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How To Get Rid of Skunks

skunks

A skunk and her babies playing outside their hole into a home.
(Artwork by Sharon Davis. Contact us for her contact info.)

A couple in Maryland want to know how to get rid of skunk smell.  They had planned a weekend getaway in their log cabin.  The cabin was a few hours away from their home, but up in the mountains where they could relax and enjoy some peace and quiet, and get back to nature.  Unfortunately, nature got there first.

After several hours of packing, and then a long drive to the cabin, they finally arrived, only to be chased back outside by a horrible smell.  It was unmistakable.  Skunk.  At the time, they didn’t know if the skunk was still in the property or if it had just gotten in there temporarily to root around for food.  Obviously, though, something had disturbed it and it had let off its noxious spray into the enclosed space.

They weren’t sure how to get rid of a skunk or its odor, so they called wildlife control specialists to come out and take a look the next day.  They spent the night in the car and waited for the professionals to come out to inspect the property before they went inside again.  Skunks can be a carrier of rabies, they can bite or scratch if provoked, and they can certainly spray again.  They did not want to risk any of that.  Let the professionals handle it!

It was eventually determined that the skunk had left, but they still had to deal with the damage and odor.  A search around the outside of the log cabin revealed the skunk had entered through a hole in the foundation.  It was unclear whether it had burrowed through the foundation itself, or if it had merely taken advantage of a hole made by a raccoon or other creature.  It had nested inside the cabin for a while, made free with the couple’s food stores in the kitchen, and had been disturbed enough at some point to spray its noxious odor.

The smell was horrific, even though it wasn’t fresh.  They searched through the cabin and found that most of their belongings stored within had to be thrown away.  The smell had ruined mattresses, clothes, rugs, towels.  They had to get a special cleaning company to come out to clean the cabin and get rid of the smell.  They started tallying up the damage to the structure itself, including the hole through the foundation.  The cost started stacking up.

Unfortunately, their insurance company denied the claim and refused to pay for the damages.  It was hard not to think of the “what if’s.”  What if they had learned how to keep skunks out?  What if they had checked in on the cabin more regularly?  Or, what if they had been home, ignorant to the hole in their foundation, when the skunk had come in?  Things might have been even worse.

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