Why Does A Skunk Spray? Our Best Tips To Avoid Getting Sprayed

Why does a skunk spray? Well, imagine a world where no matter what you did, you stank.

Not a faint stink either, but a room-clearing, nostril-quivering smell. You bathe in lemon juice, tomato juice, and vinegar to vanquish the stench, to no avail.

Welcome to the world of skunk spray victims. It can take weeks to rid yourself of the offensive odour, so we’ve compiled a number of ways to avoid such cruel misfortune. Because let’s get serious, the best way to get rid of skunk smell is to not get sprayed in the first place!

Why Would You Get Sprayed By A Skunk?

Skunks use their spray to protect themselves from potential predators. But humans aren’t predatory towards skunks, so why would we ever get sprayed?

It’s simple: skunks are extremely near-sited. Therefore, they often mistake unsuspecting humanoids for wolves, coyotes, or badgers. Additionally, they might not realize they’ve stumbled into an area with humans or pets, until a loud noise alerts them, scaring the stink out of them. If you have skunks living in your home, stomping on your floor when a skunk is nesting in your home will startle the little stinker, causing it to spray as a defense mechanism.

Solution: If you happen to see a skunk, don’t make sudden movements. If you happen to be out walking or lounging in your backyard and a skunk comes to hang out, don’t freak out. Simply start talking or singing softly, but loud enough that it hears you, and everything should be fine. They are very docile creatures and will likely either back away or continue about their business, leaving you alone.

The problems often arise when the skunk is shocked or startled and goes into instant defence mode.

Additionally, watch for spraying signals. If you see a skunk with its tail raised on hind legs, and pounding its front legs, back away slowly and calmly.

Keep Your Dog In Check

If a skunk’s (lack of) vision could make you look like a wolf, think about what it’d make your dog look like. Most stories of people getting sprayed begin with their dog and end with the pungent force of 1,000 unwashed feet. Even the best practices of skunk control go out the door if you let your dog run rampant.

Unfortunately, in most cases when your dog gets sprayed, it’s due to the dog running after or barking at the skunk. If you have a large backyard, make sure to turn on the back light or use a flashlight to shine in the backyard before letting your dog out to do his business in the evenings and at night.

Solution: Don’t walk your dog after dark or on country roads. If you do, keep the dog on a tight leash and don’t let them go poking their nose in bushes or shrubbery. Skunks are nocturnal, and forage for food on said roads, after dark, returning to their dens by daylight. Keep to well-trafficked stretches of road while the sun’s still out. If you see a skunk, make sure your dog maintains a sense of calm.

Was Your Dog Sprayed By A Skunk?

For many pet owners, this is their biggest fear. For many others, it’s all too common of an occurrence depending where you live. Oftentimes, when a dog is sprayed, it’s late at night when stores are closed, and you’ve got a giant stinky problem on your hands? So what can you do about it?

The good news is, the ingredients used to clean your dog from skunk spray are found in most homes. The most important part of cleaning a dog from skunk spray is to apply the solution to a dry dog. Do not wet your dog!

You’ll also want to act fast. The longer the spray sits on your dog, the more it’ll be able to saturate their fur, making it more difficult to fully remove the smell.

If possible, keep the dog out of the house until after they’ve been bathed. If they bring the smell into your home, your home will continue to smell like skunk for a while.

There are many different home remedies out there for tried-and-true methods of removing that stench from your dog’s coat. Find one with the ingredients you have on hand to quickly wash out that skunk juice before it has time to set in.

Know What A Skunk Den Looks Like

Skunk dens are found under wood and rock piles, buildings, porches, concrete slabs, culverts, rock crevices, and in standing and fallen hollow trees.

Look for a grass-free, smooth, 3-by-4-inch depression containing one entrance and a musky odour. Look for skunk droppings; they resemble cat stool and contain all kinds of food. Be aware of skunk tracks as well, which are similar to those of the domestic cat, except that skunks have five toes instead of four. Their tracks are also staggered.

Solution: This one’s easy. If you see the aforementioned signs of a skunk den, get out of dodge, and do it fast. If you have a skunk den on your property, you’ll want to call in the skunk removal experts. Attempting to get rid of it yourself will end in a smelly mess, and no one wants that.

Using proper practices of skunk control will help keep skunks away and prevent possible burrowing on your property. Don’t leave food and garbage out. If you want to take it a step further, you can install motion activated sprinklers or use household ammonias in the backyard to repel skunks.

Avoid Skunk Spray By Making Your Presence Known

Maybe you’re in a situation where you can’t get away and you’re in a stand-off with a tiny, white-streaked, fetid antagonist. It’s possible you were caught off-guard. Maybe you like to live dangerously. It’s possible you don’t feel like running away from an animal the size of your arm. Either way, you’re not backing down.

Solution: You can repel a skunk by stomping your feet, and talking or singing in a low voice, gently scaring the stinky menace off. In some cases, the skunk won’t be bothered by your presence and will continue cruising along the lawn looking for food. In those cases, it’s safe to continue to go about your business, as long as you give them space and keep singing or talking so you don’t surprise it.

Smell The Roses, Not The Skunk Spray With Terminix Canada

When you need professional skunk removal, Terminix Canada is here to help. Skunks need no introduction. If you can smell skunk, then you might have a skunk problem that requires our skunk removal specialists. Skunks’ infamous spray liquid causes noses everywhere to scrunch up in fear of that potent, unpleasant odour.

The best way to get rid of skunks is to contact a certified pest control company that can humanely remove them from your property. Terminix Canada has a team of skunk removal experts that will not only remove the skunks humanely, but they’ll remove the scent of them from your property and work with you to implement systems and defences to prevent them from coming back.