Most people know all too well that skunks emit a smell so foul it can make their eyes water (the spray also contains a tear-gas-like substance that, quite literally, can make your eyes water). Though these animals have a potent defence, it isn’t always clear when or why they use it. Skunks aren’t aggressive, but you don’t want to approach one on your property or attempt to remove it. Instead, contact professionals for humane wildlife control in Coquitlam.
What’s Up With That Smell?
You know what the smell comes from, but do you know why it smells so bad? The stench may remind you of the sulphur experiments from science class. It’s that rotten egg stench. It stinks as much as it does because the oily substance contains sulphur-based chemical compounds called thiols. The odour is so strong it can travel distances of up to 2.5 kilometres.
Skunks also have a superb aim. They have two nipples on the sides of their anuses that excrete the spray. They can manipulate these nipples to change the direction of the spray. They can also adjust the opening size to make the spray come out in either a stream or a mist.
What Made It Do It?
You thought you were just trying to help a fella out, but you still got sprayed. Why? Contrary to popular belief, skunks don’t spray all the time or on a whim. Their spray is their strongest line of defence, but once they release it, it takes up to 10 days to replenish their supply. In the meantime, they are left vulnerable. Therefore, they only release the foul-smelling oil as a last resort.
Skunks have few natural enemies, as most animals learn to avoid the black and white critter with the lethal backside. When an animal or human does threaten a skunk, its first reaction is to attempt escape. Next, it’ll give off warning signs, stomping its feet, raising its tail and lifting its front legs off the ground. When any of these happens, it’s a good time to back away.
A skunk only sprays when it feels threatened and perceives no way out of the situation it is in. Females also spray if you approach their den when they have kits inside. Likewise, if you see little ones who appear on their own, leave them alone, as mama is likely nearby. If you fear that they’ve been orphaned, contact professionals who can help take care of the situation safely.
How Long Are You Stuck With the Stench?
You could be stuck with the stink for a long time. In addition to the thiols, skunk spray contains thioacetates. This chemical doesn’t stink until it comes into contact with water, including the moisture in the air. When it does, it produces the same smell as the thiols. It doesn’t matter if the contact occurs a day or three days after; you’re still “rewarded” with the noxious stench.
There are do-it-yourself spray removal recipes out there for humans and their pets. However, these aren’t always reliable means of getting rid of the smell. Remember, this is the animal’s most potent defence mechanism, so it has to be a strong deterrent. The thioacetates have real staying power, making them difficult to remove. The best way to handle the smell is not to get sprayed! If you discover a skunk on your property, steer clear and call the experts in humane skunk removal.
Who Can You Call for Wildlife Control in Coquitlam?
At Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control, we get skunks, and we get why you don’t want them hanging around your house. Our technicians can remove Scram the Skunk without causing any harm and without leaving your property smelling like rotten eggs. If there are any little ones around, we’ll get them out safely, too, and reunite them with mama skunk. When you need help with wildlife control, give us a shout to arrange services.