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Skunks are the kind of animals that people do their absolute best to try to stay away from them at all costs. It is that horrific spray that they are able to shoot out from their anal glands that make them such a hideous creature. Not only is the smell incredibly strong, but the spray is also quite an irritant as well. It can cause your eyes to water, make your nasal and respiratory cavities burn, and cause you to cough and gag.
In addition, the spray will leave you smelling horrific for quite a long period of time. This will mean that friends and family will want to stay as far away from you and tell that smell finally dissipates enough. It truly is a horrific thing that can happen to you.
While you want to do your very best to avoid a skunk because of this reason, there is a common mistake that people make in relation to these animals. They think that once the skunk has released its spray that it is now safe to be around this creature. They are so sure that they are safe now, but you may wonder if a skunk and spray more than once at a time?
If you were worried about this because you wanted to play it safe, then you should applaud your instincts in this case. The truth is that a skunk can actually spray up to four times before it is necessary for the animal to start producing the noxious spray that comes from its anal glands.
The way that a skunk develops these oils is quite simple. The glands spray over about a 24-hour period of time. If the skunk has used up all of its spray at one point, then it would take about one day for it to be able to refill before it was able to start using its spraying power again. If you are sure that the animal has released all of its spray, then you know that you have some time before you have to worry about it being able to spray again.
However, if you come across a skunk that has just released its prey and some other animal, then you should still believe that it has the ability to be able to spray you now. These animals are ready to go once again after releasing their spray for the first, second, and even third time. Some skunks have even been known to be able to spray five or six times before their glands were dry.
That's a really terrifying thought to be honest with you, but is a good reason why you should do all that you can to stay away from these creatures at all costs. You want to play it safe, and there is really no reason for trying to come in contact with an animal like this. Not only do they pose a health risk to you, but also can release that spray on you, leaving you stinking and choking.
Skunks do run out of spray. Or, at least, they have the potential to run out of spray. Many of them are slightly smarter and wiser and know not to waste of all of their precious defense resources in a situation they can't guarantee they will be the winner. Skunks will generally use their spray to overpower predatory animals. They certainly wouldn't want to use it on prey. Would you want to eat something that has been covered in skunk spray? No? Neither does the skunk.
Skunks will only use their spray defense when they really need to. If a predatory attack can be avoided by scampering away, the animal would much rather do that. In many cases, the skunk only has the spraying action or it's sharp claws to defend itself. If the predator has larger claws, or the skunk doesn't manage to spray it in time, the skunk is more than likely going to come out worse.
If the skunk is threatened, or finds itself in a situation where it can't easily run away, it will then using the spray. The aim of the game is to offend the predator so that the skunk does then have a chance to move away.
Skunks are the proud owners of two glands, situated right next to the anal region, that are constantly being refilled as they are emptied. This is where the foul-smelling spray comes from. It is believed that a skunk can get six full squirts from two full glands, switching from one to the other. If the animal were to use three or four squirts to get itself out of a tricky situation, it would then only have a couple of squirts left until the stores had returned to normal levels again. If the skunk were to have used all of its reserves, it's believed that it would then take between one to two weeks to completely replenish those stores.
For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does skunk removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of skunks - my main skunk removal info guide.