Oh, that notorious smell. We all know it well, and many dog owners know it far too well for their liking. If it weren’t for their stink, we would probably think much more highly of skunks. They are actually adorable little critters, with their distinctive black and white markings and fluffy tails. Unfortunately, though, it is their noxious scent that has earned them an unfavorable reputation. This smell, however, is sometimes the only thing that gets between them and their predators.
The First Line of Defense
Skunks are amiable, social animals. They aren’t known for initiating a fight and would really much rather avoid conflict. If they sense danger, they are likely to just leave the area instead of sticking around to defend themselves. Skunks do not have very good eyesight and they do not move very quickly, but they do have keen hearing which can help them detect danger coming their way.
The best skunk deterrent for homeowners and dog owners is to make some noise before you or your dog heads outside at night. This will give the skunk ample warning to skedaddle on out of the area. However, if you or your dog happen to catch him off-guard, he is not likely to spray immediately, unless he thinks the danger is imminent. Instead, the skunk is more likely to stomp his feet, raise his tail and bend his backside in your direction, without taking his eyes off of you.
The Final Draw
If the initial warnings don’t work, a skunk will resort to its defense of last resort. Even then, it is likely only to release a small amount. It doesn’t take much for the stench to overwhelm anything with a nose to smell it. There is a reason why skunks often don’t spray right away. One major release can completely deplete them of their primary source of protection, leaving them vulnerable to their predators.
Skunks will only fully let loose when they are really threatened. Since they are only capable of releasing a limited amount of spray, their aim has to be good! The fluid is discharged from two glands on their back side, and these glands rotate independently of one another. This provides them with bulls-eye accuracy for distances up to 10 feet. Once their spray is depleted, it can take as much as 10 days before it is replenished.
The Power of Chemistry
If you or your pet becomes a skunk’s target, that smell can be extremely difficult to remove, particularly if you get the full treatment. The reason odour is so potent comes down to chemistry. If you ever participated in a classroom experiment in school involving sulfur, you are familiar with this chemical’s pungency.
The primary compounds in skunk spray that gives it the gag-inducing scent are two types of thiols. Thiols contain sulfur, which gives off the rotten egg smell we associate with skunks and chemistry class. The potency is so strong that it can be detected nearly a kilometer away. If you are worried about a resident skunk in your yard, avoid getting sprayed and contact professionals in skunk removal in Pickering.
The power of chemistry causes the odour, and it can also help remove it. One of the best ways to get rid of the stench if your pet gets sprayed is to use a combination of one litre of 3% hydrogen peroxide and ¼ litre of baking soda on the fur. This mixture oxidizes the thiols, neutralizing the smell, but it may also alter the color of your pet’s fur!
The Skunk Removal Pros
Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control technicians understand skunk behavior. When you have skunks on your property that do not leave, they have the experience and expertise to safely and humanely remove them. To get help with skunk removal in Pickering, contact us today.