How to Avoid Getting Sprayed by a Skunk

Imagine a world where no matter what you did, you stank.

Not a faint stink either, but a room-clearing, nostril-quivering stench that revives that plague-stricken peasants’ putridness from the 14th century. 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 odor, 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, mistaking unsuspecting humanoids for wolves, coyotes, or badgers. Also, 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, and watch for spraying signals. If you see a skunk with tail raised on hind legs, and pounding its front legs, back away slowly and calmly.

Using proper practices of skunk control will keep skunks away, preventing possible burrowing on your property. Don’t leave food and garbage out. Deploying motion activated sprinklers and household ammonias will repel skunks.

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.

Solution:  Don’t walk your dog after dark or on country roads. 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.

And please, don’t let your dog roam free in a ravine. That’s just asking for it.

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 odor. Look for skunk droppings; they resemble cat spoor 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.

Keep Skunks Away by Scaring Them Off

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. Maybe you were caught off-guard. Maybe you like to live dangerously. Maybe 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 in a low voice, gently scaring the stinky menace off. Boom! Skunk problem solved!


Terminix Is the Solution to your Skunk Problem

We offer tons of skunk and wildlife control advice on how to duck, dodge, and repel skunks – but skunk problems still happen to the best-smelling of us.

Thankfully, Terminix Canada provides skunk removal, rodent control, and other wildlife removal services throughout the GTA. Contact us for a free inspection!