How Skunks Spray and Other Skunk Spray Facts

How Skunks Spray and Other Skunk Spray Facts

If you’ve ever been in an area where an agitated skunk has recently sprayed or, worse, been the target of a skunk spray attack, I don’t have to tell you that the aroma is … memorable. Throughout more than 30 years as an animal control professional, I’ve had more than a few run-ins with angry skunks that don’t take kindly to being removed from someone’s property, and I’ve suffered the consequences! I’ve recently learned that using Critter Riddert® Motion-Activated Animal Repellent & Sprinkler is a great way to keep from having a skunk problem in the first place, without ever having to approach the animal.

Skunk Spray Facts

Here are a few interesting skunk spray facts and how they use their spray:  

  • Skunks don’t really “want” to spray you since it can take up to a week for their bodies to restore their spray supply. They will stomp, hiss and “puff up” their fur, much like an angry cat to serve as a warning, and only unleash their smelly spray as a last resort.
  • Skunks can accurately spray at a distance of up to 15 feet.
  • While skunk spray does not lead to permanent damage, it can cause significant eye irritation and even temporary blindness.
  • Skunks won’t spray other skunks.
  • The skunk spray odor can linger for days or even months, depending on the amount released.

What Do Skunks Spray?

Skunk spray consists of a chemical called N-butlymercaptan, which is a pungent mix of sulfur-based compounds. The skunk stores the spray in glands positioned alongside its anus, which is why it needs to lift its tail to spray.

How Do Skunks Spray?

If a miffed skunk goes through its stomping, hissing and puffing routine and still feels threatened, it’s time for it to release its full fury on the intruder. The animal will turn its back toward the victim, form its body into a horseshoe shape, lift its tail and let loose. The rest, as they say, is history!

How Havahart® Spray Away™ Can Thwart a Skunk Invasion

I recently received a call from an individual who was in a panic after seeing a skunk in her backyard. I knew from experience that Havahart® Spray Away™ was her answer.

This highly effective product consists of a sprinkler equipped with an infrared sensor to detect an approaching animal’s motion. When it detects animal movement, the sprinkler then unleashes a sudden burst of water. The combination of spray, noise and motion frightens the animal away and makes it think twice about coming back. Enough startling experiences, and the skunks will go elsewhere for food. The Havahart® Spray Away™ 2.0 sprinkler easily connects to a garden hose, making for simple setup.

I’m happy to report that it’s been almost six months since the homeowner installed Havahart® Spray Away™ on her property, and I haven’t gotten one call about a skunk sighting (or smelling, for that matter) since!

Image: Baby Dinosaur

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