What is Skunk Oil – Is it Poisonous or Venomous?

Aug 24, 2023 | Skunk Facts

Skunk oil is a substance infamous for its potent odor and often misunderstood properties. In this article, you’ll gain a better understanding of the types of skunk oil, learn if it’s venomous, and understand how to mitigate it.

Types of Skunk Oil

There are 3 main types of skunk oil. Type 1 is what we all smell normally during the summer when the skunk is active, and it’s very identifiable. Type 2 has a much richer, thicker smell, resembling rotting cabbage or rotting onions. The best term I can describe the smell of Type 2 skunk oil as is acrid (having an irritatingly strong or unpleasant smell). Type 3 amplifies type 2 by adding to it the smell of burning tires or burning styrene. This usually occurs after the skunk has been dormant and its oil has been anaerobically fermenting in its anal gland. This typically happens at the end of the dormancy coming into early spring.

Is Skunk Oil Venomous? 

People ask me all the time, is skunk oil venomous or toxic? My experience is in 12 years there has never been an animal permanently injured from skunk oil. Skunk oil is a very effective repellent, as it has evolved over millions of years, but it is not a venom. It is not going to injure your animal.

Mitigating Skunk Oil

Many people have asked about mitigating skunk odor. There are only two known ways of doing it effectively. One is a process called called pairing and the other is oxidation. Anything else tends to be a mask, and skunk oil cannot be masked.


For more information on skunk oil or the mitigation process, visit our YouTube channel or our website. For 24/7 skunk spray service call SkunkMasters at (847) 232-0066.


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