SQUATTER FAMILY, TAKE 2

The saga continues.  The morning after I discovered the squatters were skunks, I called the Nuisance Wildlife Control man and told him what I had seen.  He said if the babies aren’t old enough to follow mom out to forage in the night that they will not come out and get in the traps. What does that mean?  We have to wait until they are bigger.  So, for now, we are stuck with a family that is refusing to follow the eviction notice Tippy and I have given them.

Since there was nothing in the traps, I sprung them so that we wouldn’t catch one of them and then be in a real pickle.

This week, Tippy and I have been trying to see if  we can tell how many skunks are actually living there so we will be sure we have them all once we can trap them.

looking out the window
On the lookout for the emergence of the squatters.

One night I saw not one, but two adults.  I googled skunks and found out that the males have nothing to do with raising the young, but sometimes females will share a den.  So, I probably have not one, but two squatter families!  I tried to get a picture through the window, using a flash.  This was NOT the best idea I have ever had.

flash in the window
Well, that didn’t work out as planned.

I did find out that it scares the adults, who came running back under the porch to protect their young.  They did emerge again, about 5 minutes later.  I tried to get a picture without the flash, but it didn’t turn out too well either.  If you look hard enough between the rails in the middle, you can see a white fuzzy spot that is the tail of a skunk.

skunk between the rails
One of the skunks

Another night, I decided to be adventurous, and actually went out onto the porch to watch them come out, try to count them, and get a picture.  I saw only one adult, almost pure white, and six little ones.  Mom took them just into the edge of the woods and then back to the porch.  She left and went a different way, walking right past where I was standing.  (The porch at that point is about 5 feet off of the ground, so I wasn’t at her level.)  The babies ventured out into the edge of the woods again, and then ran back to the safety of the porch.  It was pretty cute, I have to admit.  The only picture I got was of the mom…but, as you can see, it isn’t very good either, even with editing.  Phone cameras are not the best for this scenario.  The skunk is about a quarter of the way down on the right hand side.

white skunk
That really is a white skunk, not just a blob.

In the meantime, Tippy is being very vigilant about keeping an eye, or nose, on them.

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She has also found out that she can get part of the way under the walkway.  She gets under there and barks.  I know she can’t see them from there, but I’ll bet the smell is a lot stronger, since that is where they come and go.  I know in my head that she is probably less likely to get sprayed from there than when she is barking right over the den opening, but, for some reason, it makes me more nervous.  If I find out she is there, I make her come out.

Then, I usually make her come in the house to take a break.  I don’t think she likes that, but she makes the best of a bad situation.

Tippy laying beside me
If I HAVE to be inside, I might as well relax like a lady.

I plan to continue to try to count how many members of the squatter family (families) there are and hopefully get some better pictures.  Stay tuned. Fingers and paws crossed that no one gets sprayed.

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12 thoughts on “SQUATTER FAMILY, TAKE 2

  1. Good idea to spring the traps for the time being. If one of the babies got caught mum would not be impressed and I should imagine would not take kindly to anyone going near the trap and her baby – even if it’s a rescue mission.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A flash doesn’t work if there’s any light around the subject and a lot depends on where you are in relation to the light or if there’s a reflective surface that the flash might bounce off of. I’m still learning myself. Also you can zoom your picture before you shoot it and then crop it some. That works some of the time. If you aren’t careful it can get fuzzy and then you’re back to square one.
    It sounds like you’ll get plenty of practice trying to get those shots. LOL
    I’m curious, Does it smell? I heard they don’t spray except in extreme circumstances but do they leave a smell? I remember years ago, I had a problem with skunks and discovered they were attracted to my trash cans if I’d discarded chicken parts in it and I could smell them foraging. After that, I made sure if I cooked any chicken, it would be thrown out on trash day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does smell a little, but not too bad….well, that was until this morning, but that’s a story for another blog post, coming your way soon. LOL I don’t know how they know that they can dig under my garage, unless this is one that was raised there some other time. They have to go quite a way under my wooden walkway to even get to the garage area. I wouldn’t think it would be ideal, but apparently they do. And, you are right. They don’t spray unless they feel they absolutely have to. It’s their only means of protection and, once gone, it takes a couple of days to replenish.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I didn’t know it took a couple of days to replenish, now do you know if it’s the same for their young as I’ve heard it is with baby rattlesnakes, whose venom is more powerful when they are young, or do they have that ability, I wonder? So many questions from your blog. I love it!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have read that they are born with the ability to spray, but they have to learn how to aim. Perhaps another reason why Tippy didn’t get a full dose. Also, I saw where they can spray up to 6 time in succession, but it can take up to 10 days to replenish. Glad you enjoy my blog and learning new things.

        Liked by 1 person

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