a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to neutralize the odor and then bury wire mesh along the wall of our basement to cover the hole and prevent future shenanigans. This is what wildlife experts recommend – rather than trapping and removing a skunk (which doesn’t prevent future skunks from coming to wreak havoc again), it’s better to shore up your home so there’s no reason or way for a skunk to move in.

Boy, are we glad she left on her own – and that the stink in our home finally subsided, thanks to putting bowls and pans of white vinegar all around the place. I’m also glad that she can’t come back and move in under our house again anytime in the future. Skunks are adorable little critters and I would never want to harm one – but I can tell you that the odor problem was bad enough that I was willing to resort to just about anything to get rid of it!

Have you ever had a skunk problem at your house? If so, you know exactly how bad it can be – and why I’m celebrating that our skunk moved on!

About the author

Proud and loving midlife mama. Lucky and devoted wife. Dog, cat and snake mom. Travel nut. Writer since birth. PR and social media pro by day - tattoo doula by night.

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