Problem #1: Where was this skunk? After investigating, Ange and I deduced that the smell was coming from underneath the concrete steps outside of our front door. It seemed that a wayward skunk must have squeezed through the small crevice between the house and the hollow concrete steps and taken up residence.
Problem #2: What should we do? Knowing that skunks are primarily nocturnal, Ange and I had time to Google a solution before the skunk emerged. We learned that skunks hate water and don't like nesting anywhere around water. Ange cleverly rigged up a hose with a sprinkler-type nozzle on it. He positioned it on the top of the stairs so that it pointed away from the house and sprayed inside the steps. He turned the water on just enough to have a fine spray coming out.
Ange watched from the outside, while I watched from the inside window closest to the front steps. The important part was that we needed to actually see a skunk come out. Finally, about ten minutes later, out came a wet, dazed, big, fat skunk. It waddled away and disappeared into the woods. To make sure there were no other skunks under the steps, we kept the water spray going for five more minutes. Ange then turned the water off and immediately blocked the crevice by the steps with a big iron pipe so the skunk (or any other varmint) couldn't get back in.
It took a day or two, along with some Febreze, but the smell finally vanished. I'm happy to say that our front steps have been skunk-free ever since. When you live in the country, you always have to expect the unexpected!
Photo courtesy of NDomer73 from www.flickr.com
(There's no way I'd get anywhere near a skunk to take a photo!)