There comes a time when you must deal with the unpleasant smell of a rotting animal or bird carcass coming from either inside your fireplace or underneath your home or outdoor shed. For information on how to prevent birds and animals from accessing these areas of your property go to either my Exclusionary Work page or Chimney Cap Installation page.
Perhaps your favorite pet "Fluffy" got sprayed by a skunk while playing in the back yard. "Fluffy" is now rolling on top of your living room carpet or crawling underneath your kitchen table emitting these noxious odors. Now that the skunk odor is within your home how do you get rid of it? How can you remove the skunk odor from your pet so that it won't transfer onto your other pieces of furniture? If this is your present situation then read on. For information on skunk removal go to my Animal Removal page.
Some odors might remain in the area only temporarily while others could linger on for many months. Some odors can actually remain indefinitely in areas where animals, birds or rodents were allowed to nest for long periods of time. Such might be the case where a building's structural lumber was allowed to be impregnated with urine and/or feces from pests that were nesting inside a ceiling or wall cavity. The only means of removing these odors might be to permanently replace the item in question. This might entail replacing a wall stud or perhaps removing ceiling tiles and/or floor boards. Sometimes the problem can be alleviated without compromising any of the structural members of the home by simply coating the item(s) with a coat of varnish or polyurethane prior to covering with sheetrock.
An explanation of why skunk odor (musk) stinks and possible ways to remedy the situation...
***** I have obtained the following information from various sources on the internet. You may do your own search but here are the basics:
The reason why skunk odor appears to be so strong is because the human nose is very sensitive to thiols. Skunk odor contains sulfur chemical compounds called thiocetates which decompose very slowly into thiols. For this reason skunk odor lingers on for a long time and requires special treatments. Household remedies such as tomato juice and fragrant cleaning solutions are ineffective in breaking down the thiols and only cover up the odor temporarily. The best way to get rid of skunk odor is to wash the affected area, use a chemical solution that will neutralize the thiols and/or air-out the affected item.
You can wash clothing material with a bleach solution but be advised that some "bleaching" might occur. Airing out the item will help but it might take a very long time. I heard that burying the material in the soil might get rid of the smell. Personally, I have never tried this so I don't know if it really works. Want to experiment???
A miracle solution found for treating the smell of skunk odor...
Back in 1993 a chemist by the name of Paul Krebaum came up with a formula for getting rid of sulfur smells. Since skunk musk contains sulfur-containing thiols this concoction really works because it chemically neutralizes the thiols. If you are interested in reading a short funny document on how he came about his discovery click here. The items that you will need to make this solution are: 1 quart (32 fl oz) of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda (not baking powder), and a couple teaspoons of liquid detergent.
Treating pets and clothing...
advised that the following information was obtained from the internet and is strictly for informational purposes only. The use of certain products could be harmful or damaging to certain species of wildlife, pets, furniture, materials or humans who might be allergic to these products. If you decide to
use any of these products or follow any portions of these instructions you are doing so at your own risk. Neither the author of this
web page nor Bees, Bats and Beyond will assume any responsibilities for damages and/or injuries sustained
through the use of these products or instructions.
If your pet "Fluffy" got sprayed by a skunk the only ways to treat him is to prepare a bathing solution using the aforementioned formula. Do NOT mix anything else with this formula except for water if you just want to increase the volume. Better to use this in its concentrated form. As soon as you mix the ingredients you will notice a fizzing reaction. That fizzing reaction is what cleans. Use immediately and dispose of any unused portions. As a matter of fact don't even attempt to temporarily seal the container because the oxygen bubbles (fizzing) will create pressure within the container and might explode.
Don't forget to use rubber gloves and follow other
safety precautions to protect yourself as well as your clothing. Try to avoid getting this
liquid into your pet's eyes and mouth. You must first wet your pet with this solution and begin to massage it into your pets fur. Let the mixture sit on your pet for at least 5 minutes after which time you can hose him off. You
might have to repeat this process several times to fully remove the
odor, especially if "Fluffy" weighs 75 lbs. and has fur resembling the
How do I know that it works ???...
During my skunk removal work I usually take a large towel or sheet to cover my traps for protection. Sometimes the skunks spray inside the trap and the towels get contaminated with musk. I have actually taken the contaminated towels and dipped them into the "Hydrogen Peroxide - Baking Soda" solution and managed to get rid of the smell. Some of these towels have no musk smell at all while others still have a very faint odor which I am sure could be removed through additional treatment.
How to treat the interior of your home for skunk odor...
If your pet "Fluffy" already came running into your home and managed to transfer the skunk odor onto your couch or carpet then your problem has just escalated. Your best bet now is to clean the affected area with some mild cleaning solution and ventilate the area as much as possible. Don't forget that chemicals might damage or at least stain the affected area. If the affected item can be removed and treated outside the home then that will solve some of the problem. Now comes the question of "how to get rid of the lingering skunk smell within the home?" There are various formulas on the market that will temporarily mask the skunk's odor but will not actually clean. These are only a temporary solution and because of the lingering effects of thiols the smell could persist for a very long time. Sometimes the smell may reactivate during periods of high humidity. If the thiol molecules have dispersed throughout the home by becoming impregnating into your ceilings, walls and wood surfaces then the only way to remedy the situation is through the use of a neutralizing formula. These neutralizing agents can best be applied through the use of an electric fogger or atomizing sprayer. Bees, Bats and Beyond has the right equipment and products to perform such services.
If you are presently confronting a skunk odor or dead animal problem as mentioned above then contact Bees, Bats and Beyond for and inspection and/or consultation on how to treat the problem safely and efficiently. Call (508) 885-2000 (H) or (508) 450-9035 (C).
This page was last updated on February 23, 2012.