Friday, November 20, 2009

We have a concert going on under our house...

We live in what is called a "semi-rural" part of San Diego County, and for the most part we have a pretty Liaise-faire relationship with the all the wild and semi-wild animals that live in the canyons and valleys around us. In other words, if they don't bother us, we don't bother them.

So I pretty much ignore the squirrels that eat my flowers; I look the other way when the gophers chew mounds through the lower part of our property (since most of my plants are "mature" now, they seem much less interested in chewing the roots); I completely stay out of the way of the foxes that I sometimes see early in the morning, and as for the feral cats? Well, let's just say I let them have their run of the yard. In fact, I give them credit for keeping the squirrel and gopher population down.

I'm a great believer in the whole circle of life thing.

But, I draw the lines at two types of living creatures that I just as soon leave to the professionals--bees and skunks. Bee swarms scare the living begeezus out of me (that humming thing they do....AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKKKKKKKK!!!!!)


Two nights ago, Walter discovered that a skunk had decided to make itself at home underneath our house, and rather than IMMEDIATELY call in the professional skunk removers, he decided, as he puts it, to, "convince the skunk that it didn't really like our house."

I swear. That's what he said.

I'm not completely clear on exactly what the plan was, but I'll tell you the result...

At about 4am, an angry skunk, that had been trapped under our house instead of blocked out, decided to let us know about it's displeasure at the current living situation.

Anyway, we woke up this morning the the wretched stench of skunk wafting through the house.


Now, to make sure that the beast is really gone, we've opened all access points, and in order to further "convince" the little beast that it really doesn't want to stay here, we've got a radio blasting music under the house AND for added emphasis, we've tossed a couple of tennis balls soaked in ammonia down that way.

I guess that's one way to get rid of unwanted tenants.

So, if anyone knows of a good way to get rid a house of the skunk smell emanating from underneath the house, please let me know. Right now, I'm trying bowls of vinegar, which I've read from the Internets, will soak up the odor. I hope it works. I've got a splitting headache.

The only good thing that's come of this is that I didn't have to cook tonight, and I won't be doing any midnight snacking. Nothing dampens an appetite like eau-de-skunk.


  1. eewwwwwwww, what a way to wake up! I have no advice for you, but hope that the stink and the skunk leave the premises ASAP!!! Hope you have a good weekend otherwise!

  2. I've never heard of the vinegar helping out but I have heard about the ammonia. Music? How about a snappy Jack Russell? Ours chases them right out of the yard...and yes, we then have to take her to the groomer but it's worth it!

  3. Oh man, it always took a while for our dogs to stop smelling, even after a good scrubbing. Good luck!

  4. Pweeeuuuuuuuuu, Let's hope Pepi LePew finds a new abode. As for the odour, I don't have any advice what so ever, sorry!!!

  5. I used to run by this house on a street corner that always smelled of skunk in the early morning for about a month one summer. I used to wonder how those people could stand it. The scent was gone from the outside by mid-morning, but I imagine it lingered indoors. I hope the vinegar works. We once had this true odor eliminator stuff when we lived in Alaska - completely needed to get rid of the salmon smell when the husband went fishing. I wish I knew the vendor to recommend it. It was sold through a charity.

  6. Oh dear. You have a problem. My understanding is that the only way to really be rid of the odour is to burn the house down, strip off the soil, and build another house. I admit that's just a little drastic. Tomato juice neutralizes the odour, but I'm not sure you want to spray that under your house. Good luck.

  7. Been there done that! Twice when we lived in Hillcrest and twice in the house we're in now... I've been in touch with the ASPCA and they referred me to someone with a PhD in some sort of animal behavior with an expertise in skunks. To get rid of the smell, they've actually said to use Masingill douche and spray that where the offending skunk odor is permeating from. This really works, even though it sounds weird, but it will get your house alway from that "not so fresh feeling" issue. (LOL) If the smell is on one of your pets, like a dog, you use a solution 1 pint of hydrogen peroxide, a few tablespoons of baking soda, and a tablespoon of dish soap and apply to the dog. It sounds like you don't have a dog, though, but it's for the just in case scenario. Good luck!

  8. I love that Walter wants to "negotiate" or "convince" the skunks to leave. But music under your house? Hmmmm.... I'm not too sure about this one. But with more thought, perhaps pumping some Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift or Rick Springfield under your house might scare away anyone!

    Moth balls worked for us - as you know we fought skunks for years! I tend to believe that the keys are:
    - no food outside
    - moth balls under the house (I like the tennis ball idea)
    - get a dog!

    Great job on the run this am! You rock!

  9. When I was little, we lived in Sonora - in a mobile home on two acres. My mom had made some sugar cookis one night and put them in the cookie jar on a counter. That night, a skunk made a visit under our home and boy, he let us know it. The next day, my middle brother tried a cookie and exclaimed, "eeeew, these taste like skunk!" Power of suggestion led us all to believe this and leave the cookies alone. Two days later, all the cookies were eaten up. BY MY MIDDLE BROTHER!!
    We still love to tell the story of "the skunk cookies" at the table on holidays. ;)

  10. Yuck! That little beasty needs to get out of your space!

  11. The only way I know to get the skunk odor out of a dog is with tomato sauce. No clue on a house.

    So sorry!