I got up on Saturday morning July 11 grimly, knowing I would have to get the problem of the skunks settled today. This meant I would have to have oatmeal for breakfast. And toast. And an egg. I had to be fortified if I were going to do this miserable job. I decided I’d try the mothball method of getting rid of unwanted animal guests. I had heard neighbors talk about this way and since I didn’t have much choice, I thought I would do it. I went out and bought two packages of the little round smelly things and then got out my kneeling pad and started in. I found first, yikes, that you just couldn’t place the mothballs in the spaces. In some places the dirt was banked up in the spaces, and in other places the dirt was sunken. I made do with gingerly placing the smelly little balls in where I could, or “throwing” them through the spaces where the dirt was banked up inside and hoping they wouldn’t roll out. As I was doing this, which was excruciating in the heat, the day was already heating up more; I was glad I had dressed in pants and long-sleeved shirt with a thing wrapped around my head. The thing is a fancy scarf I ordered from a gardening shop which is supposed to protect your hair from perspiration. It did and does. I was quite prepared to do this dirty job. But as I was either placing or rolling the mothballs, an idea dawned. All the way around the garden area surrounding the patio, I have placed nice red paving stones to border some bushes and flowers. How about if I place/roll the mothballs where they belong, and then put some paving stones all the way around that patio area where the supports are located? Would a skunk or some other intruder knock its head against the patio stone and say, “Duh, I can’t get though here, I better give up, Duh.” On the premise this might happen, I started to place the stones. I happened to have some; I had placed a pile in the back yard that were left over from a previous project. Laboriously I rolled my garden cart to the back of my yard and placed all the ones back there in the cart and rolled it back to the scene of the crazy stuff I was doing. But soon I didn’t have enough of the patio stones. Darn it, I was missing about 45 of the things. By this time, I was too hot to continue. I went in and had a cool drink and a cookie, and retired from this job for the day. In this climate, every time you come in for the day you have to wash everything you have on for fear of stuff like ticks in the dirt. Tomorrow, I vowed, I’d surely finish. That evening at about twilight I peered out the cat window. No skunks there! Yay! But this didn’t keep me from knowing I’d have to do this tiresome thing the next day.
July 12. Up again early and more oatmeal. My back didn’t feel too bad. I went to Lowe’s and got 45 patio stones and two more boxes of mothballs. Thankfully, the man at Lowe’s kindly lifted everything into the back of my car. At home once more, I slowly lifted each stone from my trunk and continued placing the stone/mothball combination until I finished the ring. I had been encouraged by what had happened when I stepped onto the patio that morning. The mothballs still smelled strong.
The skunks have never come back, and I hope any other animal who tries to get in will be repelled when it smells the moth balls and cracks its little head on the patio stones.