This week I am going to take my state test to be a certified applicator.  It doesn’t really do a lot to make me a better exterminator.  It’s mostly about rules and regulations.  As far as the actual exterminating goes, there is nothing that will ever replace actual field experience.

The Bug’s End got to catch our first mammal.  It was a skunk that had made its home under a customer’s house.  If you do anything in this job, it will be to learn from your mistakes.  For this part of the company, I had to buy a bunch of traps.  Some of the traps open from both ends.  All those traps did was feed the skunk.  It would set off the trap, but I guess he never got his whole body in the trap and it would just hit his butt and it would back right out.  I am pretty sure he thought he was living in some fantasy-land, and every night sardines would just show up at his front porch.

After the second day of failure, I decided to try a different approach.  I got a trap that only opens from one end and put the bait at the very end.  The effect was he had to get his entire body into the trap.

I was very nervous going to check the trap on the day of the capture.  After three days, I really didn’t want the customer to have to wait another day.  But then I got there, and was relived to find out that he was finally caught.  Then came the question, how do I get him out of there without a) him spraying me or b) making the entire back yard smell like a skunk?

After talking to the skunk for a while and explaining our situation and why he had to leave; I very carefully maneuvered him out from under the house.  I then covered him with a tarp, picked up the trap, and slowly made my way to the truck.  At one point he did spray his nasty, and fortunately, it hit the tarp.

I called the customer, and she came out to meet the skunk.  I don’t think either party was very happy to see the other.  The customer was very happy to see the skunk leave.

The release went off without a hitch.  I had to explain to him, that this would be the last time we would meet, and that I didn’t need ANYTHING to remember him by.  He didn’t spray me, so I guess he understood.  I did have my dad out there with a camera (see the company facebook page).  After releasing the skunk, he walked about very slowly and turned and went after my dad.  Dad ran away from the little guy, but then the skunk turned and walked in the direction I wanted him to go from the beginning.

Well, that’s it the story of our first skunk.  It is probably the most harmless animal we deal with, but there is a lot of caution needed not to get sprayed.  If you do choose to trap these animals yourself, be careful they can carry rabies. And the spray not only stinks, but it can temporarily blind you if you get it in your eyes.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s blog and don’t forget to wish me luck in the test this week.  Hope you all have a great weekend and give us a call with all of your pest control needs.


Shane Young

Operations Manager

The Bug’s End