Why Skunks SprayA skunk’s first response is to run away from danger and only to spray only as a last resort. When cornered, one will hiss, stamp its feet, charge, and sometimes do a handstand. When all these bluffs fail, even baby skunks feel they have no choice but to fire away at whatever is bothering them. Skunks use their spray to protect themselves from predators and perceived threats including:
- Great horned owls
- Sudden loud noises
How To Get Rid of Skunk SmellThe active ingredient in skunk spray is a chemical known as a thiol. Thiols are aromatic, which means they evaporate into the air and carry strong aromas with them. Contrary to popular belief, the best way to neutralize thiol is not with tomato juice. Washing with water is also not a good idea because a secondary compound in skunk spray is thioacetate, which turns smelly once it reacts with water. According to chemists, the best way to disarm both chemicals is to douse them with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.
Why Skunks Move Into Your HouseBefore humans lived in Ontario, a pregnant female skunk would dig a den beneath a hollow log or a rock crevice. But with so many human structures now available, it is only natural that she would choose to have her babies in a warm, dry shed or beneath a porch. To her, these seem like ideal locations.
Other characteristics that make your property appealing to skunks are sources of food. Consider whether your yard contains any of the following items:
- Edible waste in your garbage bins
- Fallen fruit on the ground
- Unpicked vegetables in the garden
- Grubs on your lawn
How To Get Rid of Skunks PermanentlySkunk removal is not something to try on your own. If you startle the skunks, your home will smell bad for a long time afterward. You also risk injuring a mother skunk and her babies or even having one bite you. Skedaddle technicians have experience handling animals in a way that keeps everyone safe. Skedaddle also has a proven technique for skunk control that includes installing deep fences that prevent them from digging into locations where you don’t want them.
What To Do When a Skunk Sprays You or Your PetAny encounter with a wild animal can be frightening, but try to remain calm if a skunk sprays you. The liquid does not transmit rabies or other diseases, so neither you nor your pet are in immediate danger. However, the spray can irritate any mucus membranes it touches and even cause asthma attacks in susceptible individuals. Dogs who receive a mouthful might experience vomiting or diarrhea.
If you or your pet are in pain, you should rinse the affected areas as much as you can, then seek medical care.
After receiving any necessary first aid, the first thing to focus on is removing the greasy liquid from your body, clothes, or pet. Take a shower or bathe your pet with as much soap as you need to remove the feeling of oil. Then, mix the following in a bowl and apply it to the fur:
- One quart of hydrogen peroxide
- One-fourth cup of baking soda
- Two teaspoons of dish soap
Wash your clothes once with only laundry soap, and then wash them again with bleach, oxygen cleaner, or hydrogen peroxide to neutralize the odour-causing chemicals. You can also try washing them a third time in vinegar. Do not put clothes in the dryer, because the heat may cook the smell into the fabric permanently. Instead, hang them outside to dry.
How To Remove Skunk Smell From Your HouseIf you know the specific spot where a skunk has sprayed, mop it with a mixture of one cup of bleach to one gallon of water and rinse well. If it is in an area you do not want the bleach to lighten, substitute an oxygen cleaner. You can also mop with the mixture mentioned above for pets.
After removing the source of the smell, open windows and doors to allow as much fresh air as possible to circulate. You may need to replace filters in your central air system or any air purifiers if they contain particles of skunk spray. After these steps, consider air fresheners and deodorants to mask the smell until it naturally fades over time.
How Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control Can HelpIf you have cleaned and deodorized but the smell keeps getting stronger, a skunk may have died in a hard-to-access location in your house. In this case, you need the help of professionals who can remove it.
Skedaddle technicians can also determine whether skunks are still living on your property and find out where they are getting in. We will humanely remove any resident skunks and then do what is necessary to keep the situation from occurring again. Contact us today to schedule a property evaluation and to learn more about how we can make your home skunk-proof.