Is the skunk smell in the house dangerous? If you notice your house stinking of skunk spray or rotten eggs, especially in the kitchen and bathroom, it might be due to skunks or a gas leak. Keep reading to find out more, and ways to remove it from your house, clothes, and pets.
Your house stinks of skunk spray due to a skunk nearby, gas leakage, or a faulty HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system.
Whatever the reason, the skunk smell in your house is a cause of concern. It is a toxic chemical compound that has detrimental effects on your health. High exposure to it can lead to adverse health conditions like organ damage and memory loss.
I will walk you through the causes of the skunk smell in your house and the measures you must take to remove it.
Is Skunk Smell In the House Dangerous?
It is dangerous if your house smells of skunk. It might be due to a gas leakage that can be fatal for you and your family.
Gas leakage can take place in two ways:
1. Natural Gas Leak
Natural gas in itself is odorless. But the gas supplied to your house is mixed with a safe chemical called Mercaptan that gives it the odor. This odor helps identify a gas leakage at home and resolve it before it is too late.
Causes: A natural gas leakage can happen due to a broken gas line.
Effects: Natural gas is flammable, which makes it highly dangerous for you and your property. Ignitable materials like lighting matches, smoking, or loose electrical wires can cause an explosion.
Precautions: If the gas leak smell is too strong, immediately vacate your house and call your local natural gas company.
2. Sewer Gas Leak
Sewer gas is produced by the decomposition of organic material like food, human, and pet waste in the drainage system. Sewer gas chemical composition contains toxic chemicals like methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and ammonia. Hydrogen sulfide is the reason for the skunk or rotten egg smell.
Causes: A sewer gas leak happens due to an issue in the drainage system. Maybe the drain was clogged, or it wasn’t used for long. Sudden usage caused a release of sewer gases.
Effects: Low exposure to sewer gas can irritate eyes, nose, throat, and lungs and cause dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. High exposure to sewer gas can lead to adverse asthma symptoms, organ damage, or memory loss. Sewer gas can displace oxygen within the environment as well as your body. It can cause suffocation. In the worst scenarios, it can even lead to death.
Precautions: Identity from where the smell is originating. If it is the kitchen or bathroom, get the drainage line checked and cleaned by professionals.
Why Does My House Smell Of Skunk And Burnt Rubber?
Your house smells like skunk and burnt rubber due to gas leakage or a burnt wire.
The causes of skunk or burnt rubber smells are:
- Your gas pipe has leakage. Natural gas is lighter than air. If there is a natural gas leakage, it will spread quickly throughout the house.
- Clogged or dried drains release sewer gas. The hydrogen sulfide in sewer gas gives it the rotten eggs smell. It can replace oxygen in the place it occupies, which can be a health hazard.
- There might be a dead animal stuck in your HVAC unit that causes the spread of sewer gas in your house.
- Your HVAC unit might have a broken heat exchanger pipe that leaks the gas into the ventilation system.
Why Does My House Smell Of Skunk Smell Only At Night?
If you smell skunk stink only at night, there must be skunks around your house:
- Skunks are nocturnal animals. They sleep during the day and are more active at night, finding food or mate.
- They use their spray as a last defense mechanism against predators.
- Skunk’s spray has a foul and unpleasant smell and is difficult to remove from surfaces.
- This hazardous gas irritates the eyes, nose, and throat and causes breathing problems and nausea.
Hence, if you smell skunk’s smell only at night, there must be a skunk that comes out only at night and uses its spray to ward off predators.
Why Does Only One Room In My House Smell Of Skunk Spray?
If only one room in your house smells like skunk, it is a sewer gas leakage. Decaying organic matter like food, human, and pet waste creates sewer gas:
- It is mostly found in places with drainage systems, like the kitchen or bathroom.
- If the drains are not in use for long, the organic materials in the drain decompose and release methane gas and hydrogen sulfide.
- When you use them again, the methane and hydrogen sulfide reacts with water and release a skunk-like smell.
To remove the skunky smell, you need to get the sanitary sewer system cleaned.
How To Find Out Where The Skunks Smell Is Coming From?
The skunk odor can be from skunks in your property or surroundings.
Let’s talk about how you can identify if there are skunks in your house and how you can drive them away.
Identify If The Skunk Smell Is Strong-Or Faint
If the smell is faint, the skunk might have sprayed nearby and vanished. But if it is strong, the skunk must be in your house or close by.
Identify When The Smell Is The Strongest
If the smell is the strongest near the basement, the skunk must be living underground and coming into your basement through a hole or a crawl space.
How To Drive The Skunk Away From My House?
Here are the steps to drive the skunk away from your house:
- If you see a skunk near your house, close all the windows and doors.
- Make loud noises or flash bright light at the skunk. Skunks are non-violent furry creatures. They are easy to scare off.
- If the skunk is in your basement, place a cage trap at night to catch it, and leave it away from your house.
How To Find Out If It Is A Skunk Or Gas Leak?
Here are the steps to identify if the smell is from a skunk or gas leak:
- Identify where the skunk smell is coming from and follow it.
- If it originates from the gas or drainage pipe, there is a gas leak.
- If the entire house smells of skunk, there is an animal stuck in the HVAC system.
How To Remove Skunk Smells From Your House?
The steps to get rid of the skunk smell in your house are:
- Identify the source: natural or sewer gas leakage, HVAC unit, or skunk spray.
- If it is a natural gas leakage: vacate your home and call a gas service agency.
- To stop sewer gas leakage: get the drainage system cleaned professionally.
- If the HVAC unit is at fault: get the air conditioning filters and other parts checked.
- In case a skunk has sprayed nearby:
- Identify the exact place where the odor is most prominent.
- Wear gloves so that you do not make direct skin contact with the chemicals.
- Clean the surface with baking soda or lemon-based cleaner.
- If the skunk stink is on your pets, you need to get special pet products to clean them.
Here is a video tutorial to help you get rid of the skunk smell from your home:
How Long Will The Skunk Odor Last In My House?
Skunk spray has a pungent odor and is extremely difficult to get rid of. It will dissipate based on the intensity of the skunk spray and the ventilation in your home. It usually takes 14-21 days to get rid of the skunk-like odor completely.
To make the process faster, create high ventilation and clean the surface thoroughly with baking soda and cleaning products.
More Terrible Odors And Their Causes
Below is a list of terrible odors like skunk spray and what causes them:
- If the air smells of smelly feet, someplace in your house must have stagnant water.
- Exhaust fumes smell indicates a chemical leakage in your HVAC.
- If it smells like gunpowder, the probable reason is a burnt wire or component.
- Mold smell is due to excessive moisture and growth of mildew in the HVAC system.
- If it smells like a dead animal, maybe an animal is living, stuck, or dead in the HVAC.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is it toxic to breathe in skunk smell?
Yes, the skunk smell is toxic for you. It can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat and cause breathing problems, dizziness, and nausea.
How long will my house smell like skunk?
Your house will smell of skunk for 2-3 weeks. You can remove the smell faster by improving ventilation and cleaning the surface with baking soda and cleaning products.
Why do I smell a skunk in my house but not outside?
You smell a skunk in your house but not outside due to a gas leakage from your gas appliance or HVAC system.
Can a skunk stink up a whole house?
Yes, a skunk can stink up a whole house if it seeps into the HVAC system or a skunk sprays on your pet.
Skunk odor in your house can be from skunks or gas leakage. Exposure to such an odor is dangerous for your health. Hence, it is crucial to identify where the skunk odor originates and take recommended measures to resolve the issue and remove it from your house, clothes, or pets.
What was the cause of the skunk odor, and how did you resolve it? Please comment below.
Danny is a passionate writer who loves to share his knowledge about air purifiers. He’s been writing for 10 years, and he’ll share all that experience with Very Well Home viewers to help you make the best decision when it’s time to buy an appliance!