What’s that smell? Skunks are on the hunt for a mate and den

Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 4:55 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - While marijuana was recently legalized in Missouri, that’s not why a funky smell has been lingering on the roadside.

Skunks are hunting for mates and a place to den this time of year. Francis Skalicky with the Missouri Department of Conservation explained these creatures become very focused on one task at a time, which is why many of them end up as roadkill at night. Once hit, skunks will spray their sulfur-smelling musk.

After hitting a skunk himself years ago, Skalicky admitted the car wash did little to get the stink out of his car.

“We went to a car wash that night, and we went to a car wash the next morning. It helped, but more than anything else, it was just time. Eventually, the smell went away,” Skalicky said.

Vinegar-based solutions are the most effective when it comes to the exterior. Interior upholstery, people, and dogs need a more vigorous approach to remove the thick oily spray. The stench will last up to three weeks if left alone.

If you find a dead skunk or roadkill, the city of Springfield will pick it up at no cost, but only on public roadways within city limits.

“I think we’ve picked up ten dead skunks since the beginning of the year. I know we picked up two yesterday. It’s quite often since it’s mating season,” Bryan Loughrige, a supervisor with Springfield Public Works.

They only ask for a specific location and the type of animal so they can lay out a plan for removal.

A request can be submitted by phone at 417-864-1010 or through the City of Springfield’s website or mobile app.

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