Are these dead skunk residue pieces?

Reply

  #1  
Old 05-18-15, 10:16 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 16
Are these dead skunk residue pieces?

I pulled a maggot infested skunk carcass out from under my front steps back in September 2014. I have cement stairs that have a large crack on the sides. I used a garden tool to drag out the carcass and the smell has gotten better but it's still quite noticeable 8 months later. I squirted a half gallon of bleach under the stairs. I'm thinking there's more than residue causing the smell and that possibly there's another carcass under my foundation.
Since the carcass removal I have discovered several reddish pieces that look black on the inside. Are these dried up carcass/blood pieces? Sorry for the gross story.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 05-18-15, 01:43 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 1,545
Likes Received: 2
I donít think that is body/carcass parts, etc. I donít know what it is but I donít know what the roundish things are. I agree that the old carcass, especially since you removed it, should not have an odor lasting this long. Thereís more unfortunately. Can you get underneath with a good light?

Keep us posted.
 
  #3  
Old 05-18-15, 06:43 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 16
I need to replace my steps and walkway but I can't afford it now. I can't see far enough by looking from the outside. I could use a camera scope but don't know what my next step is if I do find something I can't reach.
 
  #4  
Old 05-18-15, 07:02 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 50,202
Likes Received: 82
Maybe you need to spray tomato juice under the stairs..... as the old wives tale goes.
 
  #5  
Old 05-18-15, 08:02 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 16
That tricks the nose into smelling the tomato juice but the skunk smell is still there so when the juice washes away the nose picks up the skunk smell again.
 
  #6  
Old 05-19-15, 04:45 AM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,293
Likes Received: 8
If you have long arms you might be able to reach in with a camera and take a few pictures beyond what you can see. If a mother skunk with babies died, the babies would also die.

No idea what is in that picture, but blood doesn't remain red for very long.

Bud
 
  #7  
Old 05-19-15, 04:59 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North East Kingdom of Vermont
Posts: 2,533
I once owned an old house in Massachusetts for about 4 years . . . . and never once smelled a skunk.

After I sold it, the new Owners rebuilt a porch, which had a roof, and they called me a few years later to say that they had discovered several generations of skunk carcasses, maybe going back a hundred years. The remains had been de-hydrated, almost mummified. The only thing which would tell you that it was a skunk den was the presence of those tell-tale black and white skunk pelts, all dehydrated . . . . but not an inkling of their repelling odor. I guess we never disturbed them.
 
  #8  
Old 05-19-15, 08:34 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 16
I wonder if I could dig on the side of my steps down to the bottom of the foundation. I'm wondering if skunk residue has gotten into my drain tile because the smell sometimes is in my basement and often on the side of my house where an old clay drain that used to be connected to the gutter is located. That clay drain pipe was cemented closed but the top of the pipe and cement cracked off which may allow the skunk smell to escape. I wish these skunks were mummified but between the high water table and me pouring soap suds under the steps, there's no chance the bodies are dry.
 
  #9  
Old 05-19-15, 09:22 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North East Kingdom of Vermont
Posts: 2,533
Originally Posted by Bud9051
". . . If you have long arms you might be able to reach in with a camera and take a few pictures beyond what you can see. If a mother skunk with babies died, the babies would also die . . ."
I've put my hands in some strange places; but I wouldn't have much of a hankering for putting them in there !

Are you suggesting that those little plops of organic material are the stillborns that the female skunk couldn't carry to full term ?

Just like Tutankhamon's Tomb; I'd be satisfied to leave the area undisturbed . . . . unless the house is being invaded by noxious odors.

Besides, I don't have very long arms, and I'd be afraid of leaving my camera behind.
 
  #10  
Old 05-19-15, 09:23 AM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,293
Likes Received: 8
I hate to suggest this, but my mother's old house had a skunk den under the back wooden porch. they lived there permanently. She had MS so couldn't run, so when hanging cloths on the line on the porch, if the skunks came out to steal some of the cat food, she would just keep on hanging cloths. They never sprayed her and she and dad had a collection of pictures with her working around those skunks. But here's the point, there was barely any skunk smell. An occasional whiff of scent but nothing that would indicate a skunk was only a few feet below your feet.

Could you have live ones living somewhere?
The reason I suggest that is I don't think skunk smell lasts that long, maybe a few weeks, but it eventually degrades, naturally.

Bud
 

Last edited by Bud9051; 05-19-15 at 09:25 AM. Reason: addition
  #11  
Old 05-19-15, 03:05 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 1,545
Likes Received: 2
Mijclarke: What odor are we talking about? Is it decaying animal body odor or is it skunk spray? These are two very different odors with different ramifications. Tks!
 
  #12  
Old 05-21-15, 08:34 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 16
I'm going to call a professional animal control place and see what they suggest. The smell is more like skunk spray but I tried barricading the crack so I don't think anything has gotten inside my steps in the last month. Maybe a skunk has been spraying next to my steps when my sump discharge goes off. It's pretty loud and is located 7 feet from my steps. That could scare nocturnal animals for sure. But for a skunk to spray every week for the last 8 months seems near impossible.
 
  #13  
Old 05-21-15, 09:44 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 16
And the smell is stronger when it's hot and wet as opposed to cold and dry outside
 
  #14  
Old 05-21-15, 09:51 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North East Kingdom of Vermont
Posts: 2,533
Originally Posted by Mijclarke
And the smell is stronger when it's hot and wet as opposed to cold and dry outside
That's how Bat Guano behaves in some properties I've had for sale (as a Broker) . . . . but I suppose it's true of most any organic compound left by animals.
 
  #15  
Old 05-21-15, 10:02 AM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,293
Likes Received: 8
If you have skunks in your yard at night you will know it, they dig lots of small holes looking for grubs.

Bud
 
  #16  
Old 05-21-15, 02:23 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 1,545
Likes Received: 2
Skunks donít like their own spray so they wonít stay in the area. Is there any chance that you could be smelling a broken sewer line, propane/gas leak, etc...? Those odors, like skunk spray have sulphur compounds in them.
 
  #17  
Old 05-21-15, 08:40 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 16
I previously said it smelled like skunk spray but I just stuck my nose near the cracked steps and it smells just like the dead carcass but less intense than the day I pulled it out. My sewer line was redone last July so it shouldn't have any cracks. It's definitely not my gas line. 8 months ago I reached in with a three prong garden tool blind and went by feel. I dragged out an adult skunk but a small piece may have torn off. I may have tore some other bodies without knowing and they are decomposing slowly. I wonder if a high powered vacuum could suck dead babies out? I forgot to call a professional animal control place.
 
  #18  
Old 05-22-15, 03:36 AM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,293
Likes Received: 8
Give your local rental places a call to see what they rent for inspection cameras. You can buy some for well under $200 so a days rental should be far less, maybe $20 or so. Then you will be able to see what you are dealing with. They come with a 3' or longer flexible probe. Be sure the field of view is more than a couple of inches. But at a rental you can at least play with one to determine if it will work. Some come with much longer fiber optic probes.

Or one of the telescopic arms for your camera.

Bud
 
  #19  
Old 06-01-15, 11:09 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 16
I borrowed a camera and had trouble finding a body but I did see a clump of hair. It was hard to see and it's possible that whatever is there is partially buried. Unfortunately I can't reach where the hair is so I may have to demolish and pour new cement stairs. The stairs need to be replaced anyways but I may go with wooden steps because I'm broke. The smell definitley got worse when the camera scope dragged through the hair. I'm guessing since it's protected from the elements (rain, wind) the smell is being preserved much longer than being out in the open
 
  #20  
Old 06-06-15, 08:16 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 16
Still stumped

I reached in with a gloved hand and didn't feel a carcass. I squeezed a crowbar in there to reach further and drag crud toward the crack. I found a lot more of those gross pieces from the picture and they smell like rotten skunk but that smell was also in the air when I was disturbing the dirt under my steps. There was a clump of hair that I removed also. I garbage bagged about 10 lbs of dirt and gross pieces. I've removed roughly 200 gross pieces since last September. The basement smells a little worse probably because I stirred up the dirt against the foundation. It's been windy and the smell under the steps is still there.

Any suggestions of what I could spray under my steps. Something like Febreeze but stronger? I'm ready to take a sledgehammer to my steps but I don't want the village to condemn my home
 
  #21  
Old 06-06-15, 09:07 AM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,293
Likes Received: 8
Just a comment regarding the smell migrating into your basement. Something like 60% of the air in your home enters through the basement, more in winter than summer, but the primary leak is the house to foundation and that can often be easily sealed, if the basement is not finished in that area.

If you Google "eliminating skunk odor", it seems to be a hot topic and I would suspect will offer many solutions. I come from the old tomato juice days, which I now believe is very outdated.

Bud
 
  #22  
Old 06-06-15, 01:04 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 1,545
Likes Received: 2
Consider Bac a zap. Itís more than a masking agent/air freshener. A basic rule of odor control is that the source still needs to be removed. It sounds like youíve done good work at your house. I wish I had something more positive to tell you. Time will solve the problem, for whatever consolation that is worth. Keep us posted.

I donít know if any store sells this over the counter.
 
  #23  
Old 06-09-15, 08:29 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 16
I drove 84 miles round trip to buy some Bac a Zap. I was told they had the gallon size but when I got there, they only had one quart spray bottle. I sprayed some under my steps last night and will keep applying until it's empty. I might spray some on the inside of the basement wall too but it's been drywalled so I'll have to try and reach from a nearby closet. Seems like a quality product. Thanks for the recommendation! Once it's been a few days I'll let you know if the smell is dissipating. I'm thinking it's better to apply at night if the day time is in the upper 80s temp wise. Am I being too paranoid about the enzymes or bacteria dying under the heat?
 
  #24  
Old 06-09-15, 12:39 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 1,545
Likes Received: 2
Thats a good question; I have no idea. When I get time I want to check the website to see if they address that.
 
  #25  
Old 06-14-15, 04:43 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 16
verdict still out on bac a zap

Used a funnel and some tubing to pour the rest of the quart bottle of bac a zap under the steps. There's a crack on both sides of the steps so I poured about half from each side. I tried to rake the dirt with a crow bar (to spread around the bac a zap) but the limited space and large chunks of concrete made it difficult so I gave up. The next day it rained a bunch and the whole basement smelled like skunk. It's been a few days and now the smell seems to be mostly gone from the basement despite the fact that's is still raining quite a bit. I'm hoping that the bac a zap was breaking down the skunk residue quickly and that's why the smell was strong. Smelling from the outside near the crack (a couple days after pouring the bottle) it smelled like rotten skunk plus the bac a zap solution. I'm going to smell again after it's been there at least a week and decide if I should buy a gallon for $35 (but I'll have to drive a ways to get it).

I decided not to dilute the bac a zap and that might have worked in my favor considering it rained and at least some of the ground under the steps became saturated with water. I was being paranoid that diluting with tap water might make the enzymes less effective because of the chlorine present.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes