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#1905041 - 03/20/10 12:42 AM Skunk odor- Stumped In Missouri
krd_expd Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/04/09
Loc: N.E. Missouri
Alright, I have a question for all the "Big Guns". I'm completely stumped. I get a call the other day from a couple a few miles north of town, and they say they have a terrible skunk odor in their house and they want me to come and see if we need to trap it, or bag a carcass. I show up and immediately upon exiting my truck in the driveway I get a whiff of good ol' skunk. I meet them at the door, and the poor people have it worse inside than outside. The smell was just overwhelming. I have no idea how they were standing it. So I begin asking the usual questions about how long they've smelled it and where it's the worst. They say that early that morning they woke to the smell and have almost been sick all day because of it. They say their landlord has set live traps near the entrance to the crawl space and has only caught a cat so far. This is a double wide by the way. So I go and do an inspection of the foundation, which is concrete block, and find all the vents and entrances have been covered..no problems there. I get to the access hole and find that the landlord has used the good ol' fly bait and Mt Dew mixture...Bad No No! So I'm thinkin' hmm, probably poisoned it and now it's wedged itself deep under the darn house somewhere that a 6'4" 250 lb goofy dude like myself can't easily get to. So I gear up and crawl under only to find that there's 4" of mud and water...I guess I should have known better than to think it would be sunny and a margarita waiting for me under there. Anyways, I find nothing...no carcass, not even a sign of scat. I crawled on my belly from one end to the other and found nothing. So I explain to them that it's possible that a skunk has sprayed near the entrance and the odor has seeped under the house.
Fast forward to this evening. The gal calls me back and begs me to come back over and take another look around the house because the smell is still there and she's almost sick now because of it. I get back and her boyfriend tells me that he's treated the vents with an odor neutralizer that his company uses for things like this. The smell is still there, however it's almost bearable now. She tells me the floor vents really reek of it and sure enough, there's odor coming from around them. So in a last ditch effort, I crawl back under and start removing insulation, bound and determined to find the problem. I was under there for 3 hours and pulled down almost all the insulation, only to find a few signs of old scat and some old nesting material...just barely enough for a large rat. The smell is there, but no skunk. I checked all the ventilation ducts and found no access points or holes, and I found all the floor vents and checked them too..nothing.
So...What are your thoughts here guys? I would conclude that a skunk was in the vicinity and somehow got threatened and sprayed near the access hole and the odor has leached into the crawl space, however, the floor in the crawl space smells of it. But there's not any access for an animal to enter anywhere near the foundation. I checked it a total of three times with a fine tooth comb. The last thing I find strange is when you're out front of the house, it smells more like fox urine than skunk. I know that fox urine is a good deterrent for skunks, but I can't see the landlord dumping it in the crawl space. Even if he did, that wouldn't explain the odor of skunk that's mixed with it. There's not even a real exact location of the smell, it just kinda moves around the house.
I'm going back tomorrow with my field supervisor and we're gonna try and figure this out. It's become personal now.

Thanks Guys

Kendrick

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#1905157 - 03/20/10 06:38 AM Re: Stumped In Missouri [Re: krd_expd]
scott rainbolt Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/19/09
Loc: morristown tn.
thats what i hate about moble homes if they get up in that belly board its hard to find them it sounds like its in there dead some where he may not be in the duct work just close to it the duck work on those homes arnt sealed to tight i woud check around the duct work and the sewer drops thats where i find they usaly get in
_________________________
rainbolt wildlife control morristown tennessee
http://tennesseetrappers.proboards.com/index.cgi

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#1905372 - 03/20/10 09:49 AM Re: Stumped In Missouri [Re: krd_expd]
LAtrapper Online   content

"Professor"

Registered: 12/22/06
Loc: Lower Alabama (Daleville)
We have very few skunks here, so I havenít seen your problem. Did you check under the bathtub? That seems to be a favorite place for opossums to die here. You may find some help with odor control in these links-
http://www.trapperman.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post1891539
http://www.trapperman.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post1841199
http://www.trapperman.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post1195912



Edited by tmrschessie (11/09/12 07:51 AM)
Edit Reason: non working link
_________________________
Note to self- Engage brain before opening mouth (or hitting the ENTER key/SUBMIT button).

Ron Fry


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#1905501 - 03/20/10 11:29 AM Re: Stumped In Missouri [Re: LAtrapper]
Travis Wolford Offline
trapper

Registered: 07/21/09
Loc: Tipton, IN
Yes the bath tub, but fox urine attracts skunks...I have caught several skunks in K-9 sets (fox urine or glands). Did you call your local CO and report the fly bait? I would suggest you cover your hind end and get that documented with the authorities, to prove you had nothing to do with putting it out.
_________________________
it is not a stupid question if you do not know the answer

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#1906571 - 03/20/10 10:06 PM Re: Stumped In Missouri [Re: krd_expd]
Ron Scheller Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/19/07
Loc: Mt. Olive, IL
Originally Posted By: krd_expd
So I go and do an inspection of the foundation, which is concrete block, and find all the vents and entrances have been covered..no problems there.


Do you know if the crawl space was "secure" BEFORE the incident, or maybe the vents and entries were covered AFTER the odor problem? If there were no entry points, why would they set traps inside the entry hole? Something sounds a bit fishy here.....

If a skunk sprayed a "full blast" under there, it will usually keep all skunks from entering, including the one that sprayed. They hate it as much as we do (I'm not talking about the "mating game mist", but a full-on defensive spray). The odor can be present for a year or more of not treated, and every time it rains or during high humidity the smell will be "re-activated". Same deal with a dead skunk.

It certainly sounds like the skunk was under there at some point, and the entire area will probably need to be deodorized with both a sprayer (all surfaces) and fogger (air deodorizer). Change the furnace filters, deodorize (fog) the ductwork, and possibly spray the inner structure (closet walls, etc) with an enzyme-based odor control product (D-Molish, Baca-zap, etc) Clothes may need treated. This is a BIG project in many cases.
_________________________
Ron Scheller
www.thebatguy.com

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#1906580 - 03/20/10 10:09 PM Re: Stumped In Missouri [Re: Ron Scheller]
Ron Scheller Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/19/07
Loc: Mt. Olive, IL
BTW.... I think I could smell it when the cold front passed through the St. Louis area last night..... must have carried right to my house after you opened the entry door and crawled around in there!!!
_________________________
Ron Scheller
www.thebatguy.com

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#1906622 - 03/20/10 10:36 PM Re: Stumped In Missouri [Re: Ron Scheller]
Hoosier_Trapper Offline
trapper

Registered: 04/30/09
Loc: Cambridge City, Indiana
Recently dealt with similar scenario.Young couple got married and had to move in with in laws the same day. Anyway walking into the house was as if you were getting sprayed in the faced, even penetrated the milk in the fridge They even had to take their tax refund to buy new clothe because their insurer told them they would not cover this.Had no access under the house except small hole the owner had made to thaw pipes earlier in the winter.It was obvious a skunk had used this and one other hole to get under the home. We trapped for a week only caught a opossum and one raccoon.Had them boil vinegar it helped some and all the while we had my small ozone purifier running inside.Finally told homeowner that we could not rule out a dead skunk without inspecting.Homeowner busted through the foundation in the front of the home where the crawl was a little deeper, from that point I provided my son with a camp shovel and he burrowed from joist to joist inspecting for a carcass to no avail although he did find a burrow it had used.We also treated the crawl with a product called BON. At the same time I had advised them to contact a local company that had a commercial grade Ozone purifier these things are so strong that no living thing can stay in the home for 24 hours while it is running. I hope a lot of guys are reading this because it worked very well although they ran it for 48 hours instead of the recommended 24.These commercial Ozone machines run in the vicinity of 400-500 dollars but it cost this couple 250 to have it ran in their home for 48 hours but my point is it worked.I AM GOING TO PUT ONE ON MY WISH LIST!
_________________________
Any day above ground is a good day!

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#1907590 - 03/21/10 02:40 PM Re: Stumped In Missouri [Re: Hoosier_Trapper]
Probtrapper Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/16/07
Loc: northern Calif.
Hoosier, we use an o-zone machine and have for years and yes, it DOES work great. The fact is the o-zone won't hurt you but it does dry out the atmosphere to the point that some people may develope a nose bleed so we always suggested that the customer stay out of the house for the length of time that the machine was running (usually 24 hrs.) After which, if you open some windows and turn on ceiling fans if they have them or some kind of fan to create some air movement they can move back in in about 45min.to and hour with no affects at all.
Bob
_________________________
Bob Hassel
Animal Nuisance Control

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#1908411 - 03/21/10 08:01 PM Re: Stumped In Missouri [Re: krd_expd]
krd_expd Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/04/09
Loc: N.E. Missouri
Ok, so I finally get back to the customer's house with my partner and we give the situation a final inspection. The smell hasn't gotten worse, just hasn't gotten any better. We have a stiff wind out of the north, which is helping ventilate the crawl space, but it is still wet. We came to the conclusion that we're going to get 2 barrel fans and place them at opposite ends of the crawl space to vent and dry the crawl space floor for the rest of this week. Then we're going to place charcoal every 10-12' in containers along the foundation walls where we have easy access to help neutralize the odor and also help with the moisture issues. Tomorrow, we're going to install metal lath to screen off the openings along the foundation where we have removed blocks for ventilation, to keep any further critters from homesteading. I think if we keep the fans going for this week, it should both dry up the moisture and force the smell out from under the house. We'll come back at the end of the week and spray Zep Odo-Ban and place the charcoal in the crawl space. If we can get rid of the stagnate water and dry the mud, I'm confident we can get rid of the smell. I think what happened is a skunk has sprayed under the house and it leached into the water that was there, and in turn leached into the mud underneath. I have a 10 gallon sprayer that I use for my lawn care business with a wand that I think would work out pretty slick for this. I'll have to mix it up and spray it from the openings in the foundation wall. It has a pretty good stream so I should be able to get full coverage from both sides of the house. I have to figure the bid this evening and submit it to the landlord so I should know by tomorrow if we get it.

Kendrick
_________________________
CLC Nuisance Wildlife Control

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#1915692 - 03/25/10 12:12 PM Re: Stumped In Missouri [Re: krd_expd]
krd_expd Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/04/09
Loc: N.E. Missouri
Sorry for not replying sooner. I waited for two days an called the landlord back to find out his decision. He said the smell was going away on it's own and he thought he could take care of it himself now. You gotta love these kind of calls. Maybe I shouldn't have been so thorough in my explanation of what I would be doing. Sounds like he may have thought he could just do it himself instead of hiring someone who knows what they're doing. I guess you live and learn. No big deal I guess, I have more to deal with on the way anyways.
_________________________
CLC Nuisance Wildlife Control

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#1915967 - 03/25/10 02:46 PM Re: Stumped In Missouri [Re: krd_expd]
LT GREY Offline
trapper

Registered: 04/09/07
Loc: Central Ohio
Lets hope so!

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