While out at night, have you ever smelt a strong, pungent odour that smells a bit like tear gas or rotten eggs? There is only one culprit for that smell: a skunk.
Skunks are nocturnal creatures that can often be found wandering around your yard looking for food. If you or your dog encounters a skunk, you may be in for a stinky situation.
While skunks have sharp claws, their last resort to defend themselves against a predator is by spraying a foul-smelling, oily substance to ward off other animals and humans. It is an extremely effective way to deter a predator, providing them time to escape.
While skunks’ spray is one of their most distinctive traits, few people know what to expect. Many people want to know, how many times can a skunk spray? And is their spray dangerous to animals or people? We will answer these questions and more in this blog.
Get To Know The Skunk
Skunks often get a bad rap. They are made out to be vicious, smelly, and full of rabies. But, in reality, skunks are relatively calm and friendly.
Skunks spend most of their time finding insects to eat, digging holes for their dens, and avoiding other animals. Just like any other animal, skunks just want to be left alone to go about their day (or night, in this case). If they are threatened, then they will use their instincts to protect themselves.
A skunk will stomp its feet and bristle its fur to ward off an animal or person. If that doesn’t work, it will lift its tail and spray. Skunk spray is an oil that is released a mist from the skunk’s anal glands, has a foul odour, and can travel upwards of 15 feet. It is the perfect way to ward off small animals and humans.
Much to many people’s surprise, adult skunks are not the only ones that can spray; baby skunks can spray from the moment they are born. But, unlike mature animals, baby skunks do not have the ability to control their spray.
How Many Times Can Skunks Spray?
Skunks can spray up to six times in a row before they ruin out of their smelly liquid. So, if you encounter a skunk and it sprays once, you can expect it to happen again if you do not leave the small mammal alone.
After a skunk has used up all of its spray, it can take anywhere from 10 to 14 days for the anal glands to refill. During this period of time, a skunk will be left defenceless against dogs, humans, and other predators.
Skunk Sprays: Are They Dangerous?
If Your Pet Has Been Sprayed
We care for our pets like we do our children, so when your pet has been sprayed by a skunk, you may be worried for their health and safety.
There is good reason to be worried for your pet, too; beyond its terrible odour, skunk spray can have negative effects on pets. For example, if skunk spray comes into contact with a dog’s eyes, it could cause temporary blindness for several hours. The yellow oil eluded from the skunk’s anal glands can also cause irritation if it rests on the dog’s fur. This could result in your dog biting or scratching at the affected area for relief.
If your cat or dog has been sprayed by a skunk, you should immediately wash the animal using one of the two remedies listed below. If you are still concerned about your pet’s health, bring them to a veterinarian.
If You or Someone Else Has Been Sprayed
If you encountered a striped skunk and were sprayed, you may experience other symptoms besides a foul odour. Skunks’ spray can cause skin irritation, as well as diarrhea or vomiting if ingested through the mouth. The scent can also make some people nauseous.
We recommend that you change out of your clothes and put them in the wash. You should use one of the two remedies below to get rid of the skunk smell.
How to Get Rid of the Smell of Skunk Spray
When you get sprayed by a skunk, the first thing people generally recommend is to bathe in tomato juice.
Many people recommend tomato juice because the smell of the tomato masks the smell of skunk spray. It is also something that people usually have in their homes. But, tomato is not that effective; it does not chemically neutralize or oxidize the oils that cause the odour, it just masks it.
Baking Soda, Soap, and Hydrogen Peroxide
Rather than mask the skunk smell, use a remedy that will eliminate it chemically. Baking soda, soap, and hydrogen peroxide can neutralize the skunk smell and leave you or your animal smelling fresh.
You will need 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and 1-2 tsp of liquid dish soap to make this remedy. Make sure to scrub the affected area thoroughly with the mixture before rinsing. Avoid the eyes and mouth as much as possible.
When it comes to squirrels, babies are completely dependent on their mothers for the first few weeks of life in order to fully develop and avoid dying from starvation and dehydration. Female squirrels build a nest to keep their litter safe and the babies will stay there anywhere from five to eight weeks before venturing off on their own.
In the summer, their nest will usually be found on a tree branch but it is not unlikely to find a squirrel and her babies hiding out on your property during the colder months. After all, it is the mother’s duty to keep her young litter safe.