Odd skunk smell inside the house

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities

Odd skunk smell inside the house

Postby Raybo » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:03 pm

My wife and I have both complained recently of waking up to a skunk smell in our house. I live in San Francisco where there are skunks aplenty. Skunks are nocturnal, so I never see them around the house.

I know that skunks have an odor like their spray. To me, the smell is more the animal's usual odor and not a recent spray (say, against our house).

But, our house is on a cement slab and there are no ways under as far as I know. Thus, I don't think the skunks are actually living under our house.

This morning, I smelled the same odor outside, briefly.

Does anyone have any ideas where this smell might be coming from? It doesn't permeate the house but both my wife and I noticed it in the upstairs hall (2 stories above the ground and inside the house). There is an open window in the bathroom that connects to the hall but the skunk smell isn't in the bathroom.

It has me puzzled.

Ray
No matter how long the hill, if you keep pedaling you'll eventually get up to the top.
User avatar
Raybo
 
Posts: 934
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:02 pm
Location: San Francisco

Postby Ever Ready » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:10 pm

Do you have natural gas heat? Could it be a gas leak?
Best Wishes,
Ed
User avatar
Ever Ready
 
Posts: 196
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 4:21 pm
Location: DC metro

Postby Swamproot » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:32 pm

Something possibly off the wall here but....

Is it possible a neighbor is growing marijuana? You are talking about California, where it is probably as legal as it will ever get. Some very potent grades have a smell similar to a skunk with clever names like "Skunkamungus" and can be extremely pungent.

Don't ask me how I know this. :-)
User avatar
Swamproot
 
Posts: 304
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:10 pm

Postby Sekar » Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:39 pm

Check your attic to see if you have an old boglehead hiding away up there. They often do that to save money on housing. After awhile they can smell like a skunk.
Sekar
 
Posts: 265
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:01 pm

Postby Raybo » Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:44 pm

I hadn't considered the marijuana angle (which i doubt).

As for the gas leak, I'll check but the odor isn't in a place with any gas pipes (the furnace is in the basement, and the stove is downstairs).

Thanks for the ideas, though.

Ray
No matter how long the hill, if you keep pedaling you'll eventually get up to the top.
User avatar
Raybo
 
Posts: 934
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:02 pm
Location: San Francisco

Postby HueyLD » Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:44 pm

Do you have a pet?

Might there be a dead skunk near your house?

Have you checked all cracks and gaps around your windows, doors and holes where wiring and plumbing enter the house?

If the smell persists for a few weeks, you may want to call a professional.
User avatar
HueyLD
 
Posts: 3294
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:30 am

Postby Charleville » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:13 pm

Look up hawks like skunks and may have a kill in a tree or was recently sprayed by a skunk.
Charleville
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Des Moines

Postby rustymutt » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:33 pm

Swamproot wrote:Something possibly off the wall here but....

Is it possible a neighbor is growing marijuana? You are talking about California, where it is probably as legal as it will ever get. Some very potent grades have a smell similar to a skunk with clever names like "Skunkamungus" and can be extremely pungent.

Don't ask me how I know this. :-)


We have a lot of skunk weed growing in Kansas. The seeds fell off trains in the early previous century as the hemp plant was grown for the rope. It's everywhere they're was rails.
At the Very Least, Work Hard, Do Your Best, Know the Truth and the Facts and Always Be Honest!
User avatar
rustymutt
 
Posts: 2738
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:03 pm

Postby likegarden » Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:06 pm

I once bought long life light bulbs which generated a lot of heat. I then had this dead animal smell in one room, and finally found out that this hot light bulb was slowly cooking a lighting fixture. I replaced these light bulbs and the lamp, and no more bad smell.
likegarden
 
Posts: 1212
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 6:33 pm

Postby roymeo » Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:20 pm

We thought someone was just having a party occasionally in our converted build loft space in SF in dogpatch, til someone left the water running: http://www.brokenoffcarantenna.com/roymeo/


If you live in one of those nice residential neighborhoods like the Sunset, you can't have been living there long to not know that many of your neighbors are growing. That nice old lady across the street doesn't have the gardener in once a week to take care of the back yard.
The sewer system is a form of welfare state.
-- "Libra", Don DeLillo
User avatar
roymeo
 
Posts: 966
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:19 pm
Location: SF, CA

.

Postby gailcox » Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:29 pm

garlic. Once I had a few bulbs of garlic that were going bad and they had a skunk-like smell. Check your garlic bulbs. Good luck.
gailcox
 
Posts: 381
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:18 am
Location: Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

Re: Odd skunk smell inside the house

Postby rcshouldis » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:59 pm

Raybo wrote:My wife and I have both complained recently of waking up to a skunk smell in our house. I live in San Francisco where there are skunks aplenty. Skunks are nocturnal, so I never see them around the house.

I know that skunks have an odor like their spray. To me, the smell is more the animal's usual odor and not a recent spray (say, against our house).

But, our house is on a cement slab and there are no ways under as far as I know. Thus, I don't think the skunks are actually living under our house.

This morning, I smelled the same odor outside, briefly.

Does anyone have any ideas where this smell might be coming from? It doesn't permeate the house but both my wife and I noticed it in the upstairs hall (2 stories above the ground and inside the house). There is an open window in the bathroom that connects to the hall but the skunk smell isn't in the bathroom.

It has me puzzled.

Ray


Call Billy!

Image
User avatar
rcshouldis
 
Posts: 673
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 11:28 am

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:07 pm

Couple of thoughts - perhaps the wax seal on the toilet has disengaged from the base of the toilet allowing sewer gas to seep out.
Alternatively, do you have an attic? There may be a dead squirrel or raccoon up there that recently departed but left it's carcass for you to find.
One other idea - a local cat has been spraying it's pugent feral scents outside your abode.
Grt2bOutdoors
 
Posts: 9863
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 9:20 pm
Location: New York

Postby zaplunken » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:40 pm

Maybe you have an "Odd skunk inside the house" and it smells?

Or maybe someone cracked open a Balentine Ale?
User avatar
zaplunken
 
Posts: 685
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:07 am

Postby pitt76 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:54 pm

I had an odor like that , that was permeating the house on both floors. It ended up being 5 dead mice inside the wall in a second floor closet. I called an exterminator who said he didn't handle this sort of thing, but referred me to a guy who takes care of wildlife problems. He came in ,looked around and zeroed right in on the problem. He cut two squares out of the drywall, removed them and repaired the drywall. The odor was stronger on the first floor but somehow, there were mice inside an indoor wall on the second floor. Go figure. The problem never reoccurred. If I were you I would look in the yellow pages under exterminators but get one specializing in wildlife, not guys that just spray.
pitt76
 
Posts: 248
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 9:08 pm

Postby roymeo » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:57 pm

pitt76 wrote: If I were you I would look in the yellow pages under exterminators


...after making sure it's just not the neighbors who share a light-well with you smoking up before bed.
The sewer system is a form of welfare state.
-- "Libra", Don DeLillo
User avatar
roymeo
 
Posts: 966
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:19 pm
Location: SF, CA

Postby paulsiu » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:01 am

As other mentioned, check for gas, leaking from cracks in the ground.

If it's not skunks, it could be stray cats peeing near your house.

Paul
paulsiu
 
Posts: 1330
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:46 pm

Postby Sunflower » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:59 am

I used to wake up in the morning smelling a heavy skunk smell. Turns out a skunk was passing by my window at that time each day. Do you have a tunnel entrance and it's passing through?
User avatar
Sunflower
 
Posts: 351
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2007 3:23 am
Location: Ess Eff, CA

Postby Dan Moroboshi » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:47 pm

Maybe it's a dead critter in a wall.

This happened to us. We located the area where the smell was strongest, and cut a hole in the drywall.

Inside was a dessicated, decaying bird carcass. We never figured out exactly how it got in there, but it must have gotten into the attic and somehow made its way into the wall.
User avatar
Dan Moroboshi
 
Posts: 866
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 8:10 pm

Postby TxAg » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:13 pm

It's the beginning of skunk mating season. Sometimes males will spray other males while fighting over a female. Sometimes they'll spray at a dog, cat, etc. Could just be that you have an active backyard...the smell is certainly strong enough to get inside the house.
TxAg
 
Posts: 412
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 12:09 pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Skunk smell in San Francisco

Postby powyccommodore » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:46 pm

We moved to San Francisco in December 2010 and almost every time we walk around the city we get whiffs of a skunk smell. I'm from the mid-west and south and I KNOW the smell. It's not gas. It's not dead mice. It's not marijuana-- well, I'm not real up on weed smells. I think it's SKUNK.

I read here that skunks live in this urban area. Any confirmation of that? I
know I have seen foxes in downtown Washington, DC so I could believe skunks.
powyccommodore
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:28 pm

Re: Skunk smell in San Francisco

Postby Sunflower » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:00 am

powyccommodore wrote:We moved to San Francisco in December 2010 and almost every time we walk around the city we get whiffs of a skunk smell. I'm from the mid-west and south and I KNOW the smell. It's not gas. It's not dead mice. It's not marijuana-- well, I'm not real up on weed smells. I think it's SKUNK.

I read here that skunks live in this urban area. Any confirmation of that? I
know I have seen foxes in downtown Washington, DC so I could believe skunks.


Confirmation that skunks are in San Francisco? Absolutely. I've had couple personal encounters with live skunks. A friend of mine has a skunk family living in his backyard. There are also raccoons, possums, and even coyotes and foxes (rarely see them though). But skunks and raccoons are definitely not an unusual sight -- particularly if you live near a park/greenbelt.
User avatar
Sunflower
 
Posts: 351
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2007 3:23 am
Location: Ess Eff, CA


Return to Personal Consumer Issues

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Judsen, Lynette, MattE, molesky, Rosebud, rotorhead, TX_TURTLE and 53 guests