It’s common to think of a skunk when you smell something unpleasant and potent. This is an unpleasant odor that we all recognize. What is the reason skunks spray it? And what are the ingredients in their potent concoctions that make it so unpleasant?
Why do Skunks Spray?
Skunks are most common at night, dawn, and on full moons. Skunks are most active during these times, which is why they are called crepuscular. Skunks are able to sense smell and hear well but don’t have great eyesight. Skunks can still aim well when spraying an attacker, even though this is a setback.
Spraying is not the first line of defense for skunks, contrary to popular belief. Before spraying, the animal will exhibit aggressive behavior such as hissing, stamping its foot and raising its tail to warn others. These behaviors will not have any effect on the intruder. The skunk can spray its signature scent to repel attackers if necessary. The secretion is sprayed towards the target by raising the tail.
What’s In Skunk Spray?
Skunks have two scent glands on each side of their anus that produce an oily secretion with sulfur compounds called Thiols. Sulfur smells like rotten eggs. Thiols are organic compounds found in onions and garlic. Concentrated skunk smell can cause your eyes to water, so it’s not surprising. These compounds are also volatile. They disperse easily through the air and can be picked up by the nose.
Thioacetates are the backup ingredients in skunk-spray. These compounds initially don’t smell very strong, but as they react with water, they change their structure and become more potent. This is why skunks who have been sprayed often smell worse after they’ve bathed.
How to Get Rid Of Skunk Odor
We all have heard the legend that tomato juice can eliminate skunk smell. This is a myth. The strong tomato scent does not mask the stench. This DIY treatment can be used to get rid of the smell if you or your pet have been sprayed with skunk spray.
Make a mixture of 1 quart hydrogen Peroxide, 1/4 cup baking powder, and 1 to 2 teaspoons liquid soap. If you want the solution to be stronger, you can add warm water. Allow the solution to sit on your skin for five minutes. Rinse the solution and check if it is gone. Repeat these steps if the smell persists.