The smell of a skunk is pungent and unforgettable. It is unpleasant to encounter outdoors, but it is even worse to experience the noxious odor inside your home. When the smell is confined to an upstairs room, it is easier to pinpoint the source. You can be assured that the animal has not wandered into your home and is not nesting under the house. Investigate the room in question and consider some alternative possibilities. Other sources can cause smells that might be compared to a skunk.
If it smells like a skunk, consider the possibility that the odor may have originated from a skunk. If clothing has come into contact with a surface or an animal that has been sprayed by a skunk, the odor will not simply disappear over time. Check clothing hanging in the closet or laying out in the room. Remove any offensive clothing and wash it with a strong detergent. Use a household cleaner on any surface that came into contact with the clothing. Open the windows, spray the room with a deodorizer and run fans for ventilation.
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If you heat with propane gas, make certain there is not a gas leak present. The gas has no odor itself, but chemicals are added to alert people to the presence of gas. The odor can be compared to that of a skunk. If this is a possibility, put out any open flame and vacate the house immediately. Turn the main gas line off. Call your fuel company or fire department and have your system checked.
Dogs emit a strong foul smelling substance from their anal glands that is similar to the musky scent of a skunk. This essence allows dogs to communicate with and identify each other. Occasionally the glands become impacted and cause the animal discomfort. You will see your dog scoot its bottom across the floor for relief. This can leave a pungent odor on your carpet. A visit to the groomer or a vet can solve your dog's problem. Clean your carpet with a commercial cleaner to remove the odor.
If you discover the odor is emanating from inside the wall or ceiling of the room, the likely cause is a dead rodent. The odor is nauseating and will permeate the entire room. It will continue until the animal is removed or has decomposed. Keep windows open as much as possible and use a room deodorizer. Set traps and check them often to prevent a recurrence.