Skunks are some of the most famous among wild animals that all have a love-hate relationship with. While most of us dread encountering them, some have learned to domesticate them to use as pets. Their iconic black and white body is synonymous with an incredibly unpleasant smell they are famous for; skunks nonetheless love to be close to humans and are known for serial invasions of people’s garages and storage facilities. This has pushed many to go searching for how to get rid of skunks and their awful smell.
Though most skunks are mostly indentified as black in color with a white strip running through their back, there are others that have various colors ranging from grey to cream, brown and ginger colors. They are mammals whose body length ranges from above 40 cm to about 95 cm, with varying weights from less than a kilogram to over 8 kg depending on the specific kind of skunk.
Skunk Diet and Behavior
Skunks are voracious eaters of almost everything. Known to be omnivores, skunks can munch on almost anything that crosses their path. They eat plants, earthworms, rodents, lizards, birds, grubs, moles, birds, eggs and even snakes! They are also very fond of eating berries, nuts and fungi. When living close to settled areas, skunks are routinely found scavenging on garbage as the rummage for anything that will keep their tummies busy.
Skunks are nocturnal by nature and usually look for food at night. They live in burrows and only live communally when they are breeding. A male skunk usually mates with several females, with the females seeing out the winter in groups in their dens, while the male dens alone. They have an excellent sense of smell but are poor with their eyes, making them particularly vulnerable to being killed while crossing roads.
Do Skunks Bite?
Due to their love of human dumpsters, or seeking shelter in garages during winter, skunks come in constant contact with humans living near their habitats. And these encounters are usually less than pleasant. Because though skunks do not normally bite humans or their pet dogs who try to chase them off, they have a potent alternative in their extremely powerful scent/odor which they release when being pressured.
Why Do Skunks Spray?
The odor is their defensive mechanism against threat, as it is so offensive that neither animals nor humans can stand it. Sometimes it even affects the eyes of pet dogs that come too close. This odor can cling on for long if nothing is done to neutralize it.
How to Prevent Skunk Invasion
Skunks are inevitable to be encountered in settlements that are close to their habitat, because they love to check out the dumpsters. Often our pet dogs and other domestic animals come back with an awfully terrible smell that is very hard to get rid of. So to prevent skunks from invading our home and causing us discomfort here are the following suggestions.
Secure Your Trash
The main thing that attracts skunks to our homes is an open trash, especially when it has a lot of leftover food. Skunks will come and rummage through it, leaving a terrible mess before morning. A simple remedy is to put a high fence around the dumpster, and also to avoid feed pets outside and when we do to make sure that no leftover is left behind that will attract them.
Secure Your Home
Skunks are also very much attracted to garages especially during the winter months as they look for shelter. And open garage or an open window will attract them to come and make a temporary home. So make sure you keep your garage gate and windows closed to deny them entry
Disallow Dening Close to Your Home
The reason why you may be having continued skunk problems might be because there are a number of dens in your garden or in the areas closest to your home. Seek out these dens crush them and harass the residents to go further away from where you live.
How to Get Rid of Skunk Smell
Skunk smell is not something that can be tolerated. It is extremely obnoxious especially when our pets get sprayed at close quarters. A lot of methods don’t work in efficiently ridding ourselves of the smell, especially the old tomato juice trick. Tomato juice only goes as far as reducing the potency of the odor it doesn’t eliminate it. So if you are looking to get rid of skunk smell in your house then this option is not going to give you the results you desire.
As it stands the undisputed method of getting rid of skunk smell is by a potent combination of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and everyday dish washing liquid soap. The ratio of the mixture is as follows:
- One quarter of a cup of Baking Soda
- 1 to 2 teaspoon measure of liquid dish wash
- 1 quart of 3% H2O2 (Hydrogen Peroxide)
After thoroughly mixing, the person or pet that gets spray should be shampooed with it and thoroughly scrubbed. Then water will be used to wash off both the foam and with it the smell. For cats, dogs and other furry animals, wash off the mixture quickly after scrubbing. It is also very important that this mixture is only made when immediately needed. It is strongly advised not to make it and store for future use as it can easily explode when stored in a bottle for long periods.
When the spray is in the house or the garage, the same mixture can be made to wash off the surfaces that have been affected, then thoroughly scrubbed with brush and then washed off with water yet again. For furniture as sofas, after washing it is wise to take it out to dry in the sun, as this will aid in evaporating any residual spray that has gotten deeper into the fabric of the furniture or carpets.