Skunks are mammals famous for their stripes and smelly sprays. They get easily startled and give warning signs like purring, raising of tails or stomping of feet before spraying their opponent. When threatened, they release a sulfuric spray smelling like burnt rubber or plastic which can blind animals for up to two days if sprayed in the eyes.
Unfortunately it’s curious cats and dogs who are usually victims of the spray, where its horrid smell lasts for months if not years. So here is some advice to follow when skunks attack.
- Commercial products found online and stores have mixed reviews and are no help at night, when skunks tend to attack as they are nocturnal. While tomato juice is a suggested remedy, it’s not advised as it doesn’t remove the smell and is also harmful to cats.
- One effective remedy is a mixture of a liter of hydrogen peroxide, quarter cup of baking soda and 1-2 tsp. liquid soap. It however should be mixed only when required, in an open container as if the mixture is stored, it can lead to an explosion and create a new problem.
Apply the mixture directly to the area most effected, while avoiding the eyes, nose and mouth. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes and then rinse off with warm water. Then wash the animal with its regular shampoo and then rinse dry. The remaining solution has to be poured down the drain and not stored. Mix a fresh batch for each new treatment.
- As skunks carry rabies, look for any signs of a bite, scratch or foaming of the mouth in your pet and immediately take it to a veterinarian. Keep all vaccinations current and check your pet’s records for the last rabies shot.
- If all the stores in your area are closed, and you are hit with a nighttime spray, these alternatives can reduce the odor if nothing else is ready. Douche, milk for the eyes and nose, a quart of beer as its yeast cultures help break down the oil, Listerine or peppermint mouthwash or apple cider vinegar with a teaspoon of vanilla extract for a pleasing scent after the treatment.
- All affected clothes, towels and cotton items should be washed as soon as possible. Add vinegar and baking soda for additional effectiveness. Remove odor from your house by boiling vinegar and water or placing vanilla-soaked cotton balls in the rooms.
- Look for signs of burrowing and nesting areas of skunks or points of entry outside your home. If you find their location or point of entry, place mothballs in and around the area. As mothballs may move around, keep placing them till they remain stationary and eventually the skunks will avoid the area.
With the help of these tips, you will be able to handle any skunk attack on your pet and even you!