crawl space and skunks...


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Old 11-17-12, 11:23 AM
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crawl space and skunks...

I'm new to the forum so I hope I posted this in the right section.
I founds signs that an animal control person said were from skunks. I live in an old house that has a block foundation and has a crawl space. There were 2 places along the foundation where something had been digging. When I first saw the little holes, about the size of a golf ball, I just put some loose dirt over them, not knowing what they were.
I contacted a guy that has an animal control business. He said the holes were from skunks. He set 2 traps and in the last month there has been 1 skunk trapped. I check around the foundation every morning and I haven't seen any digging. I bought some top soil and put it against the foundation and just packed it using my foot. Like I said I haven't seen anymore signs.
My question is how do I know if there are skunks under the house? If there was one(or more)under there would I be able to smell them from inside the house? There are 2 vents in the foundation and I can't smell anything when I put my face to them. I don't smell them when I'm in the house. This is driving me crazy. Thanks for any help.
By the way, I live in Missouri and the weather hasn't been very cold yet. When I 1st noticed the signs the temperature was only around 50 degrees at night. Once a skunk is under there will it come out or does it hibernate all winter? I don't have a clue. I wish I would have thought to check and see if the little holes went all the way under the blocks at the time. Now the day time temps are between 55 and 65. The coldest night has been 28 but has averaged around 35-40. Thanks.
 
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Old 11-18-12, 07:43 AM
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I doubt that they are still under there, if they ever were. The holes you describe as golf ball sized holes would be too small for entry/exit, although they may have made the holes looking for food, etc. I assume the crawl space vents are secure so that they wouldnít be the skunk access?

Skunks are odorless until they spray. Spraying is for defensive reasons; they donít like their own spray so they would leave the crawl space if they sprayed in there. Now if they are living there, eventually you would smell musk-like odors, and possibly urine/fecal material.

Are you seeing skunks along the road at night? If so, then they are active and not hibernating. Itís too early for hibernation.

Ask a county-extension agent about the local skunk behavior and habits although I suspect Missouri and Pa skunks are much alike. Here the county extension offices are staffed by Penn State University Ag people; very knowledgeable.

Keep us posted.
 
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Old 11-18-12, 08:56 AM
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Actually....I don't think skunks truly "hibernate"....but its more of a "state of torpor". There's even discussion whether bears truly hibernate....since they don't drop their body temperature nearly as much as true hibernators.

Do skunks hibernate

Do Bears Hibernate?

Interesting how we always say "bears go off to hibernate" isn't it...when they really just take long, long naps. I guess I'm a bear...
 
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Old 11-18-12, 11:40 AM
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Yes the vents are secure. As for as skunk activity there are a lot road kills still. I opened the vents and also an entry to the crawl space and didn't get any "strange" odor. Maybe I'm lucky. When I know for sure that there isn't any hiding under there I was thinking of put some of the concrete walking bricks around the foundation, the ones that are 12" x 5"(whatever the measurement is)and putting some top soil over them. Only problem is I probably wouldn't have any grass growing along the house. I just thought the bricks may deter any more trying to dig. I'd slope the soil away from the house to keep water away.
 
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Old 11-18-12, 12:42 PM
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Masonry blocks around perimeter sound like a good idea. If they do start digging, it should give you more time to discover it before they get in. If you donít see any active burrows or runways or holes next to house now, then Iíd feel safe in assuming they arenít there. Never hurts to be extra cautious though.

Nothing like a state of torpor on those days when I get up early to deer hunt but dont get a deer.
 
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Old 11-18-12, 02:47 PM
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I'm off for a few days starting Wednesday. Hopefully I can get started on the blocks. Thanks for the help.
 
 

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