GRANTS PASS, Ore.– A Grants Pass man is dealing with a particularly stinky problem.
Tom Pugh, a high school teacher, says for the past several weeks he’s been woken up in the middle of the night to the sound – and smell – of skunks. Last Sunday was the last time he’s been “stinkbombed” as he calls it.
“It comes up through the floorboards and so I just wake up dark-thirty in the morning and it’s just…ugh, I can smell it. I can taste it. My eyes start to water,” said Pugh.
The skunks have managed to burrow into a hole underneath his home and directly beneath his bedroom. Pugh says most times he gets stinkbombed he has to air out his house and wait till the smell dissipates.
Pest control has come by to deal with the critters and each time they’ve left with cages full. But they’ve had to come back again and again. At this point, Pugh says he’s captured 21 skunks underneath his home.
“It’s frustrating but it’s also funny,” he said.
He calls his situation Pugh versus Le Pew after the infamous Looney Tunes skunk Pepe Le Pew. While he’s attempted to board up the hole, the critters have found ways to crawl through or around the blockade. On Saturday, Pugh said things seem to have started to die down but he wants to make sure there are no skunks inside when he seals up the hole for good.
He’s been told by the pest control company that they’ve never had to capture this many skunks at one property.
“The record was fourteen or sixteen under a deck in Ashland,” said Pugh.
It’s not the same skunk too. Pugh says he’s seen little ones pulled out as well as grizzled old-timers. He’s not sure why they all come to the same spot but he understands it’s a dry, warm place and perhaps there’s a certain scent left behind for other skunks to follow.
“I don’t want to be in the Guinness Book of World Records,” said Pugh with a laugh. “Not for this. Not for this. This is not a record that I want.”
Pugh has taken the whole thing in stride but it’s getting expensive. So far, he estimates he’s spent a couple thousand dollars to pay pest control to take them all away. He says he understands the little critters were here first, he just wants to finally get some sleep and put an end to this unwanted stinky situation.
NBC5 News Reporter Miles Furuichi graduated from Chapman University with degrees in English and Journalism. He received post graduate experience in Los Angeles in photojournalism and commercial photography. He also spent time in Dublin, Ireland working in print journalism and advertising.
Miles is a Rogue Valley native, raised in Ashland. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking and photography.