Tag Archives: get rid of skunk

Skunk in the Window Well

skunk          Skunks are not good climbers, so when a skunk falls down into a window well, it can get stressed, dehydrated, panicked and then spray.  You may not even be aware you had a skunk in the window well, but when the smell hits you, you’ll figure out soon enough that you have a skunk problem.

A woman I know works at a hospital and often works the night shift.  She came home in the early hours one morning, stepped out of her car, and gagged on the smell of a fresh skunk spray.  Skunks have poor eyesight, which is ironic since they are nocturnal, and one had fallen down into a window well leading to the half-finished basement.  Unfortunately, her teenage son had been painting the walls of his soon-to-be-bedroom the evening before and had left the window slightly ajar.  It wasn’t wide enough to let in the animal, but the sharp, musky, oily scent of the spray got in.

My friend initially thought a skunk had gotten inside the house or was somehow in the basement, so they were afraid to go and investigate.  For hours, they tried to combat the stench, not realizing they had a skunk trapped in the window well.  Finally, the animal was discovered, and they figured out what must have happened.  But, what to do?  They wanted to help the skunk in the window well, but they didn’t want to risk getting hurt or sprayed.  Of course, they were concerned the skunk might have rabies, too, so there was no way they were going to approach it to try to help get it out of there.

My friend lowered a spare piece of wood they had lying around in the garage, hoping the animal would be able to climb out at an angle.  They had a bad moment when they were trying this, because the animal was skittish and panicky and turned around, lifting its tail as if to spray again.  Everyone ran for cover and the plan was abandoned.  After a while the skunk tried to walk up the lumber, but the angle was still too steep and it couldn’t make it out on its own.

Exhausted, after working all night and coming home to a stench and a mess and a wild animal in the window well, my friend finally gave up trying to handle the problem on her own.  She made a call to Allstate Animal Control, and they sent someone out to take a look at the problem and remove the skunk.  They even knew how to get the skunk smell out of the basement.  Of course, my friend got window well covers installed, and now so do I.  I don’t want to ever go through that kind of drama.

Get Rid of Skunk

Kids are hilariously unpredictable, and creative, so I didn’t panic when my six year-old son marched in the house from the back yard and proclaimed, “We need to get rid of a skunk!”  I thought it was a new game that he and his five year-old sister made up.  So, I played along for a while.

“A skunk, huh?  Well, how do you think we should get rid of a skunk?”

He thought about it seriously for a little while.  He must have considered the latest super hero cartoon episode he’d watched, because he decided zapping it with a laser gun was the best solution.

“Well, that’s not a bad idea, but what if you missed the skunk and shot the house?  Then, our house would fizzle and smoke.  Maybe you should think of some other way to get rid of a skunk?”

My son nodded sagely at my counterargument, remained silent for a while, and then suggested a more mundane, but equally dangerous solution.

“We could just shoot it with a gun.”

“Uh, I’m not sure that’s the best way to do it, son.  We’re not supposed to shoot anything in our neighborhood.  We might miss and hurt somebody.”

“Oh, right.  That wouldn’t be good,” he agreed.  “I’ll go think about it for a little while.”

Only ten minutes passed and my son was back to play the game some more with me.  He handed me a blue print that would have made MacGyver proud.  It involved digging a huge hole with some sharp sticks at the bottom, a couple of trip wires strung around our back yard, and, for some reason, an alien from outer space.  I looked it over carefully, keeping a straight face.  “Son, you have really worked hard on this plan to get rid of a skunk.  I’m very proud of you.  Now, where do you think we can get an alien?”

“Can’t we buy one at the store?”

“That depends.  Is it a real alien from outer space, or just a toy.”

“Well, it’s a real alien.  His job is to make skunk noises and get the skunk to come over to investigate, trip over a wire and fall in the hole.”

“I see, son.  You’ve really thought this through.”  Plus, I was inwardly impressed a kindergartner correctly used the word “investigate.”

“Maybe the store doesn’t have aliens,” he suggested.  “I’ll have to think of another way to get the skunk to go in the hole.”

Just then, my daughter, who was still playing in the back yard, screamed.  I looked out the window just in time to see her holding the door to the shed wide open, and a black and white creature run across our lawn.  This was no game.  My son was right.  We had to get rid of a skunk!

Ushering my daughter back inside, I gave up all thoughts of blueprints and aliens and laser guns and trip wires.  I told my son there was a special number we could call when we need to get rid of a skunk.  He agreed that calling Allstate Animal Control was probably the best (and easiest) course of action.

Skunk in the House

It took forever for us to figure out we had a skunk in the house.  It shouldn’t have taken us that long, but you have to understand we live in a duplex, and we’ve had problems with our neighbors for years.  Now, we’re not the ritziest people.  We work hard, though.  I work two jobs and my boyfriend does construction work, so he can either be working a 16 hour day for three days in a row, or have no work for a week.  On the days he’s not working, he’ll pick up odd jobs and fix up houses and stuff.  We made some bad choices a couple of years back, so we have some real serious debts to pay off, and we want to put money down on a new house.  That’s why we work so much, so we can pay off the debt, buy a house, get married and start a family, maybe.


But the people that live next door are a nightmare.  They throw all-night parties, people coming and going until 3 or 4 in the morning.  Makes it kind of hard when I get home at ten at night and have to be up again at six.  They throw their trash out on the front lawn.  Never even makes it to the garbage can.  It’s just junk and stuff rotting or rusting.  Makes it embarrassing when we have our friends over, because they have to walk next to that.  I think they have to have mice or something nesting in that garbage, though, which is probably how we ended up with a skunk in the house.


Sure, we’ve complained.  The guy who owns the duplex doesn’t really care, though.  He’s got tenants that pay regular rent, so that’s that.  Yeah, he’s talked to them a couple of times, but it doesn’t look like anyone’s going anywhere.  We can’t move out fast enough, if you ask me.


We weren’t all that surprised when we started smelling a new awful smell.  Took us a while to figure out what it was, though.  We just assumed it was more garbage, or something had died or something.  Then, one morning, I was headed out to work around six, when I saw the black and white cat-sized animal come out of a hole in the wall, right behind the gas meter.  That’s when I realized we have a skunk in the house.  The meters are kind of in between the two duplexes, so it’s hard to tell whether it’s on our side or not.  I don’t care.  We can all smell it, and it can probably get into either side.


I called my husband from work, since he didn’t have a job that day, and told him all about it.  He called the landlord, who promised to get Allstate Animal Control out there to get rid of the skunk in the house.  I hope so.  If only we could ask them to get rid of the neighbors at the same time.



Skunk Control

“Dad!  Dad!  Dad!  Call Skunk Control right now!!  There’s a skunk in the house!”

I was working at home, because my wife was really sick today and was resting in our darkened bedroom with a cool washcloth over her eyes.  To be honest, I hadn’t really needed to stay home.  Our two girls are twelve and ten, and can pretty much take care of themselves, but they still needed someone to drive them to and from school, and I wanted to be available to get whatever my wife needed.  She rarely got sick.  In fact, the last time she was this sick was over three years ago.  But, I liked to really pamper her and take worries off her mind so that she could get well quickly.  She is the rock of our family, and we just don’t function very well without her.

So, when I heard my twelve year-old daughter, Kenzie, yelling about skunk control, I rushed right out of the home office.  “Shhhh!  Don’t wake your mom!  Now, show me what you’re talking about.”

My ten year old, Baylee, was holding her phone up, recording the whole thing.  “This is sooo cool!” she grinned.

“Dad.  It’s in the kitchen.  You have GOT to call skunk control right now.”

I started to walk towards the kitchen, my two pre-teen girls trailing behind me, alternating between squeaking with alarm, shushing each other, and giggling with excitement.  Ah, to be young again.

But, when I opened the kitchen door, it was skunk-free.  Kenzie jumped up into a nearby chair, squealing as softly as she could, “Where is it?  Where is it?”  Baylee just kept recording.

I picked up a broom and started walking from room to room.  Kenzie had jumped down from her perch to trail me, along with my video-recording Baylee.  There!  It huddled in the living room, tucked between the loveseat and side table.  I froze, unsure of what to do next, as Kenzie whispered, “Don’t scare it, Dad.  It’ll spray.”  That’s exactly what had been going through my mind.  If it sprayed in here, we would have to replace everything from the carpet to the furniture to the drapes.

The skunk caught sight of us, and decided it had enough.  It walked across the living room floor, bold and waddling its behind at us, as if to say it wasn’t worried about us at all.  The three of us followed at a distance, but I knew we’d all get sprayed if it decided it had to defend itself.  It was heading back towards the kitchen, so I urgently whispered to Kenzie that she needed to go the other way, back into the kitchen before it got there, and open up the door to the garage.  “Now!” I urged her.  She took off, threw the door open, and got out of the way just as the skunk walked into the garage.

“Baylee, give me your phone.”

“But, Dad, I’m still filming.”

“Baylee, give me the phone.  It’s time to call skunk control.”

As she did, my wife called down the stairs.  “Honey, what’s going on?”

“Nothing!” I yelled out, as I glared at my daughters, willing them to stay silent on the matter.  Skunk control would take care of this first, and then I’ll let my wife know.

Skunk Removal

I know, I know, if I’d taken the time to clean out the barn, I wouldn’t have to worry about skunk removal.  But, what’s done is done.  There, amongst the broken lawn mower, the old bag of dog food that I’d forgotten about, a couple of empty gas cans and all the random stuff we carted out of our newly remodeled home, lives a skunk.  It’s bigger than a poodle and fluffy, and it most definitely does not want to move out of my barn.

Usually, I take extra care to winterize our entire property.  As fall is ending and the cold weather sets in, I take care of everything, including giving the lawn a last good mow, placing tree stakes near all the trunks, cutting back the roses and cleaning out the barn before making sure the house is ready for the cold months ahead.

Things were a little different this last year.  Our last child graduated high school and then headed off to college.  We had the house to ourselves.  My wife was determined to remodel, and I think it had more to do with combating empty-nest syndrome than a desperate need to have a new master bath, but I was happy to comply.  College doesn’t come cheap, so we did most of the work ourselves, which made for an extremely busy fall.  It never occurred to me that skunk removal would be the consequence to ignoring my normal self-imposed duties.

But, here I am, standing in the doorway of my barn, dressed in a cheap hazmat-like suit purchased at the hardware store, armed with a net on the end of a long pole.  As the skunk turns and tries to burrow its way deeper into the debris littering the barn, I realize a net is probably not the best skunk removal tool.  I realize I am standing at a crossroads of choices – either press forward into the dark recesses of the barn chasing after this odorous animal, or back out gracefully and get a professional trapper who is experienced at skunk removal.  I’m a man, and I assume I can do it myself, so I press forward carefully.

In the dim light, I become aware of little brown pellets littering the floor, especially around the bag of forgotten dog food.  I realize the sorry state of my barn gave it a perfect place to hole up for the winter, and the dog food and rodents provided an excellent food source.

I stop, aware of a scrabbling noise on my right.  I can just make out the form of the skunk as it tries to squeeze itself further out of sight, and I approach carefully, stretching out my net.  Suddenly, the skunk whirls around and lifts its tail, and I realize I made the wrong choice trying to remove the skunk by myself.  But, by now, it is too late, and I can only hope the weak respirator I wear and the cheap paper covering I wear over my clothes will keep the worst of the skunk spray off of me as I run out of the barn.