Skunk spray is among the most disruptive, offensive odors in existence. The musky spray is a yellow-tinted oily liquid stored in the skunk’s anal glands. Six of the seven spray ingredients are chemical compounds containing sulfur, which is what gives it the awful smell.
Skunks can spray up to 15 feet, so hopefully you have not been caught in the most putrid crossfire known to man. But you don't have to be directly sprayed to experience the intensity of these funky skunk odors. A visit from a skunk on your property can mean weeks of lingering, inescapable stink. Much like raccoons, skunks are scavenger opportunists.
If your garbage cans are easily accessible, if you leave pet food out at night or have fruit tree droppings on the ground, you're setting yourself up for skunk problems – and doubly so if you have raised decks, elevated sheds, wood piles or crawl spaces around the outside of your home. They could be spooked by a pet or other wild animal, and unleash an olfactory inferno upon your deck or patio, backyard area, fencing and beyond. Harder surfaces such as concrete and wood are still porous, giving odor-causing secretions plenty of space to hide.
Typical skunk spray removal methods are unlikely to get rid of the smell. To really get these odors out, you'll want to make sure you're eliminating them, not just covering up the smell, as tomato juice tends to do. Many commercial chemical skunk odor removers are unsafe around your pets, plants and lawn, and can leach dangerous toxins into the soil.
Homemade skunk spray remedies such as hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish soap are often ineffective, and can actually explode if mixed in a closed bottle and left to sit. But you don't have to use harsh or harmful chemicals to effectively remove the smell at its source.
To get the job done, you'll need a cleaning product with surfactant and enzymes to break down the soils as well as live bacteria to digest what's causing those tough smells. Simple Green Outdoor Odor Eliminator is designed for odor removal, with naturally-occurring bacterial microbes that eliminate odors at the source without harming your pets or plants.
The live microbes will continue to multiply and eat the organic odor source as long as they stay moist, so you'll want to apply the product when it's cool – or even better, in the evening around sunset. That way, the microbes won't dry quickly, and can remain moist and active until they've completely gotten rid of the skunk smell at the source. More than one treatment may be necessary if the skunk sprayed excessively.