Seed Savers Exchange Forum
 

Go Back   Seed Savers Exchange Forum > Gardening > Pests and Diseases

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-20-2011, 11:37 AM   #1
FeralVermonter
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Brattleboro, Vermont
Posts: 58
Default 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?
FeralVermonter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2011, 10:40 PM   #2
kellysgarden
Senior Member
 
kellysgarden's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Utah, was zone 4, now zone 5
Posts: 398
Default

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.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	skunk in trap.jpg
Views:	175
Size:	560.3 KB
ID:	1004  
kellysgarden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2011, 06:42 AM   #3
Walk
Homesteader
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Winona, MN
Posts: 214
Default

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.
Walk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2011, 09:54 AM   #4
beehappy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: NJ Zone 6
Posts: 429
Default

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.
beehappy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2011, 10:44 AM   #5
Philip Brutz
Junior Member
 
Philip Brutz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Cleveland OH
Posts: 7
Default

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!
Philip Brutz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2011, 10:38 PM   #6
kellysgarden
Senior Member
 
kellysgarden's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Utah, was zone 4, now zone 5
Posts: 398
Default

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
kellysgarden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2011, 08:19 AM   #7
Walk
Homesteader
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Winona, MN
Posts: 214
Default

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. ;>)
Walk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2011, 07:31 PM   #8
FeralVermonter
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Brattleboro, Vermont
Posts: 58
Default

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.
FeralVermonter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2011, 07:04 AM   #9
JLJ
Garden Grub
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 14
Default

Originally posted by Walk:
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.
JLJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2011, 11:36 PM   #10
steev
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 449
Default

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!
steev is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2011, 10:11 AM   #11
Walk
Homesteader
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Winona, MN
Posts: 214
Default

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.
Walk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2011, 02:38 PM   #12
steev
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 449
Default

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.
steev is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2011, 12:32 PM   #13
punkinhead
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Roosevelt, Utah
Posts: 18
Default

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
punkinhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2011, 03:43 PM   #14
kellysgarden
Senior Member
 
kellysgarden's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Utah, was zone 4, now zone 5
Posts: 398
Default

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.
kellysgarden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2011, 10:38 AM   #15
smwlindy
Member
 
smwlindy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: St. Paul MN
Posts: 403
Default

"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!)
smwlindy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.