Do skunks attack humans?

The skunk is found in suburban and rural areas. When you spend time out with dogs or walking on wooded trails, in the open pasture land, along rock outcroppings, or near the brushy fencerows, then you will be able to run into many creatures.

If you meet skunks and you worry that you may be sprayed, then you should learn how you can stay away from the skunks and what you should do.

You should not walk the dog in the dark: the skunks are known to be nocturnal and they will be foraging for food in the dark and will be back in the dens in the daylight.

Stay in a well-lit place: skunks will be patrolling the country roadside to look for roadkill, and this is mostly after dark, so you should make sure that you keep on the well-trafficked and stretched road.

Keep away from the den entrance: skunk dens are normally found under rock piles or under wood, concrete slabs, porches, buildings, rock crevices and culverts. You should look for a smooth, grass-free 3 to 4 inch depression with just one entrance and a musky odor. You may spot the dens through the evidence of skunk droppings that may contain insects, hair and seeds. The skunk tracks have 5 toes and not 4 and they do show the claw marks. The tracks look staggered and instead of one on top of another, they will look like cat tracks.

You should not allow a dog or yourself to agitate or corner the skunk. The animals will spray if they feel that they are being threatened. You should maintain the distance, and this is imperative in order to keep yourself from being attacked.

Watch for the spraying signals: when there is a startled skunk, it will show that it is ready to spray through raising the tail and standing on its hind legs. It may also pound the front legs on the ground. When you see such behavior, it is better to back off quietly and slowly.

Do not make too much noise and do not move quickly or take other steps which can be interpreted by the skunk to be a threat.

Move away from the approaching skunk: since the skunk does not have the best eyesight, the skunks can approach people or other animals that stand without moving. When you see a skunk approaching you, you should turn away calmly and go in another direction.

If you get sprayed, change clothes and try to get the spray off. Bathe yourself and rinse the area that has been affected. Use anti-odor spray to avoid having your entire house smelling. You can find anti-skunk shampoos and sprays and they do work organically in order to break apart the compounds that cause odor in the skunk spray, and then you may wash the smell down into the drain.

You may also want to read:

  • Are skunks dangerous to pets?
  • Do skunks kill cats?

  • Go back to the Skunk Removal home page or email us for more info about Do skunks attack humans?