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Arguably, the most distinctive characteristic of the skunk is its ability to release a pungent-smelling liquid as a spray on both humans and pets when it feels threatened. The skunk’s spray is an oily, yellow sulfur-alcohol compound that contains sulfuric acid. It can be squirted at targets that are as far away as 10 feet from the skunk's position.
A skunk would normally not spray unless it is attacked or just feels cornered. It is a defensive coping mechanism for it. The good part is that there are signs to warn potential victims of the oncoming assault. Just before spraying, the skunk would turn its back, stomp its right foot on the ground, fan its tail and issue a deep growl as warning. If the threat persists, this display is usually followed by such unfortunate victims being squirted on.
The secretion is toxic enough to cause nausea. It can also cause severe burning and temporary blindness if it comes in contact with the eye. And that’s not all; the foul smell persists on the victim for days or even weeks. It takes a special procedure to get rid of the odor in time.
So how do I avoid a skunk spray?
As skunk spray goes, prevention is certainly better than cure.
As noted earlier, skunks do no spray unless they feel threatened or attacked. So what then should you do? It is simple, do not attack a skunk! There are better and more effective ways to get rid of nuisance skunks than through direct confrontation. These include repellants, traps, one-way exclusion funnels, fences, etc. So if you come across a trespassing skunk, keep your cool and plan how you would eliminate it with any of these proven methods.
In the event that you have successfully caught a skunk in your cage trap, you should approach the cage slowly, while holding out a thick blanket in front of you. When you are close enough, drape the blanket over the cage so the trapped skunk cannot see you as you carry it off. Or it would certainly spray at you in its agitated state.
Skunks almost always spray when they are killed. Use alternative means to get rid of your skunk pest but do not kill it. Skunk odor contaminates porous household items like clothes, carpet, rugs, drapes or even furniture may get so contaminated with this smell that they would have to be disposed of.
Lastly, do not encourage skunk to frequent your house at all; remove all possible attractants from sight, especially food in any form and garbage.
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