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Dodging Service, or, Skunk Saga Update

>> Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My darned stinky friend Pierre is still comfortable ensconced in the hole underneath my dining room.  We have tried repeatedly to serve the eviction notice on him, but he's very good at dodging the process servers.  Thus far we have tried bright light, lots of noise, vinegar and even smoke from smouldering sage.  All to no avail.

How do we know he hasn't left us, you ask?  Partly because we've been carefully observing the skunk prints in the snow and mud outside his entrance hole, but also because he's a complete stinker in more ways than one.  On Sunday when we checked the live trap that we have been leaving under the dining room next to his hole, it was immediately apparent that he has been reaching his paws through the end of the live trap to grab cat food bait out of it for a snack.  He left us some nice little skunky claw marks through the edge of the wet cat food in the trap.  He apparently did not access the food from the proper opening of the trap because it was wide open and empty, and is functioning properly.

Is he really that smart - smart enough to know not to go into the trap but to reach through the bars and scrape out what he can instead???  If he didn't smell so strongly of skunk I'd think we had a raccoon under there.  That seems more like a conniving resourceful raccoon sort of trick than a skunk trick.  Apparently I need to rethink my assessment of skunk intelligence, and come up with a more effective way of shielding the live trap bait from his grasping little paws.

Bless his smelly little heart, though, he refrained from spraying or getting sprayed over the weekend when we had house guests and threw a party.  Whew!  Despite that kindness, though, he still really really needs a new home.  One of our party guests informed us that he and his wife had at one time trapped seven (seven!) skunks out of their yard in quick succession. Here's hoping there's only one stubborn stinker under my dining room.

Tally to date:

Skunk 15
Humans 0


Carolyn H March 16, 2010 at 1:00 PM  

Well, little Pierre really is a pill, isn't he? My first thought is that perhaps your trap is too small, as I didn't think potential prisoners should be able to reach into it to snag the food. They are supposed to enter the trap because that's the only way they can reach the food.

Carolyn H.

Woodswoman Extraordinaire March 16, 2010 at 1:05 PM  

Carolyn, I think you may be right! The trap IS big enough to fit him, and I didn't want too big a trap because I've heard the rumor that the smaller the trap is, the less likely the skunk will be able to lift his tail and spray. But clearly the food is too close to the outside, or else he's able to shake the trap until the food is close enough to the outside. This calls for some zip ties and creative food shielding.

Who knew we'd wind up with a smart pest, when we seem to have a knack for collecting not-so-smart pets?

Carol March 19, 2010 at 9:00 PM  

Many years ago I caught 2 skunks in a trash can...they were raiding it and I just put the top on...then put them in a cage. I wanted them for pets. After keeping them a week...I liked them too much to keep them. They never sprayed once.

squirrel March 19, 2010 at 10:05 PM  

You have my pitty. The smell really makes me sick. Good luck, I will be checking back to see how it is going.

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