Skunks are little sharpshooters who can accurately spray their toxic fluids up to 15 feet. Neglecting wind resistance, the effectiveness of their toxic assault can extend up to the 40 feet mark. The skunk's spray is its unique self-defense weapon.
Skunks are naturally nocturnal. That is, they carry out the majority of their daily activities at night. Skunks actually have poor vision. In fact, they do not see well beyond 10 feet. Despite their poor vision, their sense of smell and hearing is very good. This is why they thrive so well as nocturnal critters.
Why do Skunks Spray?
Skunks tend to spray whenever they feel cornered, vulnerable, surprised, or startled. These feisty critters have muscles in their rear end close to their musk glands, which is responsible for the firing accuracy. The skunk's toxic spray is putrid enough to ward off large animals like bears and other predators. However, the quantity of the fluid is on the low side.
The skunk only has enough fluid to fire about six shots. It takes over a week for the skunk's spray supply to replenish. Skunks only use their spray as their last line of defense. They are well aware of the limitations the spray has despite its potency. They usually will hiss, stamp their feet, or wave their tails aggressively at any threat, and if it does not work, then and only then will they fire their putrid solution.
How to Protect Yourself
Protecting yourself from a skunk's toxic spray is paramount. You can employ different precautionary measures to ensure you stay safe from a skunk's fluid.
So let's say you are out on a walk in the woods, or you are peacefully walking around your yard, and somehow you corner a skunk. It is imperative not to make any sudden movement. If the skunk waves its tail, hisses, and stamps its feet, do not make any sudden movements. This is because the next course of action for it is to douse you in its spray, and you do not know when that would happen.
Despite how the situation may look, remaining calm throughout the encounter is vital to leave without being sprayed. Skunks are docile critters, and they prefer to leave without any form of an altercation. Allow the skunk to leave while backing away slowly. This actually calms the skunk down enough to not get sprayed.
If skunks often visit your home, then the chances of running into one is on the high side. You can use the fact that they are nocturnal to your advantage by installing outside lights around your building. Turning on your outside lights will scare any skunk roaming around your property away.
You should also preserve situational alertness. By situational alertness, we mean that you should always stay sharp and alert to changes happening around you. If you think that there are skunks living on your property, then look for the signs to back your claim up. Check your vents, under your house, porch, deck, bushes, and crevices for signs of skunks inhabiting there. Check for foul odors that always follow them wherever they go. You should also watch out for shallow holes, which is an indication that they are searching for worms, grubs, and larvae.
Clean up after your pets and dispose of leftover food and garbage in sealed containers located away from your house
If you notice skunks on your property, do not rush to de-escalate the situation. 9 out of 10 times, you do not have the right tools to do so. It is best to call an expert to help you with skunk removal.
Go back to the Ogden wildlife removal home page.