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The Fence Post

Vinyl Coated Welded Wire Mesh vs. Skunk - Which Will Win?

March 6, 2013 | by Josh Lane

skunk stopped by wire mesh

The Skunk Under My Shed Is A Terror!

I have to think twice before taking the garbage out at night or going to find something in the shed after dark. When I go from car to house or house to car after dark, I move quickly with eyes scanning the ground for a fluffy shadow or set of eyes twinkling in the moonlight. My dwelling is terrorized by a skunk that wages a putrid form of guerrilla warfare against my household. It has made its home under our shed and I am loath to engage it in battle. It has to go, because we can’t stand the thought of more summer evenings spoiled by the threat of an altercation with the hostiles. The question is, how do you get rid of a skunk?

Modern life offers a lot of very easy solutions to problems that were confounding to earlier generations. Unfortunately, there is no “easy button” for skunk removal. Unless I am willing to damage the shed (what I’m calling the tip and run method), the animal (poison), or both (flooding/burning) I don’t know how to avoid the physical act of removing the animal. There are some tips on how to get rid of them, but the ones that don’t risk an encounter with the skunk, seem not to work. For example, I read that putting a dirty sock by their entrance would make them move their home. This is untrue. I put a post-basketball sock out there and if this sock wasn’t dirty enough, we might be better off with the skunks than a dirtier sock. I waited a few days hoping that the skunk's repeated encounters with the sock would send it packing, but no. The skunk remains.

As may already be apparent from this post, I have an intense fear of being sprayed by a skunk. Generally I like do-it-yourself projects, but I think for the removal phase of this project I will have to turn to a professional. I spoke to a Louis Page customer, Erik from Needham/Woburn Pest Control, about how to keep the critters out from under the shed once they are extracted. He recommended the following labor intense, but straightforward solution.         

  1. Dig a trench around the shed that should be 12” deep and 12”-18” wide extending away from base of the shed.
  2. Using ½" x ½" welded wire mesh, 36” wide, staple the top edge to the base of the shed with galvanized staples.
  3. Lay the remaining 30 or so inches into the trench to cover 12” inches down and 18” out.
  4. Backfill the trench and voilà! Skunk proof!

Since the mesh will be underground, I’ll need to be sure that it is resistant to rust and corrosion. Galvanized after weld offers good protection, but something black vinyl coated would be even better and the small amount of exposed wire mesh around the base of the shed will look much better over time if it does not rust. Also the black color will be virtually invisible. This is really not something I want to do twice.

That’s the plan I think. I’ll post a follow up to let you know how it goes.

Josh Lane signature    Josh Lane

Topics: welded wire mesh, vinyl coated wire

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