We are pretty sure that a skunk has taken up residence in a burrow near our front porch. We know skunks are around, and the burrow seems to be the right size. Also, there is frequently a faint skunk scent here. We have seen the skunk nearby at night too (it’s really very cute, though you want to keep your distance), and our garbage cans have been raided. We also have possums and raccoons around, but they are not a concern, though we suspect that raccoons have gotten into our garbage too.
Getting rid of a skunk is tricky. If we try poison it, we’ll have a skinky dead thing in a burrow next to our house, or we risk poisoning something else. Trapping is bad, because there are dogs and cats around, and we don’t want to hurt them by accident. Live trapping is rather tricky too; My neighbor says it can be done if the skunk is in a tight spot and can’t rear enough to spray. I don’t want to experiment with this. Wikipedia has a recipe for skunk scent removal that was tested by Mythbusters, but I don’t want to have to try it. 😮
In our first attempt to get rid of the skunk, we poured some mothballs down its burrow. The theory is that this will out-stink the skunk and force it to move elsewhere. I will also scatter some flour around the hole, so I can see if there are any tracks going in and out. If there are no tracks for a while, I can fill in the hole.
Incidentally, I remember many years ago that my uncle had two pet skunks. They were de-scented, but they still smelled a lot worse that a pet ferret. Apparently before cats were widespread, Indians and Pilgrims sometimes kept skunks as pets to keep mice and other pests away. They apparently require a lot of effort to domesticate properly, and if badly trained, they will become more wild as they get older.