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nafex - Re: [NAFEX] War on Skunks; truce proposal

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  • From: "Stephen Sadler" <>
  • To: "'North American Fruit Explorers'" <>
  • Subject: Re: [NAFEX] War on Skunks; truce proposal
  • Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2008 16:32:23 -0700

They lived on our old property, but I never worried about them. In the
garden, they'll eat cutworms, grubs, all kinds of beetles, grasshoppers, and
small rodents. They may leave holes just like you describe, but they do more
good than harm. They're nocturnal unless food is very scarce, so I didn't
run across them except when they would sneak onto the porch to eat the cat
food. If you stay out of the garden at night, you probably won't see them.
They can and will eat garden produce, such as strawberries, but they much
prefer grubs and bugs, and will turn to berries only if such other food is
As far as spraying, it's not something they like to do. They'll do it when
threatened; so people will experience dogs getting skunked, and young
foolish boys, but you don't find many skunkified deer or grownups. Walking
by would not usually be a threat requiring chemical warfare; barking and
growling, or poking with a stick, would draw a response.
This may not be a new problem. They could have been leaving your
strawberries alone for years, and recently found the dog food. If they do
eat some strawberries, it might be easier to attract them away rather than
shoo them away. You could leave some pet food out away from the berries. I
would wait until if and when you have actually berry damage attributable to
the skunks, as pet food is a favorite treat, and may increase your skunk
population. If you continue feeding the dogs outside, don't give them more
than they'll eat in one session.

~ Stephen

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Jim Fruth
Sent: Monday, June 30, 2008 6:17 AM
Subject: [NAFEX] War on Skunks

Pet food had been disappearing overnight for several weeks so I decided
to put a live trap out to see who my nocturnal visitors were. The trap was
sprung several times before I caught a (young) skunk - now they won't go
near the live trap or the bait (dog food) that we used. Once we saw momma
skunk scurrying out of the yard (under a gate).
I put sills under all of the gates and now they are burrowing under the
woven wire fence. When I plug one hole, they burrow another. I can't put
sills under 1,000+ feet of fence. I baited them with Decon Rat Poison mixed

in jelly and they ate the jelly leaving the Decon pellets.
The skunks don't seem to be doing any damage but the thought of
accidentally running into one gives me the creeps. I have water set out for

the honeybees (I have three hives) but the water bowls are atop 5-gallon
pails; can skunks reach that high? Could they be in the orchard because of
being able to get a regular drink? Otherwise, the worst damage they have
done (besides the under-the-fence-holes) is tiny holes as though they dug up

an acorn that some squirrel might have hidden. The strawberries will be
ripe soon and I wonder if they will eat them. What would you do in this

Jim Fruth
Brambleberry Farm
Pequot Lakes, MN 56472
For jams, jellies & syrups:
(877)265-6856 [Store]
(218)831-7018 [My Cell]

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