Skunk removal is a delicate process that needs to be handled by a professional. Anyone who has startled a skunk knows the result: watery burning eyes, a miserable stench, and difficulty breathing, even if it doesn’t get on you. Skunk smell can get into your house from a variety of sources. For instance, you or your pet might be sprayed, or a skunk could spray something else directly outside of your house.
Read below for signs you may have a skunk problem, more about where skunks live, how to get rid of skunks, tips on how to neutralize skunk odor on yourself or a pet and how Skedaddle can help remedy your skunk problem,
Signs You May Have a Skunk Problem
It is more likely you will smell a skunk than see one. Persistent, faint musk smells under a building or woodpile may suggest that a skunk has taken up residence. You may find small, shallow holes in the lawn, similar to those made by squirrels, which are a result of a skunk foraging for grubs and insect larva.
Where Do Skunks Live?
Skunks cannot climb, so they make their dens at ground level. Skunks tend to burrow out their dens in cavities underneath structures such as concrete front steps, wooden porches, decks, sheds, and home additions that do not have foundations.
How To Get Rid of Skunks
The key to getting the animals out from under these steps permanently is to block access. A Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control technician will be able to tell you what needs to be done to remove the skunks and ensure they don’t come back. Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control digs a trench and uses heavy-gauge screening to prevent skunks from gaining entry under porches, sheds, and any place without a solid foundation.
The best way to avoid that awful skunk smell is to avoid getting yourself, your pets or your children sprayed in the first place. If you take away the den site on your property, the odds of your dog coming into contact with a skunk are greatly diminished.
How To Neutralize Skunk Odor
There are several things you can try if you’re struggling with how to get rid of the skunk smell. Bathing with chlorine bleach. Similar to what is used in a hot tub or swimming pool. chlorine bleach will neutralize the sulfuric acid in the skunk spray that causes the smell. Be sure to follow the proper ratios of chlorine to the water.
What To Do if My Pet Gets Sprayed
First, make sure that you are wearing disposable clothing and gloves. The smell will infiltrate everything you are wearing. Wash your pet outside so the smell does not penetrate any carpet or fabric inside your home. Use paper towels to sop up the area where your pet was sprayed. Clean the sprayed area directly, before washing your pet at least 3 times in a full lather of soapy warm water. You can also purchase de-skunking shampoo from a local retailer.
Let your pet air dry completely before they come back inside the house. If they have used any bedding or pillows while affected by skunk spray, rigorously clean them as well, or replace them entirely.
What To Do if You Get Sprayed by a Skunk?
- Take a bath or shower immediately. The spray easily soaks into your skin, giving you a body odor no deodorant can tackle.
- Use liberal amounts of soap. If you can, use dawn dishwashing soap (or equivalent) which is the best grease cutter available
- Sulfur is neutralized by chlorine bleach. Chlorine is used in small quantities in swimming pools and hot tubs. If you have access to the powder or chlorine tablets that are used in pools or hot tubs, get your bathtub set up properly (adjusted to the small amount of water in the tub) and have a bath for a good 15 minutes or so.
- Shower thoroughly to rinse after your bath.
Note: Please don’t use the chlorine bleach we use in the laundry. It’s very concentrated, highly alkaline, not to mention NOT SAFE to bathe in or get on your skin. It will completely dissolve hair. Chlorine bleach is caustic and toxic.
- The next best thing is baking soda. It is also alkaline, but not caustic or toxic. Baking soda is also a great deodorizer because it is alkaline. Run your bath and toss in 4 cups of baking soda. Make sure the baking soda has dissolved completely.
Have a good soak for 15 minutes. It won’t hurt NOT to rinse after the baking soda bath. As long as you don’t feel itchy or uncomfortable, the baking soda will still be deodorizing.
Keep the Air Circulating in Your Home
Run fans to keep the air circulating in your home. If you allow the air to remain still and stagnant, the skunk smell will only sink deeper into your fabrics. Turning on all the fans in your home as soon as possible helps to keep the air in your house moving, thereby preventing the odor from settling into anything too deeply.
This works especially well when used in conjunction with opened windows.
- Change out your air conditioner and heater filters before and after you treat the rest of your home for skunk odor. The skunk smell can cling to these filters, and as a result, you may end up smelling skunk through your air vents for months. The only way to remedy this is by changing out your air filters.
- If you cannot pinpoint the exact source of the smell, fill small bowls with a little white vinegar and place them around the house. If you have pets or small children, you may want to consider putting the vinegar high up on shelves to prevent them from ingesting it. The vinegar should absorb much of the smell after 24 hours. In most cases, the smell of vinegar should not be too potent, either.
- Skunk spray has the tendency to soak into the fibers of clothing, lasting for a very long time. Unless the clothing is a cherished piece- toss it, because the smell is hard to get rid of. If the oily part of the skunk spray is not removed from the clothing, the stink will remain.
- If you want to try to clean it, washing with your regular detergent may not get the smell completely. Hot water, liberal amounts of detergent and 4 cups of vinegar in the wash water. Otherwise the scent will soak into the fabric permanently.
How to Remove Skunk Spray From Outdoor Furniture?
Not every skunk attacks a person or animal, sometimes your outdoor furniture becomes the victim of a spooked skunk. When this is the case, try mixing 10 percent Clorox Bleach with 90 percent water for a refreshing and safe odor-removing cleanser. Simply spraying your outdoor furniture with the mixture may be enough to relive those noxious fumes, or in more severe cases, you may need to actually scrub the furniture down with it
- Treating the odor as soon as possible will yield the best results. It will be much more difficult to remove the odor once the skunk spray has dried
- Dunk contaminated fabrics into the solution. Dip your contaminated clothes and other fabrics into the diluted vinegar. Let them soak for two to three hours.
- For best results, use your hands to gently scrub the fabric for several minutes after dipping it into the vinegar solution. Doing so works the vinegar in between the fibres of the fabric, allowing it to penetrate further and deodorize more of the smell.
This treatment is most effective when performed within one or two hours of contamination.
How Long Does Skunk Smell Last?
Mild skunk smells can usually be removed by simply airing out your home, but stronger skunk smells that have worked their way into fur, clothes, or carpeting can linger for several months to several years if immediate action is not taken. If a skunk has died near or under your home, the skunk scent will linger far longer.
Trust the Professionals at Skedaddle
The truth is that most people need professional help when figuring out how to get rid of a skunk. We will assess the skunk’s entry points, clear and clean its den, safely transports its babies, and install preventative measures to ensure no skunks return. For more helpful tips and wildlife removal services contact our Skedaddle team today.