If you’ve ever been in the woods and heard the characteristic grunt and stomp of a skunk, you know what’s coming next. Anybody that is seasoned in hiking will try to get away, but just in case you didn’t, here are a few tips on how to get avoid a skunk encounter and to get nature’s “stinkiest kitten’s” essence off of you.
Skunks are cute, little pouncey animals with black and white coloring. Some people keep these little critters as pets, but only after their scent glands have been removed. A wild skunk isn’t going to be like a pet skunk. They may find humans to be a bigger threat than a pet skunk would. You should never go up to a wild skunk and try to pet it as several children have discovered throughout childhood. Whenever you do see a skunk in the wild it’s best to just stand still and wait for it to move along. Most of the time they don’t even notice you there because they have bad eyesight. A skunk will stomp its front legs and hiss before it sprays. Some skunks even do a handstand before spraying.
Due to this, you should have plenty of warning to get out of the area.
It’s important to avoid skunks spraying you for multiple reasons. Skunks spray smells pretty terrible, but skunks also are also one of the four main carriers of rabies in the wild. So, in addition to treating yourself to the smell of a skunk spray, it’s recommended that you talk to a doctor about a possible rabies shot. This will be determined by your area, the time of day you were sprayed, and the prevalence of rabies in the wild skunk population at that time. Even if you are already vaccinated against rabies you should speak to your doctor or your local health department.
So how do you get that stink bomb off your skin? First, you would disrobe and put your skunky clothes inside the washing machine. Wash them with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to help eliminate the smell. In addition to this, use laundry soap. After successfully getting your clothes inside the washer, take yourself into the shower with the same baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and Dawn dishwashing soap.
You’re going to make a paste out of the baking soda and rub it anywhere you can smell the spray while avoiding the delicate areas of the eyes, nostrils, and mucous membranes. This is going to help absorb some of the smell. After allowing the paste to sit on the sprayed skin for at least 10 minutes, hop into the shower. Rinse off the stinky baking soda paste and wash with the dawn dishwashing soap. Be sure to wash all areas thoroughly where you have been sprayed. Rinse with water and towel dry. If you still smell in certain patches from your unpleasant surprise, take the hydrogen peroxide and rinse the area that still stinks. This is the homemade version, but there are plenty of skunk spray treatments available commercially. Some of those include SkunkBuster, Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover, and Thornell Skunk Off Pet Shampoo in case your dog got sprayed too.
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