Recently, when I take Tippy out the side garage door, she has been sniffing at the wooden walkway. I wasn’t sure if she was smelling something that had walked by in the night or something that was underneath.
For the last couple of weeks, it has become obvious that something has taken up residence under there. Tippy has gotten more and more agitated when we go out, barking as she sniffs at the boards. I have put off taking care of this intruder because I was afraid of what it might be. You see, a few years back, after putting up with skunk odor for a couple of weeks, I finally took up some of the boards, looked underneath, and discovered a semi-mummified skunk. Very disgusting and hard to remove.
Tippy has gotten increasingly obsessive about that area. When she first goes out, she sniffs and barks and sniffs some more, sometimes clawing at the walkway.
She does calm down fairly quickly, but can often be seen guarding against the intruder, either at the walkway or in the garage.
I decided it was time to be brave and see what I could find. I removed some of the boards, very carefully.
Tippy was very helpful with the inspection of the area underneath the walkway.
No animal was spotted, but I did find a hole that something has dug underneath the garage, along the basement wall. It’s a fairly small hole, so I’m hoping it’s not anything huge. Here’s a picture, but it is really hard to see. Sorry, but I wasn’t brave enough to put my phone, and hand, any closer to the den just to get a better picture.
I was hoping that I could run the mystery critter off and then fill in the hole. I put some moth balls at the opening of the den and some leaves where it looked like it had gone underneath wire dad and I had put up to keep things out of that area after the above skunk incident.
I checked the next morning and it was obvious that the critter had left. To insure it didn’t come back before I got a chance to work on filling in the hole, I put more leaves in the opening of both the hole and the wire. Unfortunately, those were gone the next time I checked, so it was back. If someone threw mothballs in my doorway, I think I’d be tempted to leave. That is not a pleasant smell.
I was in a quandary as to what to do. I called our local animal control office. They do not take care of wildlife, but referred me to a local gentleman who provides wildlife removal services. He came out this morning, looked around, and set up a couple live traps. They aren’t showing up very good in the photos as they blend into the environment. I suppose that is on purpose.
I was hoping it could potentially be a ground hog. He said they usually aren’t found in wooded areas, so the more likely scenario is a skunk. If it is a female, she likely has babies this time of year. Since I haven’t seen a train of skunks, he thinks it is a rouge male.
UPDATE: I just looked out the window and saw not one, but six, yes SIX skunks. So, it is a mom with babies. None of which seemed interested in the food that was in the traps. I’m not sure what will happen if one of the baby’s gets caught or if the mom does. No way are 2 traps going to catch six or more skunks. I could be in trouble here!
Fingers and paws crossed that we are able to get rid of our squatter family without too much trouble or smell.