The skunk is generally a gentle creature that just wants to be left alone, but nature has equipped it with a formidable defensive weapon with its smelly spray. Once you have smelled the odour of a skunk, it is instantly recognizable and completely unforgettable. In many cases, the smell alerts homeowners to the presence of a family of skunks on their property and prompts them to call for professional skunk removal as soon as possible.
However, some people do not have the ability to smell skunks at all. It is because of a condition called anosmia. There are two types of anosmia: general anosmia is an inability to smell anything at all, while specific anosmia is an insensitivity to specific odours only.
General anosmia is also referred to as a loss of smell. It has many different causes and can be either temporary or permanent. Temporary causes of anosmia include congestion from a cold, allergy, or other upper respiratory conditions. When the congestion clears up, the sense of smell usually returns to normal.
Anosmia is one of the characteristic symptoms of COVID-19. While most people who lost their sense of smell due to COVID infection got it back upon recovery, some patients report that their COVID-induced anosmia has persisted long after their other symptoms have resolved. Because COVID is a new disease, it is unclear whether persistent postinfection anosmia may be permanent.
General anosmia may also be caused by head trauma affecting the nerves, growths in the nose called nasal polyps, exposure to chemicals, or neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. Anosmia may be a side effect of certain medications or occur later in life as part of the aging process. Rarely, anosmia may be present from birth because of a genetic anomaly.
An inability to smell may not seem like a significant disability, and while people with general anosmia are usually able to function more or less normally, some report that it has a negative effect on their quality of life. The ability to smell is closely tied to the ability to taste, and some people with anosmia have a hard time appreciating the flavour of their food. The sense of smell is also closely tied to emotions and memory, and people with anosmia sometimes report difficulty connecting with long-term memories or forming attachments to other people. Permanent general anosmia affects approximately 2 million people in the United States.
A person with selective anosmia is generally able to smell normally. However, he or she is unable to perceive a specific scent. Selective anosmia is much more common than the inability to smell anything at all. There are different types of anosmia affecting the ability to perceive various scents. Approximately one out of 1,000 people is unable to perceive the smell of skunks because of selective anosmia.
It is not entirely clear what causes selective anosmia. It appears to be a genetic predisposition to be insensitive to a certain olfactory stimulus. While it might seem like a good thing not to be able to smell skunk, there are possible downsides. If you cannot smell a skunk, you might not know that one is nearby, and you may be more likely to wander right into its den. Skunks are usually not inclined to bite but may do so in self-defense if they feel they have no other options, and a skunk that is infected with rabies may be more aggressive and predisposed to bite.
Skunk Removal and Wildlife Control in Barrie
Even if you cannot smell skunks, that doesn’t mean that you should let them remain on your property. In addition to the possibility of spreading disease, skunks can dig up your yard looking for food, and chances are your family members and neighbours can smell them even if you can’t. Contact Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control in Barrie for removal of skunks and any other unwanted wild animals on your property.