How to get rid of skunk spray odor smell

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How to get rid of skunks - my main skunk removal info guide.

So. You or your dog or even a part of your house has been sprayed by a skunk, and now you want to get rid of the smell.

These tactics WILL NOT work very well:

  • Bath in tomato juice
  • Spray with lemon or orange citrus
  • Masking agents like perfume or Fabreze

How do you eliminate the odor once you have been sprayed by a skunk? It may be of no help now, but your dog could have known the warning signs ahead of time. A skunk will give many clear signals before it sprays. If threatened, it will stamp its front feet, arch its back, and shuffle away. If you don't leave right away, it will turn its posterior toward you, raise the tail, and release the smelly musk, a sulfur-alcohol compound, from special glands near the anus. This spray not only stinks, but burns and can cause temporary blindness if it is sprayed directly into the eyes. Since you didn't know this, and thus got sprayed, here is how to get rid of the smell:

Here is the secret recipe that WORKS. Mix the following:
  • 1 quart 3 percent hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
  • 1 teaspoon liquid soap or dish detergent
  • Mix these together and bathe ("shampoo" in or rub down) the spray victim thoroughly.
  • Be sure to use this mixture immediately after it is created, as it is unstable.
  • Let sit for five minutes and rinse with tap water afterward, and repeat if necessary.
  • For spray in the eyes, flush with water as soon as possible.

If you can't go to all of the trouble of buying hydrogen peroxide at your local drug store, then a 2% vinegar solution will help a bit. But please, don't bother with the old tomato juice tactic unless you want to smell like skunk + tomato.

Here are some additional tips:

Flush the eyes first, with a turkey baster, or garden hose, or just by pouring water out of a cup.

Before washing, wear rubber dish gloves and old clothes, and if possible, wash the dog outside.

Don't rinse the dog wet first. This solution will work better if applied directly and concentrated. The skunk spray is actually somewhat oily, and the detergent in the dish soap will help break up the oils.

Here are some additional articles about skunk trapping and removal:
How to get rid of skunks
Nationwide directory of skunk trappers
How much does skunk removal cost?
How to trap skunks yourself
How to kill skunks

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Frequently asked questions:

What neutralizes skunk smell? A mixture of 1 quart 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), 1 teaspoon liquid soap or dish detergent, in a mix and shampooed into your pet or fabric.

How do you get skunk smell off a dog's face? You have to use this mixture solution on the dog's face! Remember, for better results, don't hose off the face first. Mix it directly onto the skunk spray liquid.

Is skunk spray poisonous to dogs or humans? It's not a true poison, but it certainly causes eye or nose irritation, even temporary blindness, like getting sprayed with pepper spray. It can sometimes cause vomiting if swallowed.

What does it smell like when your dog gets sprayed by a skunk? It smells like skunk, only more foul and stronger than what you smell from roadkill. If you have to ask this question, your dog probably stinks and needs a bath now.

What happens if I breathe in skunk spray? It can irritate the lungs, and even give you "skunk breath" for a short time, before your natural immune system absorbs and filters the odor molecules.

Does vinegar kill skunk odor? Nope, not very much. Just a little bit. The mixture outlined above does a far better job of neutralizing skunk spray odor and deskunking your pet.

Can skunk smell make you sick? Not sick in the traditional sense like a pathogen like bacteria or virus, but it can cause vomiting if swallowed.

Can you die from a skunk spray? No, skunk spray is not lethal, though it can cause the symptoms described above: eye and nose irritation and maybe vomiting.

How long does it take for skunk smell to go away if untreated? It depends on the dosage, but if you don't bathe your dog with this mixture, or at all, you can expect to wait 6-8 weeks for the smell to go away. It won't be fully gone until the dog sheds all the affected fur or hair! If you bathe the dog and still smell a slight scent, you'll usually have to wait up to a week before the smell is totally gone, as the oils in the dog's skin coat its hair or fur and neutralize the odor entirely.

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Skunk Removal Methods
One thing's for certain, there's no mistaking a skunk's uh, fragrance. If you have skunks living on your property, you surely know it. Skunks love to live under decks of homes where it's nice and shady and provides shelter from the elements and from predators. As fragrant as they are, it is their nature to use their scent to communicate with other skunks as well as to mark their territory. This can mean a huge, smelly problem for you as the skunks generously dose your home with their unique scent that leaves you gagging and your eyes watering.

Skunks forage for food by night and sleep during the day. They eat a variety of foods but prefer meat-type products such as insects and, you got it, the nice tasty bowl of cat food you have sitting out for Mr. Puffy. Although they do dig, they prefer to find homes already eradicated for them, which makes the space beneath your deck such prime property for them. And yes, they carry rabies too.

How to get rid of Skunks
One of the most dangerous aspects of capturing a skunk is avoiding being doused with le' skunk perfume. Many people fear this and are too worried about it to even think about capturing a skunk live and would rather use poisons or some other inhumane way of getting rid of the creatures. However, capturing a skunk without getting sprayed is not as difficult as it may seem, and if you?re still worried about that chance then calling a wildlife expert to handle the problem would be an excellent solution and alternative to killing them.

First, discover the entrance and exit points the skunks are using and close all but one of them. You will need to keep one opening so that the skunk and their family can leave and not become trapped under your deck. When you have sealed all but one hole, it's time to set the traps.

You will need a caged trap that is fairly large; large enough to capture a raccoon. There are different types of traps on the market to choose from. There are even closed containers which will prevent the skunk from being able to spray on you, although these types of traps are more difficult to find.

Set the trap next to the only entrance/exit left for the skunks and put bait inside to lure them out. Bait, such as cat food (as long as you don't have any cats around that might get trapped inside) will attract them and bring them out from under the deck and into the trap.

When you approach the caged animal you will want to do so cautiously so as to not scaring it into giving you a fragrant bath. Skunks won't spray what they can't see so approach slowly holding a large towel in front of you. If the skunk starts acting agitated, back off slowly and give it time to calm down. Once you are able to approach and cover the cage with the towel or blanket, the skunk will calm down and you?ll be fragrant free.

Prevention of Skunks
One of the most important things to keep in mind when wanting to keep skunks away is to make sure that you are not supplying them with an easy food source. Cat food is a delicacy that they love and is easily attainable when it is left out in the open. Be sure to keep pet food and other food items secured and indoors whenever possible.

If you have gotten rid of skunks and worry about them returning, make sure to thoroughly clean their old home under your deck and disinfect it. There are some products on the market that claim they can remove the skunks? scents and if they work, this is a great option as well.

Make sure to board up and repair any holes or areas that they can use to move back underneath your deck. It might not be the same skunks trying to move back in; remember, skunks look for homes already built so be sure to ?condemn? that area for them by making it inhabitable and inaccessible.

Here are a few skunk emails that I've received about skunk smell removal:

HI David, My dog was around a skunk. I am not sure if he was sprayed or just rolled in it or what happened. It did not smell when I put him out and there was no barking to indicate that there was any thing out side. He does have the smell on the back of his neck. I am going to try the recipe for bathing him. My question is the smell is in my house. Not to bad but bad enough. I think burning candles seems to spared it more. What can I do? Right now I have the windows open because the air now is fresh. Can you offer suggestions?? Thanks for your help. Maria

Hello, I was reading your solution about getting rid of skunk smell. I was wondering if that solution will work on my car? Will it ruin the paint on my car or the gloss? I ran one over and my car is smelling! I'm sort of desperate to get rid of the smell. It didn't happen too long ago. It happened Halloween night. Please help?! I don't know if the solution will harm the car. You could try a test on just a tiny little spot to see.

Hi - I was wondering if you would have any idea to help us. We have a dog door and our 13 year old border collie met a skunk on our deck. we were not home so she had come back inside to wait for us to get home and all of the windows are closed as it is starting to get a bit cold outside. Our house was unbearable. We did do the peroxide/baking soda/dishsoap mixture (she had gotten sprayed 3 years ago and it worked well then) and washed her down twice. My problem is that since she was inside the house is still stinking. We had opened all the windows as soon as we got home and then washed her down with the mixture and the carpet, her bed, the floors and the floors with a vinegar / water solution and then the walls with a strong dish soap and hot water and you can still faintly smell it and also my husband apparently had some stink on his hands and drove my car. I have twice washed out my car with dishsoap and hot water but again faintly still there. Help please. Lucy

My name is Amanda. Here in the past week we have had this skunk odor going throughout our house. I have seen a skunk outside before and only once and that has been about a month ago. I have not seen it since. Other than the smell that we have been experiencing we have no other issues with these things. I thought at first that it may be somehow trapped inside our crawlspace so I had my fiance open it up hoping that it would get out. The smell went away for a couple of days but we woke up this morning again to that awful smell throughout the house. We don't smell it outside and it really only starts smelling really early in the morning and when we get up. Trying again today to air out the house, had it aired out but turned the a/c on yesterday and today it is about unbearable. Why are they only spraying in the early morning? Is there someone that we could talk to that would please come and remove and what is the cost of this? We are getting married in 2 weeks and the reception is going to be here at our house and I would not like for my guests to have to smell this. Please respond so that I can find out how to remedy this issue as soon as possible. Thanks a bunch, Amanda

Hi, We have a skunk(s?) again. One surprised me near the back door - his/her tail up and we both backed away without harm . Today, one somewhat stunk up the front porch as she was sweeping about 6PM. I'm guessing that it's the same animal(s) that have been stinking up the neighborhood for the last month or so. Hope to hear from you ASAP. Sincerely, Dennis

One last time, if you need to know how to deskunk your dog: mix 1 quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), 1 teaspoon liquid soap or dish detergent to get rid of skunk spray smell on a dog or other pet.

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