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  • Skunks!

    I have a skunk, or at least I'm pretty sure it's a skunk, that's eating at my garden. I want to kill him, or at least drive him away. Ideas? Shooting isn't too much of an option, considering I live in a neighborhood, and I don't think I could handle the stress of live-trapping. Poison? If so, what would lure a skunk but not neighborhood pets? Some nonlethal "poison"? Habanero spray, something like that?

  • #2
    I just got done eliminating a skunk from my garden two weeks ago. I used a muskrat trap. After the critter was caught, I used my .22 pistol which was loaded with bird-shot shells. The bird-shot shells virtually guarantee that surrounding homes are in no danger, as the shot is really only effective up to about 15 feet.
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    • #3
      I worked animal control for a year and we moved many skunks from suburban and urban home sites. The key to getting them without the stink is to use a box trap, like the Havahart but made from solid wood. They won't spray when enclosed but if you get them in a wire cage trap, you'll know it! Use canned cat food as a bait. Before relocating any trapped animal, take a quick peek inside to make sure you've got the desired animal and not the neighbor's house cat.

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      • #4
        Skunks seem to like my pancakes while cats do not.

        As crazy as it sounds, and it did to me when someone told me to do this, if you stay calm and slow moving, while heeding warning signs of spraying, you can seriously pick up the trap with the skunk, I put them in a wheelbarrow as my hives are far from my driveway, wheel them to your car, put the trap in your car and drive carefully to a proper location to release, all WITHOUT getting sprayed. I put a towel over the cage, but really, skunks do not want to give up their "spray" and give plenty of warnings, unless they are totally caught off guard and surprised.

        Just an alternative to the .22, which I prefer, except I have a special fondness for skunks, even when they are raiding my hives.

        Kellys, did you explain somewhere how you make your snares, I seem to remember you did.

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        • #5
          I put moth balls into ziplock bags and place them underneath my woodpile. The smell of mouth balls is so strong that the skunks smell it inside of the bag and stay away. I have not tried it in the garden but it might work. I have also trapped them with a Havahart trap. After I catch them I walk very slowly towards the cage holding up a tarp in front of me and then slowly cover the cage with the tarp. If want to kill it lower the cage into a trash can full of water. If you want release it put it in the back of a pickup truck covered with the tarp and drive it out to the country. Leave the tarp on the trap when you open it so that the skunk canít see you and then RUN!

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          • #6
            hi beehappy, I am pretty sure this is the link you were thinking of. This thread talks about garden pests other than skunks - - squirrels and raccoons.

            http://forums.seedsavers.org/showthr...ht=racoon+trap

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            • #7
              If you spot a skunk on your property before it sets up house, it can be "shooed" away. A couple of weeks ago there was a skunk in our yard, heading for the house. It was late in the afternoon - not the usual time for a skunk to be active, but there was large farm machinery nearby that may have scared it into action. My husband and I made a bunch of racket, waving our arms around wildly and clapping our hands. I don't think skunks have very good vision as we were able to get about 20 feet from it. As soon as it started stamping the back feet and lifting the tail, we would back off. It would turn and move a bit further away. We kept at this until it was heading off to greener pastures. It hasn't been back since - it probably thought we were wacko and wanted a nicer neighborhood to settle down in. ;>)

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              • #8
                My problem with shooting in the neighborhood is one of legality, not safety: I know my way around a gun well enough to be sure I wouldn't hurt anyone (actually have a perfect sniper's nest from an upstairs window, where I'd be shooting into the ground) the problem is that you can't shoot within city limits. Then there's the question of style, and shooting just isn't my style. I like to get to know my enemies, to get close to them, to come to understand their weaknesses, and then, and only then, do I move to destroy them utterly. Thanks for the trapping/shooting advice, though: if it gets bad enough, it'll be time to lock and load.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Walk View Post
                  The key to getting them without the stink is to use a box trap, like the Havahart but made from solid wood. They won't spray when enclosed but if you get them in a wire cage trap, you'll know it!
                  It might be wise for anyone doing this to check the variety of skunk that prevails in their area and trapped behavior of that skunk variety. I believe that different species of skunk vary dramatically in their willingness to shoot at a target they can not see.

                  Personally, I have become much less averse to skunks since I found that they are among the most effective vole predators -- but sometimes there is a skunk situation that just can not be ignored.

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                  • #10
                    Skunks do indeed have poor eyesight, so they're inclined to be very defensive about any large moving object; also they aren't the smartest critters in the forest and are inclined to be ill-tempered. They are largely nocturnal. In aggregate, these characteristics make them poor candidates for pet-hood. While their appearance and appetite for voles might be endearing to some, on the whole, I prefer pigs, which are much smarter, often amiable, more attuned to my sleep habits, good volers, and much to be preferred for sausage material, in my opinion. Chacun a son gout!

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                    • #11
                      The covered traps do work for our local skunks - don't know the species except that they have 2 stripes. Just recently a neighbor trapped a young skunk in a Havaheart trap and was able to gently drape a cloth over the trap. The skunk didn't spray and he was able to let it go. His wife was upset that he didn't shoot the skunk. So the next night he caught another, larger skunk in the trap and decided to shoot it in the trap. The skunk let loose a final spray and since the trap was close to the house, well you can imagine. I don't think he'll be doing that again.

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                      • #12
                        Havaheart traps and relocation seem kind, but the relocated animal is on alien turf and frequently doomed to fighting for its life until it loses, at a serious disadvantage since it knows it doesn't belong.

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                        • #13
                          I have found that if I put the live trap in a sunny location the skunk will get sunstroke and be dead or unconsious by late afternoon. Just be sure your dog doesn't find it in the meantime. The neighbor's dog is OK, just not YOUR dog.

                          punkinhead

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                          • #14
                            Hi punkinhead, I think this is very true! I saw it happen last summer. I caught a skunk in a leg-hold trap, and didn't know what to do about it for fear of getting sprayed. By afternoon when I had gained the courage to go shoot it dead, it had already died. It was in full sun.

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                            • #15
                              "Just be sure your dog doesn't find it in the meantime. The neighbor's dog is OK, just not YOUR dog."
                              Perfect! I have a neighbor with 3 undisciplined, noisy pugs on a fenceline adjoining our yard. Now all I need is a skunk. (Really, I'm just kidding, but I can't resist smiling at the thought!)

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