When you think of a skunk, the image of its cute little striped face is not often what comes to mind. No, the thing that immediately springs to mind is the stench it gives off. Anyone who has ever taunted one directly or indirectly knows the result: watery and burning eyes, pervasive smell and shortness of breath. In this regard, how long does the skunk smell last? As the warm weather approaches along with this furry mammal’s great return, we get to the bottom of the matter.
How does a skunk produce its smell?
To produce its foul-smelling odour, skunks use their secretory glands, which are located near their anus. Skunks normally use their glands to seduce a partner, but they can also be used as a defense. This is done by transforming the glandular secretion into a kind of tear gas. As soon as it is released, this gas emits a pungent and suffocating smell that is enough to deter a predator. A skunk can discharge its odour as a fog or liquid, and its spray can reach up to 18 feet in windy weather.
Why is it so difficult to get rid of the smell?
Skunks can easily be exterminated by relocating them, but it is very difficult to get rid of their smell. Those who have had the misfortune of being sprayed by this animal are well aware of this. But why is this the case?
In addition to its oily texture, the secretion sprayed by skunks on their predators contains many pungent chemicals. These include methylquinoline, thioacetate and thiols. Thiols, which contain sulphur, contribute to the intense smell, while thioacetate allows it to persist.
How long does it take to get rid of the skunk smell?
Light skunk smells can be eliminated by good ventilation, usually within 14 to 21 days. However, this does not apply to stronger odours, such as those found on clothing, furniture and pet fur. If no immediate action is taken, an untreated skunk smell can last for months or even years. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to get rid of this unpleasant smell.
Some effective methods of coping
If you are sprayed by a skunk, there are a few ways to deal with it. First, take a bath or shower immediately after being sprayed and wash yourself thoroughly with a large amount of grease-cutting soap, then rinse again after your bath or shower.
Baking soda is another effective deodorant option due to its high alkalinity. To get the most out of it, run a bath and add four cups of dissolved baking soda. Bathe in it for fifteen minutes and avoid rinsing afterwards. As for your clothes, it is best to throw them away since the skunk smell will permanently soak into the fabric due to the oily substance in the aerosol.
Prevention is essential if you want to avoid being sprayed by a skunk. Since this mammal is unable to climb, it tends to settle under porches and in sheds. To prevent this, several sealing techniques can be used and sometimes only a pest control expert can help. Just make sure you choose the right exterminator.
Get rid of skunk smell as quick as possible
Although the smell they produce is nauseating, skunks do not pose a major threat. However, a professional pest control service is required to properly relocate them.
Elite Pest Control masters the proper capture and sealing techniques used to deal with skunk infestations. To find out more about this subject or if you are suffering from an infestation, contact us.