Choosing to Advocate for Skunks

Posted on: November 25th, 2018 by
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Moving has so many complications and selling a home more so.

For my family, as I suspect for most, keeping the house pristine and ready to be shown to perspective buyers is one of the greatest challenges.  When a family also has pets in the house the work of perfection is amplified by the dirt and hair that are associated with animals.  What you many not think of is having to de-skunk rugs and furniture after one or more of the above mentioned pets brought unwelcome smells into the home you are attempting to sell, but that has been an unexpected challenge for my recent days.

Understanding that dogs are likely to get sprayed again, I spent a serious amount of time researching what to do to get rid of nuisance skunks.  The predominate plan, according to long internet research, is to locate any and all dens and eliminate all skunks in the area.  This is both extensive and involved.  Additionally, it will not prevent any other skunks from moving into the area.  Fences are not a deterrent to skunks, after all.

All of this research led me to other information.  I had always known that skunks are omnivorous, but otherwise had little knowledge of what all was included in their diet.

At this point I think I should add a little information; having lived in Texas for nearly 20 years there are a number of animals that can be very dangerous, especially to small children and animals, most notably rattlesnakes.  In seven years of living on these ten acres we have seen exactly two rattlesnakes.  We regularly see king snakes and learned that king snakes will often eat smaller snakes such as copperheads and rattlers.  Knowing that we choose to let king snakes live (so long as they are not in the chicken coop).

In learning about the lives of skunks, I realized that they often eat snakes.  What was new information to me was that skunks are immune to snake venom.  That means that they are able to consume venomous snakes without becoming injured.  My sister began to call skunks “the stinky mongoose” as I shared my discovery with her.

As I processed this new information I thought about how freely I let my children wander about our property without fear for their safety.  This in spite of the fact that my oldest daughter once tried to take a chicken out of the mouth of a king snake.  I always try to work with nature, not fight her.  So, after all of my research, thought, and discovery we have decided to let the skunks live out their lives unimpeded.  That means I will likely need to clean up animals and household items of skunk spray in the future.

I accept that challenge.

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