Well, well, well. What do you think has happened? The skunks have abandoned their den under our front porch and steps! The only logical explanation is that the mothballs indeed drove them away. Have I told you how much I love the smell of mothballs? Okay, not really, but if that will keep the skunks away from the front of our house, I can handle catching a whiff of mothballs every time I go out of the front door.
But I am still paranoid about going outside when it is dark/getting dark. One of those little black and white creatures could be sneaking up on us!
So Dan has been busy making sure that no skunks or any other little critters can use that den under the porch. Imagine if a family of snakes took up residence? I'd take skunks over snakes any day! Dan spent a whole afternoon the other day pounding in rebar (metal rods used to reinforce concrete - these are 1/2 inch in diameter and 18 inches long) every inch or so all along the sidewalk. When those baby skunks come back next year they won't be getting in!
I checked out some kiddie books from the library about skunks and we learned a few things. Did you know that they destroy more insects than all other mammals combined? Supposedly most farmers like having skunks around because they eat up so many insects and mice. I'll have to ask my Uncle Cletus about that one. They also eat birds, chipmunks, rabbits, frogs, snakes, fruit, grains and any kind of eggs (Dan found several nests of turtle eggs that the skunks had dug up and eaten). They can run as fast as 9mph for a short time, hmm, hope I can run faster than that. They have only enough spray for about 5 or 6 sprays a week. So they warn you first, one book says. If you see a skunk and it lowers its head, hisses and growls, stamps it front feet and rakes the ground like a bull, then waves its tail, get out of there fast!