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my house smells like bad skunk, why?

Posted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:14 am
by barrett
so yeah, inside my house it smells strong like a skunk. it's been going on now for over a month. any idea what could cause this? and don't say a skunk, or a hippy smoking pot in the basement...

it only smells inside, not outside. and only in a few rooms on the first floor.

we've seen no skunks at all outside or evidence of them. trust me, our dog would find it.

our have-a-heart trap has caught nothing. we've tried baiting it with raw meat, peanut butter, and marshmallows.

my mother in law thinks it's a fox, but there are no holes big enough for them to get under the house. do foxes ever live in the basement?

and what animal would stink it's ass off this bad bad where it lives? seriously, i thought the general rule was don't shit where you sleep!

the smell is generally worst in the morning and at night. horribly bad.

any ideas what the smell is from and how we can get rid of it? i'm about to burn the house down, since nobody would ever buy it!

Re: my house smells like bad skunk, why?

Posted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:43 pm
by Don M
Is the area where the odor is bad over your cellar or over a crewl space? If a crawl space then I would say it is some animal. If cellar then probably something else. Foxes smell a lot different than skunks but I suppose a fox is possible. You may need to get a fumigator to rid your place of what ever is causing the odor. Good Luck, Don

Re: my house smells like bad skunk, why?

Posted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:21 pm
by wletson
Are you sure it is an animal? Is there any way that you have a drain to your septic or sewer that is letting gases back into the house? Done any renovation in the plumbing area? Or do you have a sink, shower or tub that isn't being used? If the water in a trap dries up, there is nothing stopping the gases coming up.

Just something to check anyway.

Re: my house smells like bad skunk, why?

Posted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:18 pm
by aptharsia
Could be something in one of the walls that died. I've heard that when something dies it can make the house stink for a while, but it will eventually go away...eventually. If you have the money, an exterminator would be more help in that department, if an animal really died that is.

Re: my house smells like bad skunk, why?

Posted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:34 pm
by KathyJB
wletson wrote:Are you sure it is an animal? Is there any way that you have a drain to your septic or sewer that is letting gases back into the house? Done any renovation in the plumbing area? Or do you have a sink, shower or tub that isn't being used? If the water in a trap dries up, there is nothing stopping the gases coming up.

Just something to check anyway.
I saw something like that on Property Income (income property?) on DIY that had a drain in the basement that was leaking funky odor. It smelled up the whole house. Warren's on to something.
I was thinking some kind of a gas leak. Butane gets funky when it's about to run out. Gives you a headache too. Maybe a pilot light went out?

Re: my house smells like bad skunk, why?

Posted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:45 pm
by Bella Design
Did you get new carpet for a couple of rooms recently? I can't stand the smell of some of the new carpeting. Some of them have a skunky or cat pee odor. eeewww.

Re: my house smells like bad skunk, why?

Posted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:44 am
by barrett
no sewer gas leak, no pilot light out, no new carpet.

we put bait in the trap every day and the next day it is gone, but the trap is empty. my wife just wants to trap something, anything.

it's awesome since we both have the summer off and we get to hang around the house all day and smell it. summer vacation rules! oh the irony.

Re: my house smells like bad skunk, why?

Posted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:47 am
by oldhouseluvr
Is there any chance you have a cast iron waste pipe that could be leaking?

Re: my house smells like bad skunk, why?

Posted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:55 am
by S Melissa
VArmits can get under the house in the smallest of holes - do a better perimeter check. Or if your garage is open - no telling if something crawled up the walls, then into the attic - down the walls - perhaps your bats?

Getting the stink out is key for your comfort - go to the ACE hardware store and get some "Smells B Gone" tubs and put them everywhere. Then I'd really start sealing up the house while you're on your summer break - between the critters and the snow plows - home sweet home is really an illusion for you isn't it? Poor guy.

Do you have civit (sp?) cats in VT? I understand they stink like heck - don't know anything about them - maybe a google will be illuminating?

Re: my house smells like bad skunk, why?

Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:39 am
by lla
We had a mouse die in one of the walls of our previous house a few years back. Of course, it was the while the house was listed for sale, due for an open house...

We narrowed the location down - smell was worse near an outlet, more obvious with the cover plate off. We ended up hiring a pest control guy who found it exactly and removed it, then sealed up all the access points.

It smelled really bad.

Lori