What to Do If You Have Been Sprayed By a Skunk

What to Do If You Have Been Sprayed By a Skunk

Going for a walk — especially if you have a dog can be a highly enjoyable and beneficial activity. Both humans and pets get much-needed exercise, they can socialize with others, and they can experience improved health and mood from breathing in the fresh air and immersing themselves in a more natural environment.

However, taking a walk in the outdoors also means that there is a possibility of encountering wildlife that may respond negatively to your presence — such as a skunk.

All You Need to Know About Skunks

Skunks are crepuscular animals, which means that they are mostly active at night and at dawn. If you like taking walks after work or in the early morning, you may come across a skunk, which may quickly feel defensive if it is startled or feels threatened (especially if there are babies).

Skunks have poor eyesight and a strong sense of smell and hearing. When threatened, their first move would be to stamp their feet, hiss, or raise their tail as a warning. If these don’t work, however, they will resort to “spraying” — and they have quite a good aim.

They have scent glands on either side of the anus (like dogs and cats). The oily secretion they produce contains sulfur compounds. That is the cause of the strong odor which is often described to smell like strong garlic or rotten eggs.

What to Do if You Have Been Sprayed By a Skunk

Both humans and pets can get sprayed by a skunk. A trusted Modesto pest control company recommends the following measures if you or your dog become a target of skunk spray:

  • Head back home immediately and look yourself or your dog over for scratches, bite marks, skin redness or discharge. Pinpoint the specific areas that have been sprayed.
  • If you or your dog got sprayed in the face, wash the face and eyes right away with water because the skunk’s sulfur-alcohol compound may cause temporary blindness.
  • Set up a place outdoors where you can hose off and where you can give your dog a bath. If there’s no spot outdoors for this, make sure to open as many windows as possible and avoid getting into contact with other objects.
  • In a clean open container, such as a bucket (do not use a covered pail or spray bottle), mix up the following solution: 1/4 cup baking soda,, 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide, and 1 or 2 teaspoons of liquid soap (add 1 quart of lukewarm water if the sprayed dog is large). The solution will fizz; this is normal.
  • If you have it, apply 1-2 drops mineral oil or a strip of eye lubricant to your dog’s eyes for protection. Next, apply the solution to the affected areas using a sponge or washcloth (make sure you have latex gloves on). Avoid the eyes, mouth and ears.
  • Rinse the areas well with lukewarm water and repeat as necessary. Afterwards, you can give yourself and your dog a full bath if you like.
  • The solution should not be stored, so use it all up. It can also be used on clothing and other fabrics, but can have a mild bleaching effect. If your dog’s hair becomes lighter, however, it should be only temporary.

How to Prevent Skunks 

  • Avoid future encounters with skunks by bringing a flashlight on evening walks. Prevent the creatures from coming to your home by picking up any pet food, fallen fruit trees or scattered bird seeds. Also make sure to keep garbage cans secured. You can also ward off skunks by putting mothballs or rags soaked in ammonia around your property.

If you are looking for a pest control company in Stockton, call the professionals at AAI Pest Control today!


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