Skunk mating season has officially started, and the pungent smell of their stink is in the air to let us know it. You probably can smell the many skunks running around like crazy trying to mate more than you see them. If you have experienced skunk mating season before, then you may not have lived through the awful smell that permeates the air. At the beginning of February, when mating season has just started, skunk love can make the air downright putrid. It is truly a smell you could never forget.
During this time of year, we are likely to see more and more skunks out and about. Like most males, male skunks lose their head and don’t always make the best choices. They will blunder straight into the road or make some other less then wise decision that can put their lives in danger. Mating season brings out the crazies, and skunks are no different. People need to be more cautious when outdoors for our own pet’s safety as well as that of these love-struck skunks. Be especially careful when driving, particularly if it is dark, raining, and wet.
However, you will probably smell them more than you see them. During mating season, male skunks send out puffs of their smelly aroma as a way to attract females to them. These little puffs of joy are made up of the chemicals “2-butene-1-thiol and 3-methyl-1-butanethiol, chains of carbon and hydrogen with the sulfur and hydrogen thiol group attached to one end.” You can blame those chemicals for the uniquely rancid smell skunks emit. Thankfully, while the smell may permeate the air around your home, skunks are pretty laid-back creatures unless you make them feel excited or threatened, so you probably won’t have to deal with the horrible skunk stink being all over your own body. If you happen to cross paths with a skunk, simply stay still and let the skunk go on his or her way. Unfortunately, we can’t trust our pets to do the same thing. If your dog goes running up to a skunk, barking like mad, then they will most certainly get a face full of skunk perfume. There are numerous recipes online for how to get rid of skunk stink, but here is the one most people seem to use: Mix 1 quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, 1 teaspoon of liquid soap, and ¼ cup of baking soda. Wash your pet with the mixture, just like you would shampoo, and rinse.
Have you started smelling and seeing more skunks around your community and home? How do you protect your pets?