The summer nights are great for keeping the windows open and breathing in the fresh summer air...but there is a skunk in my neighborhood that is stinking it up!

Wyoming is home to many wild animals and three species of skunks. The Striped Skunk, Eastern Spotted Skunk and Western Spotted Skunk. All three of these varmints stink to high heaven when they spray! Lord have mercy!

The spray from a skunk is called thiols which is an oily liquid that is produced in the gland below the skunks tail. The spray is part of the skunks defense mechanism and they will give many warning signs before they actually spray. They may stomp their feet or flick their tail, the spotted skunk will actually do a hand stand to let you know it's about to get ugly.

The spray is usually used as a last resort by the skunk to avoid an issue with a threat. If the skunk is highly aware of where the actual threat is, they can aim the spray directly at the threat. If not, they can spray the stink in a mist and ruin the day of anyone or thing around. The skunk only has about 4 table spoons of the atrocious smelling oil, but that is enough to make people avoid you like the plague. Once the skunk sprays, it may take them a couple days to replenish the oil.

Because of this horrible smell, the skunk has very few natural enemies. All it takes is one time being sprayed to know NEVER to mess with that creature again. IF you or your pets get sprayed, it can cause vomiting and temporary blindness much like pepper spray. The skunks oil is reactivated with water, so you'll need something other than good ol' H2O to take care of the smell. If you get sprayed, don't expect to get any dates anytime soon. says

You can soak in a baking-soda bath for 15 to 20 minutes:

Pour 2 to 4 cups of baking soda into hot water.
Rinse to remove the residue from your skin.


If your dog gets sprayed, the American Kennel Club has a solution they recommend.

¼ cup of baking soda
1-2 teaspoons of mild dishwashing detergent like Ivory Snow
1 quart of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide solution
Mix in a bucket and use immediately
Work the foaming mixture well into the coat
Leave on for five minutes
Rinse with warm water
Follow with dog shampoo if desired

Wyoming Game & Fish says that taking these steps can deter skunks and other pests.

Mothballs, crystals, or ammonia soaked rags can be used to repel and temporarily exclude fox, squirrels and skunks, especially from dens in undesirable locations. Permanent exclusion is the preferred solution.

If you've ever smelled a skunk, you know how horrible the smell is, imaging laying in bed and being bombarded with that stench. It's definitely not very pleasant.

This video is from Animalogic and describes the science of skunk spray.

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