A family's dream home became a stinky nightmare after skunks moved in.

They chewed underneath Kerry McCullough's house in Sheffield Lake, about 20 miles west of Cleveland, and started their own family.

McCullough said the odor from the four skunks is like the stench of burning plastic, so bad that it hurt his lungs.

The squatters went unnoticed until the heat was turned on last winter. The McCulloughs' house uses hot water heat with exposed pipes running under the floors. When a skunk brushed up against the pipes, it would spray.

"It would be 30 degrees, and I'd have the windows open," said Karen McCullough, 46. "I'd go to the grocery store and people would say, 'It smells like skunk."'

What's really foul is how much damage the critters can cause. The McCulloughs had to replace doors and walls and take their kitchen apart, for a total cost of about $75,000.

Kerry McCullough said at least his insurance doesn't stink: It covered most of the bills.