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The skunk is a striped mammal that appears friendly and cute. However, when it feels threatened, especially in the presence of other animals or humans, things can quickly turn sour.

Skunks defend themselves by spraying their target with a yellowish liquid with an extremely foul odor. It can cause watery or burning eyes and shortness of breath and the smell doesn’t go away easily. Few people really know how long the smell lasts and how to get rid of it.

The professional exterminators at Elite Pest Control explain everything you need to know about how long the smell from skunk spray lasts.

Why do skunks stink?

Skunks use their secretory glands, which are located near their anus, to produce their foul smell. Normally, skunks use their glands to seduce a mate, but they can also use them as a defense. To do this, the skunk turns the glandular secretion into a kind of tear gas. When propelled, this gas gives off a pungent, choking odor that is sufficient enough to deter a predator. A skunk can discharge its odor as a mist or liquid and its spray can reach up to 18 feet on windy days.

Why is skunk smell so hard to get rid of?

While it is rather easy to get rid of skunks by relocating them, it is very difficult to get rid of their smell. Those who have had the misfortune to be sprayed by skunks know this very well. But why is this?

In addition to being oily in texture, skunk secretions contain many persistent chemicals. These include methylquinoline, thioacetate and thiols. Thiols, which contain sulfur, help intensify the odor, while thioacetate allows it to persist.

The best way to get rid of skunks is to call a professional exterminator.

How to get rid of skunk smell

Prevention is the key to avoiding being sprayed by a skunk. Since this mammal is unable to climb, it tends to settle under porches and in sheds. There are a number of caulking techniques that can be used to keep them out but sometimes only a pest control expert can help you. Just make sure you choose your exterminator carefully.

If you get sprayed by a skunk, there are several ways to get rid of the smell.

A bath or shower first

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 following your bath or shower.

Baking soda as a deodorizing solution

Baking soda is another effective deodorizing solution due to its high alkalinity. To get the most out of it, run a bath and add four cups of dissolved baking soda. Bathe for fifteen minutes, avoiding rinsing afterwards. As for your clothes, it’s best to throw them away, as the skunk odor will permanently soak into the fabric due to the oily substance in the aerosol.

Skunk smell remover for pets

Another recipe for removing skunk odor from your pet is to mix 1 quart of water, 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid. This mixture will help remove skunk smell lastingly and quickly. Apply this mixture to your pet without getting it in their eyes.

How long does skunk smell last?

Mild skunk odors can be eliminated with proper ventilation, usually within 14 to 21 days. However, stronger odors, such as those that have seeped into clothing, furniture and pet fur, cannot be eliminated.

If no immediate action is taken, untreated skunk smell can last for months or even years. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to get rid of the unpleasant smell.

How many times can a skunk spray?

Once you or your pet has been sprayed by a skunk, be aware that it may spray you again. It is estimated that a skunk will spray its target 6 times in a row when it feels threatened.

All the more reason to be very vigilant about these pests. Keeping wild animals away from your home is essential for you and your pets.

Elite Pest Control will put an end to your skunk problem

Skunk spray, although particularly smelly, does not present any real danger to you. However, these pests can also transmit certain diseases such as rabies, just like raccoons.

If you feel endangered by these pests or if you are a victim of infestation, skunk extermination is the right solution. This will get rid of your pest problem for good.

Contact Elite Pest Control today. Our expert team will precisely manage the skunk infestation that is affecting your daily life. Extermination protects you and your pets.

Pascal Rock
Pascal Rock  
Director, Elite Pest Control
Founder and mainstay of Elite Pest Control, Pascal Rock has embodied expertise and dedication for over a decade. His training, acquired with expert mentors in extermination and pest decontamination, has shaped an outstanding professional. Under his leadership, a team of six seasoned technicians deploys the very best pest control strategies. Together, they ensure the peace of mind and safety of residents and professionals from Montreal to Quebec City, by offering fast, effective interventions, available at all times.