Calgary·Video

How to get rid of skunk smell as breeding activity kicks up

Ken Cheek, wildlife zoologist and owner operator of Calgary Humane Wildlife Control, says his organization has seen a recent uptick in skunk calls with the rise in Calgary temperatures.

Avoid tomato juice but invest in some hydrogen peroxide, says expert

What to do, and more importantly not to do, if you get sprayed by a skunk

CBC News Calgary

4 years ago
0:23
If you, a family member or a beloved pet finds itself the victim — intended or otherwise — of one such pungent assault, one expert recommends these tried and true remedies to neutralize the smell. 0:23

It's true marijuana legalization is coming this spring, but that funky odour you're smelling might actually be skunk this time around.

Ken Cheek, wildlife zoologist and owner operator of Calgary Humane Wildlife Control, says his organization has seen a recent uptick in skunk calls with the rise in Calgary temperatures. 

The warmer weather typically triggers the beginning of skunk breeding season, and females who aren't in the mood are known to spray their male suitors to discourage their advances, Cheek said.

How to get rid of skunk smell

If you, a family member or a beloved pet finds itself the victim — intended or otherwise — of one such pungent assault, Cheek recommends these tried and true remedies to neutralize the smell.

  • Homemade solution: Combine one litre of hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup of baking soda and a squirt of dish soap to counteract the odour, Cheek said. However, Cheek warns against using this solution on your face. 
  • Commercial skunk remover: Cheek has found personal success with a plant-based product called Odor Out Skunk by Enviro Fresh, which he said is suitable for both pets and human

If your first instinct is to give yourself a bath, Cheek said to ignore it. Bathing will only spread the oil-based scent. He said it's important to first neutralize the odour through one of the methods above. 

And if you or your pet gets sprayed, Cheek said to ignore advice that tomato juice will work.

"You usually end up with a pink dog," he said.

Cheek's best advice, however, is to avoid getting sprayed in the first place.

A threatened skunk will usually bare its teeth, growl, stomp its feet or even mock charge in warning before it turns to its last resort, which is to spin around in a horseshoe pattern and raise its tail to spray, he said. 

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