Why do skunks spray?

A defenceless animal means that it is prone to attack thus easily preyed on by its predators or just provoked. Hence each and every animal has its own way of defending itself. In this case, the skunks use spray as their defensive mechanism from their predators and enemies. However, they don’t just release this chemical compound anyhow as it is limited and does not regenerate immediately. First, when they feel threatened, they will hiss, stomp their feet and lift their tail to scare off the enemy before simulating the spray making them not get any closer. The scent is so horrible such that it disorients, bewilders, or potentially blinds the victim, giving the skunk a clear pathway for escape.

Startling a skunk to scare it off is the worst idea ever. With every action, comes an almost equal reaction and so is emission of this chemical by a skunk when startled. Unintended sudden noises such as hitting the ground, rattles or any other sound that finds the skunk off-guard will result in a similar reaction, the spray.

Getting rid of skunk sprays.

In the event of you or your pet being attacked by a skunk, a simple bath with regular soap won’t wash off the odour. Even the mythical method of sing tomato juice does not remove it completely. The smell may subside, but once you get wet, it’s like being sprayed afresh by the skunk.

The trick to be odour-free from the skunks spray is to use hydrogen peroxide, baking powder, and liquid soap. This mixture reacts with the skunk’s spray, which is composed of a malodorous sulphur-hydrogen chemical compound, to neutralize the smell. These ingredients should be mixed in a given advisable proportion to avoid bleaching, colour highlights and skin irritation. Care should be taken while handling hydrogen peroxide.

How to avoid skunk sprays

• Skunks are generally not aggressive and so whenever you encounter a skunk, move swiftly so as it does not perceive you as a threat; or rather back away.
• If you spot a skunk close by and it hasn’t seen you, don’t startle to scare it away, instead you will be faced with a skunk spray reaction.
• When stepping out, carry with you a bright flashlight. Why? Because skunks have a poor sense of sight and with a bright light, they are almost completely blinded.

Despite their poor eyesight, skunks have a sharp smelling and hearing senses. And don’t dispute these small animals’ defensive mechanism. Their spraying aim is always on target and can hit a target which is as far as 20 feet away which draws away even the biggest and furious animals like the bear.

Read the How to get rid of skunks page for helpful information and to learn more about Why do skunks spray?

Why do skunks spray?

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