Mothballs or urine? What is best way to get rid of skunk?

NeedAnswers1(No. Virginia)September 21, 2004

A few weeks ago, I posted a message about suspecting we have skunks in our yard...and possibly one or more nesting under a little deck area. I wouldn't mind, except for the fact that once every couple of weeks, our house gets invaded by their odor.

It happened again last night. I woke up in the middle of the night to smell skunk -- so strong! It's 7 a.m. and I still smell it. Time to do something about it.

I'd like to know a humane way (as in, no traps) to get them to move. A couple people mentioned throwing mothballs or human urine under the deck area. Anyone have any other solutions...or any thoughts on which would be most effective of the two suggestions I have so far?

Thanks!

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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Using mothballs in this way is a violation of Federal Law. The only permitted way to use mothballs is in a closed container.
To keep unwanted critters out from under the porches I put in flat black painted plywood and covered that with white lattice so it appears from a ways back that the lattice is the only thing there. So now when I have one of those critters between me and the house and they make a mad dash for safety under the porch they run smack into the plywood, bounce back, sit there dazed for a time and leave when they recover. I seldom see them twice.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2004 at 7:59AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Call a wildlife relocation service. Skunks are not something for a do it yourselfer to mess about with. They can carry rabies, and you do NOT want to be messing about with them as they can do more than smell just a little bit. None of the "repellents" are worth the money and time you'd waste on them. They are a joke. But, a rabid skunk isn't.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2004 at 8:54AM
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Rosa(4ish CO Rockie)

I have a friend that used fox urine on rags that she placed under and near her shed They vacated in no time. Not cheap but very effective.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2004 at 9:19AM
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clairabelle(z4 Quebec)

The only thing that worked for us in getting rid of a -pregnant- skunk under our back shed was LIGHT. Skunks HATE LIGHTED AREAS and therefore go where it is dark.

Insert a strong light source into the hole using a long pole. It worked overnight in our case. My neighbor did the same thing but turned it off during the day so the skunk came back. You must keep in on for about a week for it to work, imho.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2004 at 6:35PM
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artichuck(Z4 Denver)

Skunks are nocturnal. Find the hole thay are using to get under your house. Wait until after dark and plug the hole. If you plug during the day you trap them in.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2004 at 4:45PM
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mepaulab

I have a porch with boards 1 inch apart and the critters found a way. How do you place or disperse moth balls so they are the most effectivef?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 1:52PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

mepaulab, you don't because it is illegal to use moth balls in any way not outlined on the package. Because these are known carcinogen you should not breath what emits from them.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 7:33AM
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spudsaholics_hotmail_com

I just spread moth balls all around the house.
(illegal?? hahaha - I'd like to see them come arrest me for "spilling" moth balls!!!!)

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 1:14AM
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breenthumb

I put moth balls under our deck years ago for critters. Tied them into the toe of pantyhose and hung them--easy to retrieve. Wasn't too pleasant eating on the deck though. Especially under the umbrella. Guests said it was like eating in grandmas closet.

Also kept a coffe can full in the garden with holes punched in plastic lids on both sides. Stayed dry and lasted a long time. And didn't worry about dogs eating them.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 5:37PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

When you put moth balls, with the active ingrediant Naphthalene, someplace where you can breath those fumes you are exposing your self, and others to a class 1 carcinogen. Keep this exposure in mind when, some years later granted, you come down with lung cancer. Since the problems that will occur from exposure to these kind of substance is not immediate many people think there is no problem, but like cigarette smoke the damage may take some years to become known and then it is too late to do much about it. Ignorance is not bliss.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 7:07AM
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drjpm

Old Mothballs used Naphalene but new moth balls use 1,4 dichlorobenzene. neither of these chemicals has ever been shown to cause cancer in humans. Naphalene was shown to be a carcinogen in mice exposed to it daily after two years of continuous exposure (nice experiment). 1,4 dichlorobenzen can cause hemolytic anemia if you have G6PD (rare genetic disorder) but is otherwise considered safe. Please stop spreading fear. To suggests you can leave these in your home for years top ward off moths from eating your suit but cant put them under your house to ward off rabid skunks is not only fear mongering, but irresponsible. Moth balls are safe, biodegradable, and NOT known to be carcinogenic in humans. Stop spreading the FEAR.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 11:34AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

drpjpm, I am not sure where you get your information from from everything I find states that moth balls are made of Naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene and both are listed as class 1 carcinogens and hazardous materials. Numerous reports from emergency rooms around the world tell us that children that ingest, eat, moth balls go into seizures very quickly. Simply because you do not develop cancer right after exposure to the moth balls does not mean you wil not develop cancer from that exposure. Attached is one link, of many, that will tell you what I have stated on these forums many times.

Here is a link that might be useful: hazards of Moth Balls

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 8:49AM
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Elly_NJ(NJ z6)

Hope this helps.

Re: "Oh please." I thought this was an integrated pest management forum? Mothballs are toxic.

Here is a link that might be useful: Solving problems with skunks

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 8:10AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Read the label on the box or package of your moth balls, and follow those directions.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 7:34AM
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road_trip

I agree that Mothballs are pretty nasty in closed in places and it's probably not a good idea to leave them laying around the house. But, HELLOOOOO, the skunks are OUTSIDE!!

If you want some other ideas on how to get rid of skunks, watch the movie, "CADDY SHACK"

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 9:53AM
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faitt3432

this is found on WIKIPEDIA. Older mothballs consisted primarily of naphthalene, but due to naphthalene's flammability, modern mothballs use 1,4-dichlorobenzene instead. Both of these ingredients have a strong, pungent odor often associated strongly with mothballs. Camphor, an insect repellent, can be used in mothballs too.

Here is a link that might be useful: wikipedia.org

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 11:50AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

The Wikipedia article has some misinformation in it since for a number of years that have beed two different, and just as hazardous, chemicals used to make moth balls. As this information from Purdue states treat all moth balls as a hazardous waste when disposing of them.

Here is a link that might be useful: About Moth Balls

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 7:24AM
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jim_brayall_yahoo_com

do moth balls work to get rid of skunks� ? please email jim_brayall@yahoo.com

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 1:44PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Ammonia works justy as well without the extreme hazards that moth balls present.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 7:43AM
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dsherar_live_com

PLEASE HELP ME... I have been dealing with skunks since November I have trpaed three and still have at least two more they are fighting or mating i dont know which I have tried ammona soked rags and that didnt work now I have moth balls under my home and have been skunked twice and again tonight so please help me what else can I do..

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 11:52PM
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mikehayes1954_netzero_com

I live in the country and I have a big problem with skunks this time of year. I talked with a guy at a feed store and he sold me some fox urine and said that a skunk won't stick around if a fox is present. I put the urine all around my building that day and waited to see if it worked. That night while we where watching tv a skunk aroma filled our house and it was bad. The skunk remarked his place of living. The next night Mr.22 took care of the problem.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 6:36PM
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stumper810_yahoo_com

Don't waste money on buying fox urine, use your own, it works best anyway. A 12 Ga. works wonders for a den of them as well.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 9:01AM
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mrakee_hotmail_com

Info straight from EPA web site.
Naphthalene is used in the production of phthalic anhydride; it is also used in mothballs. Acute (short-term) exposure of humans to naphthalene by inhalation, ingestion, and dermal contact is associated with hemolytic anemia, damage to the liver, and neurological damage. Cataracts have also been reported in workers acutely exposed to naphthalene by inhalation and ingestion. Chronic (long-term) exposure of workers and rodents to naphthalene has been reported to cause cataracts and damage to the retina. Hemolytic anemia has been reported in infants born to mothers who "sniffed" and ingested naphthalene (as mothballs) during pregnancy. Available data are inadequate to establish a causal relationship between exposure to naphthalene and cancer in humans. EPA has classified naphthalene as a Group C, possible human carcinogen.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Please Note: The main sources of information for this fact sheet are the EPA's Toxicological Review of Naphthalene and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's (ATSDR's) Toxicological Profile for Naphthalene.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 9:48PM
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mrakee_hotmail_com

We had a family of foxes under my shed Mother, father, and four kits. For whatever reason they all left but one of the kits, which was hanging around the den opening. Within hours of the foxes leaving and during full daylight a big skunk came sniffing aroung the den and went right in. The skunk chased the baby fox away.
SO MUCH FOR FOX URINE. SAVE YOUR MONEY!
I'm going to try the moth crystals and human urine. I heard from a wise old couple in their ninties that they work. Also put down human hair clippings from the barbor shop. The hair gets on their coats and messes up their scent and sometimes they won't be picked to mate.The couple said that skunks are very particular about the sents around them. Go figure that!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 10:11PM
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hesslingkent_yahoo_com

I m trying to get rid of a skunk and I read a lot about mothballs and how it illegal and causes cancer, well now days everything causes cancer or a dreaded death desease. so what is the safest way to get rid of a skunk then.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 7:35AM
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hesslingkent_yahoo_com

I m trying to get rid of a skunk and I read a lot about mothballs and how it illegal and causes cancer, well now days everything causes cancer or a dreaded death desease. so what is the safest way to get rid of a skunk then.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 8:13AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

The safest way to get rid of any animal you do not want denning anywhere is to wait until that animal leaves that den and then block all access to the den.
I see many people put lattice around the opening under their porch which may keep out the larger animals but provides a have for chipmonks, small squirrels, etc. I backed the lattice around my porches with flat black painted plywood and have watched several times as chipmonks have run headlong into that plywood, apparently thinking it was open between the lattice, and after wonking their head they sit there dazed and disoriented befor finally leaving.
Just be sure the animal is gone before sealing that den.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 7:12AM
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Nancy-Emory_hotmail_com

I have a good one a mother skunk has moved her babies in my garage tonight and we were setting right there my neigbor thought it was a cat, now I have two guys drinking and they are going to try the human way so we will see

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 11:47PM
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micksdana_gmail_com

My neighbor had skunks under his deck last spring and he put mothballs out under his deck and they left. Now we seen them again this weekend and he bought new mothballs to put out and the skunk ran out from under the deck within the hour. BUT the skunk is still hanging out and going under the deck with the mothballs there. Now what?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 10:08PM
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Ckirkpatrick13_yahoo_com

What do you do if you have dogs and don't want to put them in danger?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 12:08AM
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smithbob721_aol_com

We have 4 racaoons and 4 skunks who come by our house every evening. How can we get rid of them. We were feeding the birds but have taken down the feeders as we feel that attracked them. One night a red fox came up on the deck. We live in town in a sub division.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 12:59PM
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jshipr_sbcglobal_net

I've heard moth balls are a safe way to do it. Just sling a few in your yard. You can pee on a tree trunk if it will make you feel better.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 1:18AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Given all the information out there that says the active ingrediant, Napthalene, is a class 1 carcinogen how can anyone even think moth balls are safe. There is a good reason why the FDA states, very clearly, that moth balls should only be used in closed containers. Breathing the fumes can cause cancer of the lungs.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 6:43AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I've never read where Naphthalene causes lung cancer, kimmsr. I know that it is cited as a possible human carcinogen, but there isn't much evidence of that, I don't think. Maybe no evidence.

However, it's effect on the liver and other organs is severe. When inhaled, the primary method of exposure, it soon enters the entire circulatory system and every single organ can be affected. Brain damage and respiratory failure occurs frequently with chronic or acute exposure.

I wish moth balls and crystals would be taken off the market completely. I can't help but think that the vast majority of these products are being used by people who haven't the sense to use them correctly. Of course, the fact that extension offices around the country recommended them as a rat, mouse, snake, skunk, bat, and every other kind of animal repellent didn't help much! I still see moth ball recommendations in extension fact sheets, but not nearly so often.

I've included two links, kimmsr, that I know you will find interesting. One is from the EPA and the other from HPA, Britain's Health Protection Agency. They both offer a lot of information about Naphthalene.

http://www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1203084377981

Here is a link that might be useful: click here for more information

    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 12:47PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Apparently some researchers have changed there minds, although the link below does state it has caused cancer in animals. It is often difficult to make a direct link in humans because of the length of time from exposure to developing the disease.

Here is a link that might be useful: Napthalene

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 11:32AM
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I.HateHarleys

where do you get fox urine??
and those mothballs! How do you get their little legs apart? :-)

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 9:07PM
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jonfrum(6)

This is an old thread, but...

Tens of millions of Americans have grown up with moth balls in the closet and in chests. If moth balls caused cancer, then it would be screamingly obvious to epidemiologists. There is no need to do tests on poor innocent lab rats - the experiment has already been run in real life.

Follow this logic:

IF moth balls caused cancer, and

IF people have been exposed to moth balls,

THEN there must have already been millions of cancer cases due to moth balls.

In fact, we know that there HAVE NOT been millions of cancer cases due to moth balls.

Paranoia and hypochondria are not virtues.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 12:27PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Cite the studies you are basing your assumptions on that there have not been cases of cancer due to exposure to moth balls. Since there are none, and the National Institute of Health and the Center for Disease Control both list Naphtholene as a known carcinogen, and the Evironmental Protection Agency requires the labels on moth balls to state that Naptholene is a Known Carcinogen and requires that they be used only in certain circunstances should be a clue to even the most ignorant person that due care in the use of moth balls is necessary.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 7:54AM
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mostlysunny7

A couple of hears ago I rented an apartment where an old lady had put mothballs behind the stove and throughout the house in places where they could not be easily seen or gotten to. In the process of cleaning the house after moving in, I got terribly sick and after a time realized it was because of the mothballs. After I was moved to another apartment, all was well. Mothballs are extremely toxic and I will not ever advise their use...PERIOD. They are dangerous substances. Don't mess with them.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 9:33AM
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Heatwave

I plan to use mothballs under a shed where I think I have a family of skunks living. Its outdoors and away from people. I'm going to use a rubber sling and rubber gloves to send them far under the shed.

I figure either the skunks won't be able to stand the smell OR based on the crazy posts on this thread, at least they might die from cancer!! Either way I'll have the .22 on standby.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 12:37PM
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lazy_gardens

Heatwave -
If you plan to use that shed within the next couple of years, rethink the mothballs. The owner of our vacation house in NM read somewhere that mothballs would get rid of mice in sheds ... three years after her solution was applied, it still reeks of them. I had to prop the door open most of the summer to air it out enough to clean it out.

You need to screen the base of the shed, except in one area, after breeding season and baby-raising season is over. Install a foot or so of wire mesh flat on the ground so they can't dig under AND some blocking the entire base of the shed. Skunks aren't terribly bright: they won't back up a foot and dig under the mesh, they try digging right at the base of a building.

Then in late afternoon scatter flour over that area ... that evening, look for skunk tracks leaving. Immediately finish closing off the base of the shed. The skunks will move on - perhaps to under a neighbor's shed - and more importantly, none can move back in.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 3:08PM
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Heatwave

Lazygardens,

Sorry but that's far to much work and won't get rid of the current varmints. I'll try some mothballs first. I really don't care about the smell of naptha inside the shed since its the smell of skunk throughout my yard that is far worse. I also don't want my dog or the neighbors kids tangling with a skunk. I'll try the mothballs but if a few don't drive the skunks off, then the Hav-a-hart trap will be set-up where I can easily dispatch them with a .22 or highpowered pellet gun without having to get too close.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 3:50PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

"Naphthalene is used in the production of phthalic anhydride; it is also used in mothballs. Acute (short-term) exposure of humans to naphthalene by inhalation, ingestion, and dermal contact is associated with hemolytic anemia, damage to the liver, and neurological damage. Cataracts have also been reported in workers acutely exposed to naphthalene by inhalation and ingestion. Chronic (long-term) exposure of workers and rodents to naphthalene has been reported to cause cataracts and damage to the retina. Hemolytic anemia has been reported in infants born to mothers who "sniffed" and ingested naphthalene (as mothballs) during pregnancy. Available data are inadequate to establish a causal relationship between exposure to naphthalene and cancer in humans. EPA has classified naphthalene as a Group C, possible human carcinogen."
From the link attached.

Here is a link that might be useful: About Naphthalene

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 7:08AM
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Buzzlitejear

Found this site - thought it would be interesting. Was to a degree but it seems to get WAY OFF target with ranting - we are looking for solutions, not ranting.

I have found mothballs work pretty well. They are outdoors, under my shed. Best solution has been a combination of urine, pepper/onion mix and mothballs. A few cycles and they move. I spray the areas with a garden sprayer.

Was going to try Critter Ridder by Havahart but the reviews are not very good. Nothing on Jerry Baked site either.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 5:24PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

No question mothballs work. However, it is illegal to use them in the way you are because mothballs are a potential cause of cancer. This is form the web site I linked above, "Naphthalene is used in the production of phthalic anhydride; it is also used in mothballs. Acute (short-term) exposure of humans to naphthalene by inhalation, ingestion, and dermal contact is associated with hemolytic anemia, damage to the liver, and neurological damage. Cataracts have also been reported in workers acutely exposed to naphthalene by inhalation and ingestion. Chronic (long-term) exposure of workers and rodents to naphthalene has been reported to cause cataracts and damage to the retina. Hemolytic anemia has been reported in infants born to mothers who "sniffed" and ingested naphthalene (as mothballs) during pregnancy. Available data are inadequate to establish a causal relationship between exposure to naphthalene and cancer in humans. EPA has classified naphthalene as a Group C, possible human carcinogen."
Using mothballs falls outside of the Integrated Pest Management concept.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 6:59AM
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bugman101

Traps are the most effective.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 9:59AM
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news4u

Urine would be most effective and the type of urine would depend on the region you are in. I'd probably choose a known predator in the area to be most effective. You can literally buy urine from anything these days. If you can find where they are nesting, use the urine around that area, they will move out quickly. Traps work but then you have to deal with disposal of the corpse (if dead) or trying to move it (if alive). Mothballs, which are a very common method used in deterring rodents, especially in the South, are absolutely effective but are as dangerous to them as to us. Yes it is illegal to use "any" product for any other reason than the purpose of it's labeling but law enforcement isn't exactly cracking down on Mothballs, and honestly they don't care. Just don't eat them or breathe them in, and ensure it is a very well ventilated area if you resort to this method, but mind you I would not suggest this method.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 2:34PM
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Forkfireadvanse(7)

Really Loud Noise Works Too. Here's how: Welcome to the Tornado Warning
Capital of the US, Davie County, Advance, NC, Fork FD now uses a Tornado aka Civil Defense Sireeeeen four ALL their call outs day or night 24-7. Watcha gonna do next time the real thing blows through - Bend over + kiss your arse goodbye... Stupid Dumb As Dept. Silver lining is it keeps skunks, deer, gazelle, bear, rhino, hipo, etc... far away too. Actually scares the you know what out of 'em. Personal experience !

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 7:18AM
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licker

We tried moth balls*all types of expensive urine*anti devil oils*human and predator hair*traps*blocking entrances*bright lights that brought high electric bills*pythons*roosters*hawks*Local expensive skunk removal professionals****And gueess what??? We are back to square 1*****MORE SKUNKS*****I asked them to move in the extra bed room*We got used to the smell and grandma thinks its a cat**We ran out of money** Anybody got anymore bright ideas**

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 8:13AM
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pepaflake

licker,...
i had a skunk coming into my garden and digging up some good sized holes in about a dozen different spots for a couple of nights.
I sprinkled crushed red pepper flakes (kinda like the ones you'd use on pizza and such and they are approximetly 20,000 on the scoville scale) but the skunk was back that same night with more digging up around my garden.
I went online and found a store here that specializes in spices. I purchased the hottest pepper flakes (not powder) they had. some kinda indian pepper flakes @40,000 scoville units.
sprinkled them around the garden. the next morning, I seen where I got a visitor that night before and he/she dug up "one" hole about 2 inches wide and 2 inches deep and called it a night.
it seemed to do the trick.
crushed habanero peppers run from 200,000 to 300,000 on the scale.
you got to take safety precautions spreading the flakes around as you don't want to come into contact with them (latex gloves?) or else,...well, you know. be careful with blowing wind too. don't wanna get that stuff in your eyes. (goggles?)
just a suggestion,...good luck?

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 3:23PM
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jaylynn444

@ kimmsr -

Thank you for your posts, they are very informative and well written! I had no idea moth balls were toxic, I always thought they were some sort of wood that smelled weird to moths. Obviously I have never used them, haha! Regarding the person that wants to argue with you because they have some huge desire to be "right" - don't bother wasting anymore of your energy on them! I commend you for being so polite w/that person. It's common sense - moth balls are considered a pesticide, and pesticides are poisonous. Here is what I read on the subject: "Mothballs are not intended to be used
outdoors. The active ingredients can
contaminate water and soil, harm wildlife,
and contribute to air pollution. Vapor or dust exposure to
1,4-dichlorobenzene at very high
concentrations may cause irritation of the
eyes and respiratory tract, upset stomach,
liver and kidney damage and effects on the
nervous system. Long-term ingestion of
1,4-dichlorobenzene may adversely affect
blood cells and liver function. Some animal
studies indicate that both active ingredients
may have carcinogenic potential with long term, high level exposure". Poison is NOT good for our bodies, period. People don't seem to be fazed by the word "pesticide" anymore, so when someone asks WHY I buy all organic fruits, veggies, & meat I say "because I don't like to eat food with poison on it". My friend cured herself from terminal ovarian cancer by going completely organic (even wine!) as well as using chemical free cleaning products (http://www.honest.com/accept_invitation/333931) and certified organic bath & beauty products who's only ingredients come from nature (http://us.nyrorganic.com/shop/jaylynn444). I saw her go from a little over 100 lbs and very sick, to the picture of health after 10 months of going organic. The doctor almost passed out when he did her blood work, he said "I've never seen anyone come back from the stage you were in".
I have no allergies, hardly EVER get sick (when I do, I fight it off quickly), I'm told I look 15 years younger, my hair & nails grow freakishly fast, my skin looks hydrated & glowy, and if I gain a few lbs I can lose it as quickly as I did in my 20's. My doctor tells me every year "keep doing what you're doing because your blood work is perfect and you are in excellent health". And that's not from ingesting "poison". If there is even the slightest chance it could cause harm, why do it?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 5:02PM
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