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JDoors

Dirty Skunks!

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At least I think it was skunks.

Came home last night around midnight. It was raining so, of course, the power was out and had been for hours (ComEd, an Excelon Company!). First order of business is to check the sump well, to see if it's close to overflowing. Light a candle, check, it's 3/4 full and I can see there's not really that much water running into it. So I make a mental note of what needs to be done if the power stays out (have a water-powered pump -- hook it up, run a hose, blah, blah).

Power comes on just in time for me to read something before I go to bed.

Early the next morning, around 4:30-5:00 (hadn't reset any clocks yet) I wake up, look out the bedroom window and ... The yard's a TOTAL wreck! HUGE holes in the grass -- it looked like a bombing range after practice (thought about taking pics but it was still fairly dark out). The grass was 'shoved' aside, almost rolled up like sod, but randomly, in spots from small to huge. The largest hole was probably three feet across!

Skunks weren't my first instinct, coincidentally there was a rubber ball close by and the neighbor's have taken to letting their dog exercise in my yard (no fences between us). Thought maybe the dog had clawed up the grass since it's been raining so much. Didn't seem possible a dog'd do that much damage though.

After a close inspection I saw faint prints in the exposed soil, but couldn't make them out. Not quite racoonish, not dog, couldn't tell. When I walked to the garage to get some gardening gloves and a foam pad to kneel on I passed by a stand of trees and there it was: The faint but distinctive odor of skunk.

Yup. Proably skunks, and likely driven out of the nearby creek/wild area by the heavy rain. They will dig up lawns exactly in this manner, looking for grubs. I didn't know I had a grub problem but golly, wasn't it nice of the skunks to let me know I do?

It was relatively easy to roll, push and plop the grass back into place, though it took a while due to the extensive area of damage. Now I have to research when's the best time to put down Grub-Ex so it doesn't happen again.

Funny that my yard appears to be the ONLY one affected. :angry:

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Ugh....Well, could be worse, you could have been sprayed.

Liz

It could have been even worse than that. The skunks could have moved in under the house for a couple of winters. :rolleyes:

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Hopefully they weren't digging up the yard to get all the grubs underneath

Mark

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Howdy JD, watch out for those skunks. We have had 7 cases of them that were rabid !!

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Hopefully they weren't digging up the yard to get all the grubs underneath

Mark

I'm thinkin' that's what they were after ... :(

I thought the lawn was turning brown because the rains have slacked off for the summer, but ... it certainly looks, from the extent of their digging, like thar be grubs. Haven't checked the best time for treating for it yet, but it's no problem, I'll do it when I can.

I do believe they were only around because their usual habitat is probably flooded, though the rains have been sparse in the recent past on the day of the problem there was a downpour. The nearby trees still smell from that visit, so they may have hid out there until their "home" recovered from the rain. Otherwise I rarely see (or smell) any signs of skunks.

As for them being potentially rabid, trust me, I'm not getting close enough to ANY skunk to be in any danger. I can't really remember ever actually seeing a live skunk, even at a distance. Plenty of roadkill, none near my house, just along the backroads. I think (I hope) their home is far enough away I won't be seeing them again, and I'm guessing the trouble was an exception (though wow, what a mess!).

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.... I think (I hope) their home is far enough away I won't be seeing them again, and I'm guessing the trouble was an exception ...

Wrong, and wrong. Seems they now know where the finest, tastiest grubs are. :(

They are certainly methodical: They've already been through my yard so this time they just hit a couple spots they missed the first time then moved on to the NEXT yard. Their yard got tore up somethin' fierce. No stinky areas this time, so they didn't stick around for long.

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Well, at least you got rid of those pesky grubs. Good thing you don't have dogs... Mine took on a skunk in our yard last year and didn't stop stinking for months. With three dogs and a doggy door, critters don't have much chance in this yard. Every early summer we have a possum massacre and the woodchucks have learned to stay well away.

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<g>

My cat used to take care of the critters (though racoons were almost a match for her, almost), now my yard's apparently a safe haven for just about anything.

Just found a nest of newborn rabbits, almost entirely out in the open, this morning. Have rabbits forgotten how to make or use a burrow? Or did this poor mama rabbit not have one ready and, well, they're comin' NOW, so ... PLOP. Actually glad the cat's not around for that or I'd have dead baby rabbits in the house.

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Oh, rabbits make their nests in the dumbest spots....guess the meaning of the phrase "dumb bunny"

Liz

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Oh, rabbits make their nests in the dumbest spots....guess the meaning of the phrase "dumb bunny"

Liz

I did NOT know that!

The babies are still there but I haven't seen momma yet. This is not going to turn out well. Might have been more humane for the cat to find them.

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Don't worry, the Mommabunnies DO leave their babies unattended. Actually it is a defense mechanism as the babies aren't as easily spotted by predators than a full grown mommabunny-- deers do the same thing with their fawns. But oh boy once they start leaving the nest and hopping around the yard, they are so darned CUTE!!! They love hemlock branches, alfalfa, peanut butter sandwiches and peanut butter or oatmeal cookies by the way (we had a housebunny and little kids--Rosie begged relentlessly for PBJs and cookies!) Don't put out lettuce for them, though....gives them the runs, can be fatal for bunnies

Liz

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