When You Get Skunked

Skunks don’t seem to mind coming into housing areas and to come into contact with humans, leading the latter to being skunked or sprayed. Skunks use the scent glands located on either side of their anus as a weapon.

When they’re threatened, up goes the tail and off goes the secretion. And you get skunked.

But before they decide to spray, there’s usually a display that signals they’re thinking about it. They may hiss, stomp their feet, and raise their tails. If you happen to see this, get away!

Your contact with skunks will most likely happen at those times of day when there is just a little light. Twilight, dawn, and full moon nights typically. They have relatively poor sight, but excellent senses of smell and hearing. And, of course, they’re accurate with their spray.

So, what do you do if you find yourself face-to-face with a skunk? Run away. That’s the best option if you don’t want to get skunked.

But if you can’t, and you get sprayed what do you do? First, keep in mind anything you touch with clothes that are sprayed will end up smelling just like the clothes. Or your hands, for that matter. Stay outside, if you can. By all means, don’t get in your car! It’ll get skunked, just like you did.

If you’re sprayed in the face, immediately flush your eyes and face with water. Lots of water. The spray from skunks contains a lot of sulfur and alcohol that can lead to temporary blindness or worse.

Don’t believe the old wives’ tales of tomato juice or air fresheners or lemon juice doing anything about getting rid of skunk odor. They don’t. You’ll only be adding another scent on top of the skunk scent.

Because of the type of compound skunks spray, you have to neutralize the chemicals there. The best home remedy seems to be combining a quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, a teaspoon of mild dishwashing detergent, and a quarter cup of baking soda. Wash with this mixture in the shower or tub. Spend most of your time and mixture on the area directly sprayed. This part of you will have the highest amount of the “skunk oils” present. Use the mixture on your hair, also, but don’t leave it on there long. You could find yourself with very different hair color if you don’t rinse it fairly quickly.

You may have to do this more than once to completely get rid of the smell. But this means mixing another solution. The reaction from the chemicals in your mixture doesn’t last long. Also, you can’t store any leftover solution; it loses its potency.

You can also buy special sprays at pet stores that are designed to neutralize the skunk odor.

Your best bet is to call a professional to get rid of the skunk. This way, you don’t get skunked and the skunk doesn’t get hurt. Heath’s Wildlife Service provides 24-hour emergency and long-term nuisance wildlife solutions for your home or business with a focus on customer service, mutual trust, and ongoing support and information. Chris Heath will give you a no-obligation, free estimate for removing pests from your home. Call 855-422-0434 or 603-664-0513.