Skunks have a bad reputation. However, this fascinating animal has some of the most interesting behavior and chemistry of any local animal. These facts will help you better understand this misunderstood outcast.
FACTS ABOUT SKUNKS
1. THEIR STRIPES ARE DIRECTED AT THEIR WEAPON
Their well-known noxious insect spray is their weapon. The markings of fight-or-flight animals like the Skunk draw potential predators’ attention to the most dangerous parts of them as a deterrent. Skunks will prefer to scare off predators than spray them.
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2. They do a little bit of wailing and dancing.
The Skunk will try to scare away a predator if the preemptive stripes fail. To show their backsides, they will stomp on the ground and slap their tail.
3. THEY MUST “RELOAD”
These tactics of intimidation are important as a skunk can only spray once before it becomes resistant. The Skunk will be helpless for almost ten days after the first shot.
4. THEY ARE NOT ACTUAL AND SOLITARY
Skunks are nighttime. This means they can see well at night and are awake at night. This is believed to be why they developed their spray. Nighttime prey is more likely to be attacked in surprise ambushes, where the spray is most effective.
5. They can spray up to 10 feet.
The spray can be extremely powerful. It can leave a strong odor that lasts for days. Some people have reported being able to smell it even after weeks. If you are unfortunate enough to be sprayed, this spray can also cause temporary blindness.
6. FLAMMABLE SPRAY ALSO
Although it’s not the intended purpose, this is an effect of chemical weapons made of thiols. These are the compounds that make the spray so pungent. These ingredients are also found in onions and garlic, and they are highly flammable.
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7. TOMATO JUICE JUST MASSES THE SMELL
One common myth is that bathing in tomato juice will remove the odor if you get sprayed by an elk. The truth is that the tomato only covers the odor and neutralizes it.
8. IT CAN BE NEGATED ABOUT OTHER CHEMICALS
Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide are very effective in eliminating the skunk smell. After a few hours of soaking, this alters the chemical composition of the thiols. It then neutralizes the smell completely. Be sure to scrub everything, as the compounds can remain under your nails and in your hair.
9. IN 33 STATES, THEY ARE ILLEGAL TO BE KEPT AS PETS (PLUS WASHINGTON DC).
They are popular pets in all 17 states and have a loyal following. They are subject to many regulations, and their scent glands are taken out so they cannot spray. People who own one insist that they make a wonderful pet. It has been proven that skunks can be smart and curious and have their own personalities, just like cats and dogs.
10. SOME PEOPLE CAN’T SMELL SKUNK SPRAY
It doesn’t just apply to people with no sense of smell or nose blindness. About 1 in 1000 people suffer from specific anosmia. This is when they are sensitive to one particular smell. Consider yourself lucky if this is you.
11. THEY Cuddle for Warmth in the Winter
Although skunks do not hibernate, they will sometimes huddle together in communal dens to keep warm. As they prefer to forage and live alone, skunks only associate with each other during mating season, and this is the only time they will interact.
12. They MAKE EXCELLENT DIGGERS
Skunks dig for food using their long nails and strong forefeet. Skunks are considered nuisances on golf courses because of this. They can also cause damage to the foundations of buildings, digging under and using them as a burrow.
13. THEY LIKE TO STEAL FROM CHICKEN COOPS
You know how annoying skunks can make your coop if you have chickens. Skunks love to invade poultry houses, steal eggs, and sometimes a chicken or another fowl.
14. THEY ARE THE PRIMARY CARRIERS OF RABIES IN THE MIDWEST
You should be cautious when you come across wild animals, such as skunks. Skunks can be both furious and dumb, so avoid skunks who are active at night or seem afraid of people.
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15. THIR ODOR CAN BE SMELLED UP to 1.5 MILES AWAY
This is just one example of how concentrated the pungent mixture is. If the Skunk sprays your dog, it’s not uncommon to smell them coming home. This is when you need to get the baking soda and hydrogen peroxide out and spray your dog with them before they go back outside.