There are many stories in this world about people getting sprayed by skunks, most of the time it’s because they accidentally frightened a skunk or they just tried to shoo it away and got a face full of spray. Unfortunately for me, the reason I was sprayed with a skunk was due to my own stupidity.
As an avid photographer, I leap at every chance I get to build my portfolio. Of course, this means that on occasion I am often put in precarious situations in order to get the best shot possible. Often times I have to get fairly up close and personal with the subject of my photos, and as you can imagine that can be a little hazardous when it comes to wild animals.
One morning while I was eating my disgustingly healthy oatmeal, I was looking out my glass back doors when a small movement in the corner of my eye caught my attention. Now not to brag, but I have a beautifully lush garden that is always perfect for taking pictures. So when a wild animal wanders into my small slice of garden of Eden, I always take advantage and snap a few pictures. I grabbed my camera and flung open my back door, eager to get a few shots in before the thing moved along. As I crept up, I saw the iconic black tail with a white stripe down the center. It was a skunk! I was beyond ecstatic, not very many photographers were brave enough to try and capture photographs of skunks, but they were beautiful animals and I couldn’t wait to snag a pic.
I slowly edged my way forward so as not to scare the skunk away. I brought my camera to my face and began to snap away, still edging ever so slowly towards the skunk. Unfortunately, now that my focus was on the camera and not on the ground, I made the fatal mistake of stepping on a stick. *SNAP* The skunk whirled its butt towards me, and before I knew it, Pepe la Pew’s cousin had doused me with foul smelling liquid. I stank for weeks after the encounter, lucky for me, I got the shot.
On more than one occasion, I’m sure you’ve heard the term urban, so what does it mean? The definition of urban says “relating to, or characteristic of a city or town” So now I want to present an idea to you, the readers. One that you may be unfamiliar with. Urban Wildlife. Maybe you’ve heard this term before, maybe you haven’t. But I’m here to talk a little about what urban wildlife is, and how it affects you. Urban wildlife can be found anywhere that supports human life. Just in case you aren’t sure what some good examples are, raccoons, rats, pigeons, mice, and squirrels could all be considered urban wildlife. Think about how often you’ve seen raccoons digging through the dumpster in a back alley, or a squirrel snitching some food off of the ground in front of a trendy food truck. Many people wouldn’t consider this wildlife, in fact, to many people they are simply vermin. You even see animals like deer attempting to cross a busy road, so now I’ve got you thinking, what has this got to do with me? Well, pal, I’ve got news for you, you play a major part in this whole urban wildlife mess.
An increase in the number of wildlife encounters you have could come from a number of factors. A few of those reasons could be habitat loss, noise or light pollution, pollution, or invasive species. This could mean you run into more less than friendly faces while you’re out and about during the day. Fortunately, there are ways you can help minimize the damage this might cause. You can start by locking all of your outdoor garbage cans. This might not seem like a large thing, but having a source for food could draw more unwanted pests. You should also regularly dispose of fallen fruit, use spill-proof birdfeeders, and keep your pets indoors at night. This will do a lot to protect your property. Remember, most of these animals have adapted to be able to handle human encounters, so don’t be afraid to call for extra back up from trained professionals if things get out of hand.
I’m no different than any other 17 year old girl. I go to school, hang out with my friends, go to the occasional party (where there’s parent supervision of course), and I work. Of course my job isn’t typical of a 17 year old. Most of my friends work in the fast food business, or even at a mall or some kind of clothing store. Now don’t get me wrong, I love food and I love clothes, but I would never want to work there. When people ask me about my job I usually tell them I’m a personal assistant for a private contractor. It’s just easier to say that instead of explaining what I actually do. I have the coolest job ever. It’s never boring, and it gives me the most insane stories to tell!
I’ve done everything from wrestling snakes, to saving baby birds! You get so much knowledge from a job like this. You learn all about problem solving. People always have problems like raccoons stuck in their chimneys, skunks in their window well, or even snakes under their porch! Can you even imagine your surprise if you walked out onto your porch one day to see a three foot long blow snake sitting on your porch?! Well, in my experience, not very many people would be very excited about that. Now you may be thinking, what kind of 17 year old girl finds this kind of job entertaining?
I’ve never been the kind of girl who screams when she sees a spider or a snake. I was the girl who was wrestling around with the guys and looking for snakes to take home for the weekend. Now, you would never classify me as the girl who works as a part time trapper. I wear high heels at least three times a week, I never leave the house without my eyebrows filled in. But after school you can catch me crawling under porches, into attics, and even down chimneys in order to catch invasive wildlife! In fact, my favorite part of the job is helping people restore their homes to the peaceful ways they were before the animals invaded. After all, no one wants to hear bats in the attic, raccoons in the chimney, or skunks under the house! Which is why I get so much joy in helping people solve all of their wildlife problems. After all, it’s just another day in the life for me.
My favorite story growing up, was the story my mom would tell about my grandma letting a skunk in the house. Some background on my Grandma Loo, she was partially blind from shooting accident with her brother in her teens. She also had a large black cat with (as my mom would say) a tail so long a fluffy you could wear it like a boa when you held her in your arms. Her, my grandfather, and my mom lived on a few acres outside of Midway, Utah, where they raised a few cows, pigs, goats, horses, and chickens. CoCo (the cat) would stay outside most of the day and night, but would come in if she ever got scared or during storms.
For a few weeks, they were having trouble with raccoons breaking into the chicken pen and killing hens so Pop had set out some traps to catch the critters and keep them away from the chickens. Mom would tell me the trap was useless sitting there bone dry without any sort of bait in it, how would they catch any animals in it? So when she saw Pop getting frustrated over the lack of animals in the traps, she decided to use some canned chicken to bait the trap and help her dad. The problem is, she didn’t realize that he hadn’t baited the trap because Loo would’ve killed him if he trapped her precious kitty.
Now, I’m sure you can imagine what happened the night after mom baited the trap – Grandma was sitting in her rocking chair doing I can’t remember what, when she heard the trap outside snap shut and could all of a sudden smell skunk. Worried that CoCo was sprayed she opened the door to bring her cat inside, and luckily she was standing right on the porch. Grandma couldn’t get her to come inside, so she opened a can of chicken and left it with the door cracked so she could come in when she wanted and then went to get Pop and tell him the trap had caught something. When he checked the traps, what he found was grandma’s favorite cat hunched angrily inside and canned chicken on her whiskers. Grandma Loo was of course startled when he told her because, “she had just let CoCo inside. Panicked, they searched the house high and low until they found who grandma thought was CoCo. A large skunk, curled up with it’s tail raised, was hissing defensively inside of the pantry. Of course, my mom was in trouble for baiting the trap, Loo gave Pop the silent treatment for trapping her kitty, and it took Pop all night to get the skunk out of the house using a trail of anchovies and canned chicken.
I live in a ranch house in a residential neighborhood and have smelled skunk for some time – about a year off and on. However, it has been really bad this year. I leave my windows open because right now my central a/c needs repaired. The smell was so bad a couple of months ago that it woke me up and I had to leave my bedroom. I do have an old shed at the bottom of my yard and the skunk(s) might be under there. The hole was once occupied by a groundhog this past year, but it is gone. There are numerous ways an animal could take up residency underneath the shed. I also have a pile of tree branches and weeds near the shed as I have been trying to clean up my yard. I threw out some bird feed in the grass to attract some birds to entertain my indoor house cat. Last evening, my cat jumped off my lap and made a beeline to my screen door. When I looked out, I saw a skunk walk by. This evening, I closed the door to the screen. When I turned the back porch light on, there was a skunk – about 3 feet from the door eating the seed that I had thrown out a couple of days ago. I have no decks nor porches around my house – just a small cement stoop outside my back door. I have a mature asparagus bed, a two large maple trees (one in front and one in the back) of my yard. Also, bushes around the house and hydrangeas. And I am trying to start a “lasagna” garden with compost (this is near the front of my shed). I have not checked my lawn for holes. I do have a chipmunk and I know that he has burrowed some holes, but these holes are small. I am very concerned and I know that I cannot take care of this problem. My neighbor behind me has a small deck with a small pond, bamboo and oriental grasses, flowers etc… A row of evergreen bushes (around 20 feet high) separate our yards. The neighbors to my right have a wooden shed too. They also have a small pile of wood/junk in the middle of their yard. Their property is not kept very well. So a skunk would have a heyday in any of these back yards – ! including mine. I fear going in my backyard or even front yard once darkness falls. I was afraid to put out my garbage tonight. I just want to rid my yard of these pests, please help!
We have skunks under our house, do you know how to take care of that? If you said no, then we’re on the same page and this can be like a little AA meeting: Hi, I’m Amber and I have a skunk problem. But, then again, if you said yes we are not on the same page; you are chapters ahead of me; please help. My husband is in the Air Force so he’s currently stationed in Turkey for the next two months, or I’m sure he would know how to deal with this. He’s been doing his best to coach me over skype, but I’m just not a woman that was made to deal with this sort of thing. You give me a set of numbers and I’m all over it, you give me a puzzle I LOVE it; but you give me anything that matters in real time, I’m stumped. I’m school smart, not street smart; I don’t like it but I can admit to it.
Okay, I’m off track: the skunk. So a couple of weeks, or maybe even a month, ago a skunk sprayed somewhere off behind my yard and I didn’t think much of it, except I was a little upset that I would have to smell skunk for the next few weeks. But then, Friday night when I got home (it was a little late), I saw something run around the back corner of my house and that night the skunk smell was a little bit more potent than it had been since the skunk first sprayed. I called my husband the next morning and he told me to check around the house and see if anything looked out of place. I did a lap of the perimeter and noticed a fairly sized hole tucked right into the corner where the deck meets the outer wall of the house. I’ll admit, I panicked a little bit at the thought of a skunk living under my house, but Jess (sorry, that’s my husband – Jesse) told me to wait until it was dark outside and then I could probably fill the hole and not have any problems with it.
When you don’t know much about what you’re doing, you just follow directions so that night around 10, I took some fertilizer I had in the shed and poured it into the hole until I felt like it was good and filled. Sunday morning I woke up feeling very proud of myself and went to check my good work, except it wasn’t nearly as good as I thought it was. In fact, it was so NOT good that I buried the skunk under the house, and he or she (I don’t discriminate) dug their way up and out, which meant I still had a problem. That night I could definitely tell something was back under the house, so I called Jesse in the morning and told him what happened. He wants me to trap it but let’s be honest, if I couldn’t work dirt I won’t be able to work a trap. I know he doesn’t want me to call someone for help, but I don’t want to do this myself and I can’t realistically wait for Jesse to come home and do it. I need help!
There are two skunks living under the deck in my backyard and I need for someone to get rid of them. They’ve burrowed a hole down underneath the deck and you can hear them down there right around dusk scuffling around. There haven’t been any instances where they’ve sprayed and caused a problem with smell – although there is definitely a skunky tang to the air around the deck especially early in the morning. I realize that you probably think if they’re not spraying and causing any harm why can’t I just leave them there, but I hope any rational person would understand my dilemma of needing them gone without any further explanation.
The real problem is my granddaughter. My daughter leave little Alyssa with me when she goes to work in the morning and we spend the day together. She loves to be outside and will play through all hours of the night if I let her, and I used to entertain her energy and enthusiasm but now I’m too worried about the skunks under the deck to let her play outside without careful supervision. I don’t want them to crawl out from under the deck and spray or attack my sweet girl. She’s so innocent and sweet she still tries to pet every animal she sees so that’s a very real concern for me. I just want to protect her.
I’m in a pretty residential area or I would have my husband take care of this problem himself. I assume trapping them will be fairly easy; they walk the same small path every night when they leave and the only way they can access the deck is through one small hole. But, if I trapped them myself I’d have no clue what to do with them. I need help. Help protecting my home and my grandbaby!
There is a skunk in my yard and he is at war with my dogs. It started about two weeks ago after we had about 3 days of hard rain. The skunk was denning underneath our shed out back, and I think that the rain may have flooded it out which is why we’re just now seeing activity from it. The problem is that now that it’s out it is wandering around our property and we have two small dogs. Needless to say the two types of animals do NOT get along.
Even though I know the skunk is out and about, the sightings are scattered. We will smell him long before we see him, especially with the dogs. It has been a nightmare dealing with it, if we let them out and forget to watch them they’ll be long gone, chasing after the skunk before we realize it and can stop them. In two weeks, they have each been sprayed twice; the hydrogen peroxide and baking soda are practically all gone from using them so much and I can still smell the skunk lingering in their fur. I’m not even sure if the skunk is in the yard or if it’s hiding out under the shed still. I know that when I let the dogs out the immediately head for the foundation of the shed, but they just sniff and don’t usually bark or scratch. When they see the skunk, though, they go absolutely bananas!
We need help getting rid of this thing. The skunk is turning our backyard into a war zone, world war three is happening: dogs vs. skunk! I’ve looked up skunk traps and skunk repellents, but it seems unlikely to me that they would help get the skunk out of my yard for good. I’d rather have him trapped and relocated so that I know he’s gone. I need a professional skunk trapper and I don’t even know if that’s a real job!
I’ve been a mailman for about thirty years now, and boy let me tell you about some of the things you see. And it’s not just the people, either! I’ve seen my fair share of home drama, yelling, throwing lamps, and storm outs; but it’s the encounters with animals that I’ll never forget. At this point I’m surprised they don’t train you in animal control as well as package identification! Beyond dogs and cats, I’ve seen raccoons, bats, mice, and a load of other wild animals.
The most common ones (for me at least) are the snakes, especially during the hotter months. They’ll lay themselves out on sidewalks, driveways, and even porches. When I was a Boy Scout I learned to identify most of the snakes in my area, so I can always tell whether or not they’re poisonous, but the people inside the house aren’t as capable. Once, when I was delivering a package that needed a signature, a big ol’ bull snake was out sunning himself on the porch. Well when the young miss from the house opened the door and got a look at him, she screamed so loud I just about dropped the package, then she fell unconscious right in front of me!
Another time, I was trying to deliver quite a large package but no one was answering the door so I opened the screen to leave a note with the date and time I came and a bat flew down and hit me square in the head! I guess it had been sleeping between the screen door and the front door and I had woken it up with my door bell ringing. I even got sprayed by a skunk once! I was walking down the steps after dropping off some mail and out of nowhere (but actually from under the stairs), a skunk sprayed everywhere. I guess I had spooked it from stomping around, who knows? All I know is after all of these years, I definitely consider myself a well-rounded expert on both mail delivery, and wildlife.
We have skunks in our yard, I don’t know where they came from but they’re always there. There was a time for about three of the four years that we’ve lived here that I couldn’t go less than a week without seeing a skunk in close proximity to the house. We’ve had to go out of our way to keep our black lab inside when possible and watch him closely when he’s outside. He is a big dog, he wants to be outside ALL THE TIME. And even though he’d already been sprayed twice, he still chased the skunks when he sees them.
Last year was the worst of our skunk problems; they dug a hole under our deck and began to live there. Luckily there was never an incident where they sprayed under the house, but you could definitely detect the skunk odor when you were outside and in the front room. Eventually it went away and for a while there was a bit of a rotting smell, but soon after it dissipated and we assumed that one of the skunks had died and the others had evacuated the hole under the deck. We were kind of hoping that that would be the end of the problem.
Obviously, we were wrong. For about six to seven months the coast was clear and everything was normal, but earlier this week we started to smell skunk in our yard again. We prayed that it was just a fluke thing, that one had just passed through the neighborhood and nothing more would come of it. Well last night as I took the trash out a skunk crossed my path. Right there, in the middle of the driveway it fluffed up its tail, hissed, stared at me for a moment, and then trotted away. I don’t want to risk having them under the porch again, someone help!