Someone once told me that skunks don't climb

Posted by: Kalis on Monday, July 13, 2015 at 12:00:00 pm

That's right. I was informed that because of the shape of their body and the fact that they are bad at climbing DOWN from things that I would never have to worry about them climbing up either.  15 years and 7 skunks later I am calling BS on this person. I have had skunks climb into the strangest of places, with no idea how they got there, and often found them highly distressed at the fact that they can't get back down.  Although, there have been times when seeing them climb down was the only reason I was able to figure out how they got up in the first place.

For instance I had two skunks when I lived in a small house with a stacked washer/dryer unit.  The dryer was on top of the washer, with an angled jut out that allowed you room to access the top of the washer.  You know the type if you have ever lived in a small apartment with its own laundry.  I had to make sure that I would close the dryer at all times, because my skunks had a habit of pushing themselves against the wall and sidling up to where they could reach out and climb into the dryer (there to steal or nest within all of my clean clothes.)   It boggled my mind the first few times I found them up there smiling at me from within the inside of my completely inaccessible dryer space. I thought I was mad, or that they had somehow figured out a way to fly.  But no, watching them grab a shirt one day, squish against the wall and drag it down again gave me the clue to how they were getting up there, and the way to stop them. I blocked off the area behind the washer/dryer terrified that they would plummet one day and break every bone in their bodies. 

I have also found that any type of pet/baby gate that I use to keep them in a certain part of the house will be climbed almost instantly.  With no way to climb down they simply tumble face first at my hard terrazzo floors.  This was unacceptable to me. So I took matters into my own hands and built a gate of my own instead.  At home depot you can buy a vinyl lattice cap for almost nothing and one is usually enough to build a gate.  I purchased the lattice cap and a piece of plexiglass thick enough to handle pushing on, but thin enough to fit the lattice cap around it.  Measure the hallway first, home depot will cut the pexiglass to fit.   Mine is about 2 feet high.  Easy enough to step over, but skunk proof for climbing.  

Cut the lattice cap into three parts, if you want to get really fancy you can miter cut them, but I didn't bother. I took several finishing nails and hammered the lattice cap to the wall on either side of the hallway entrance.  Once this was done I capped the top of the plexiglass with the remaining cap (you can 2 part epoxy this down as it will not be removed again.)  This gives you a nice sliding gate. The lattice cap you nailed to the wall creates a channel and the plexiglass section pulls out should you ever need full access to an open hallway.

Best Part, my skunk can't climb it or get through it.  They can, however, sit on the other side and see through the plexiglass. They stare at me quite often because the hallway dead ends into the kitchen (their favourite room in the house.)

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