QUAERITUR: Mephitidae

From a reader:


I have read with interest your posts on Mice in the Rectory. Now, perhaps you have something for Skunks under the Farmhouse.

Our air-conditioner repairman just informed us that we have a family of skunks residing under our 100+ year old farmhouse. He had to go through the crawlspace to fix the overflow drain pipe and saw them in a corner which is probably right under the dining room. (!)

The exterminator will be out tomorrow, but he says the only way to get rid of them is to trap them when they come out, but that could take weeks as each one is trapped and then disposed of.

QUAERITUR: Do you have a “potent” prayer for getting skunks to come out from under the house and into the waiting trap – without spraying everything and everyone?

I can understand why you would want to avoid going in after them, with the usual mephitic consequence.

A prayer?   I think the imprecatory prayer mentioned in regard to rats could work with adaptations.  I think skunk is a viverra putorius.

Otherwise, to get them to go on their own…. could you get someone to announce a Synod?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Tim Ferguson says:

    Perhaps you could throw something under the house even more odious than the skunks. The works of Edward Schillebeeckx (RIP) come to mind, or perhaps the novels of Fr. Greeley. Perhaps even better would be the works of Fr. Curran. I would imagine that skunks prefer their moral theology, like their mates, to be clearly black and white.

  2. Maria says:

    Couldn’t they be smoked out like wasps nests?

  3. Brian K says:

    Put mothballs under the house where they are nesting, and pour ammonia around the entire foundation. It has worked for us on a number of occasions, but sometimes needs to be repeated the following year.

  4. kab63 says:

    Leave your garbage out. Disgusting, I know, but nothing’s worse than the skunks. Not sure what tastes yummiest in the refuse category, but set the traps amongst the mess and maybe you’ll get lucky.

  5. Richard says:

    I learned at a very young age that a female black cat with a white stripe painted down its back is the ultimate skunk magnet.

  6. nanetteclaret says:

    This can actually be quite serious. Mr. Claret was discussing this with some colleagues today and they told him about a case wherein some skunks sprayed underneath a house and the owners could never get the smell out. The house had to be torn down and re-built!

  7. Hieronymus says:

    Otherwise, to get them to go on their own…. could you get someone to announce a Synod?

    Too funny, Father! If history is any indication of future events, this is sure to work!

  8. Anne M. says:

    My cousins had a skunk get in their garage a few years ago. Unfortunately, one of my cousins decided to chase the skunk outside. Bad idea. When I visited 6 months later, I could still detect the faint odor of skunk perfume. My cousins spent two weeks in a hotel while the house was fumigated.

  9. nanetteclaret says:

    This incident also calls into question the effectiveness of having a house blessed using the new “Book of Blessings.” Evidently the new form doesn’t cover varmints.

  10. skull kid says:

    Maria: you could try incense!

    But seriously, if you leave them alone, surely they won’t smell. Skunks under your house sounds very romantic to this Irish man. We had rats. They do smell when they die having eaten poison.

  11. joanofarcfan says:

    From my sister with experience in the matter: Soak a towel in amonia and put it as near as you can to the polecats. They will have to leave.

    I used moth CRYSTALS to get rid of flying squirrels in the wall and attic. It almost killed us, too. But it got rid of the squirrels. I found one dead outside soon after. Didn’t mean for that to happen, but it could not be helped. Luckily it was summertime and we could open all the windows to air the house out because the fumes leaked down into the living area. Phew!

  12. Emilio III says:

    If there are any ice hockey players in the family, just put the hockey bags in the crawlspace for a couple of days. The stench will drive the skunks away in no time.

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