How to Stop a Skunk From Spraying

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Skunks can carry rabies, a viral disease transmitted by bite. If a skunk bites you, get checked out at the hospital. The disease can be fatal without prompt medical attention.

A skunk can spray multiple times before it needs to replenish its scent gland supply.

A skunk's ability to spray is its natural defense system. If you have the glands removed, the animal is vulnerable to predators.


Not allowing the skunk to lift its tail and grabbing it by its tail makes it difficult for the skunk to spray, but not impossible, and it also requires you to get close to the skunk.

Pet skunks aren't legal in every state. Check before you contact a breeder.

Skunks dislike loud music and bad smells like mothballs. If they are living under your house, you might try these to repel them.

Skunks are not necessarily bad neighbors; skunks can help control pest populations like grubs, snails, cockroaches, mice, rats, spiders and scorpions.

Skunks offer warning before releasing their spray.

Skunks are nocturnal omnivores, about the size of a medium cat, that are equipped with powerful scent glands in their hind end. They use these musk glands in self defense. The pungent liquid spray can cause nausea and, if it reaches the eyes, temporary blindness. Wild skunks can gravitate toward residential areas because of the ready supply of food. Skunks are also sometimes kept as pets. Whatever the case, when you encounter a skunk that feels threatened, the animal will make a strange purring noise, lift its tail in full bloom and stomp its feet. It may growl, hiss or squeal. Unless you take appropriate action, you may be in for a stinky surprise.


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In the Wild

Step 1

Stay quiet; don't make any loud or potentially startling noises. Skunks don't have the best eyesight but they do have keen hearing.

Step 2

Freeze. Stop whatever you were doing.

Step 3

Back away slowly and get away from the skunk. An adult skunk can accurately spray ten feet and has a range of up to 25 feet.

In a Domestic Environment

Step 1

Find out if your pet skunk was descented. Typically the breeder will get this procedure done between 2 and 5 weeks of age, but not all breeders have the animals descented before selling.


Step 2

Find a local veterinarian that is willing to work with skunks (not all are) and has experience performing scent gland removal procedures.

Step 3

Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to have your pet skunk's anal scent glands removed.