We have new additions- a skunk family- mother and twin babies moved into the yard. They are living under a 10ft mower deck next to my husband's shop, we think. That is about 100 feet from the pool. The mower deck is not going anywhere anytime soon- solid steel and the wheels are shot.
We have two outdoor cats as well, who live in the shop. They and the skunks just ignore each other. They overlap each other- cats out during day and get put up at dusk. Skunks come out at dusk and are gone by morning. Sometimes they are within 10 feet of each other and neither seems to notice.
One of the skunk babies is really bold. We don't feed them and are trying to encourage them to move on, but not having much success. They seem to like the area. The bold baby we have been calling Pepe. We are not trying to tame him, but he will follow us around when we are out in the evening. He thinks his name is "Here, Kitty, Kitty".
We don't see much of the mother and other baby. They are much more wild and will warn us with their tails if we get too close- we try not to, but they are hard to see in the dark until you are right up on them. And they are black and white- my husband has mistaken them for our black and white cats after dark more than once.
They don't stink though. I guess they have to choose to spray to really smell bad? We have only smelled them once since they showed up three weeks ago, and we think it was because the septic system came on while Pepe was too close and scared him (her?). He likes to hang out by the big sprinkler that disperses the water periodically, and comes on unpredictably. He also likes the pool area, though has not tried to get in and take a dip yet. We took the ladder off both sides to keep him from climbing into the above ground pool. But he likes to mess around near it.
We live on 2 acres, surrounded by (literally) hundreds of acres of pasture. One pasture on one side of our yard gets mowed occasionally, the rest is wild. Our yard is partially wooded. The skunks are living on a corner that is very wild and brushy. The only neighbor anywhere nearby is a house about 300 yards away across another 2 acres that is unmaintained.
Any thoughts on how to move our friends on out into the pastures without hurting them? We usually don't mind shooting any critters that become a problem, but these guys are not a problem yet- just a potential problem. They eat bugs and other creepy crawlies, so that is good. We usually let those kinds of creatures be. And, shooting a skunk has its own drawbacks.
We don't leave out trash, cat food, or anything like that. Armadillos ravaged the yard this summer, so it seems like any critters in the dirt would be gone from them. The skunks dig around like they are looking for grubs, though they do not do anywhere near as much damage as armadillos. I treated for grubs last week, and usually when those die, the grub eating critters move on, but it must not have worked this time, as the skunks are still here.
If you have any suggestions, we would be glad for the help.