Updated at: 10-05-2022 - By: Helen Skeates

The best way to get rid of a musty smell is to discover the cause of the odor and then take the appropriate steps to eliminate it. The stench of mold isn’t always like the skunk’s spray, but it can be very earthy.

There are many types of mold, but none of them have a distinct odor or smell that resembles a skunk spray. Skunk and mold odors can be rather unpleasant, so it’s important to know what they smell like so that you can get rid of them fast. To discover everything there is to know about skunk-smelling molds, keep reading.

Does Mold Smell?

According to this question, the short answer is yes. “Earthy” and “musty” are the finest terms to describe the aroma. It’s even been likened by some to the scent of sweaty socks by others. Getting a strong odor of mold is likely if you’ve ever opened a container of food and discovered that your strawberries or young carrots had sprouted fur on them. In terms of severity, the smell might range from “Ugh, that’s disgusting,” to “OPEN A WINDOW; I’m going to be sick!”

It’s important to remember that everyone’s olfactory preferences (and sensitivity levels) varies. Mold odors can be more offensive to some people than others, much like the way some people enjoy the scent of floral perfume while others find it nauseous.

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Do not assume that the other person is “just being paranoid” or making things up if they claim to detect mold in the air, even if you can’t smell it yourself, because it’s possible that the other person’s sense of smell is heightened. As a result, we’ve arrived to our next step…

What Kind Of Mold Smells Like A Skunk?

During the summer, the scent of a skunk is easily identifiable. A skunk’s stench isn’t all that unpleasant because it’s earthy-smelling. This stench has been likened to strong coffee by some people.

It is possible for a skunk to smell anything from rotting eggs and onions to ammonia and even a gas leak in a strong, concentrated spray. No mold will ever smell like burning rubber, but rather an earthy aroma.”

An earthy, musty odour can be found in all kinds of mold spores. Stinking of wet socks and decaying wood are common comparisons. Even if it is possible, mold rarely emits a rotting egg stench, as does the spray of a skunk.

Mold and skunks have quite different odors, and it is possible to find out why. mVOCs (microbial volatile organic compounds) are responsible for mold odors, while thiols (sulfur-based organic compounds) are responsible for skunk smells. Despite their vastly different origins and olfactory ranges, both odors can elicit symptoms such as nausea and headaches.

Possible Causes Of Skunk Smell In Your Home

If you notice the pungent odor of a skunk in your home, you cannot immediately blame a mold infestation. It’s possible that a skunk spray was blown into your house by the wind.

Open or close light bulbs, use electronics, or do anything else that could cause sparks or fires until you are sure it is a skunk spray. A gas leak can also smell like the repulsive odor of a skunk.

Septic gas, like skunk spray, can also have a strong odor. The odor and symptoms of hydrogen sulfide poisoning from sewage pipes are quite similar to those of rotten eggs or skunks.

With home items, you can get rid of the aftertaste left behind by the skunk’s pheromones. It’s recommended to call 911, your utility provider, or a plumber right once if you feel that gas or sewage is leaking in your home.

What To Do When You Smell Mold In Your Home?

Step #1. Look for the source

When you detect a musty stench or a skunk’s spray, it’s preferable to investigate the source as soon as possible. You can immediately identify if your home is infested with mold if you find the source of the odor.

In most cases, you’ll be able to tell if you have mold before you can even smell it. However, some people have more sensitive noses than others. If a member of your family notices a musty stench but you don’t, don’t dismiss it as unimportant right away.

Search wet spots and your pipes if you notice an unpleasant odor. Mold loves moist wood and soggy carpeting, so your best bet is to check the bathrooms, laundry room, and basement for signs of flooding.

In the event of recent flooding or spills, your carpet may be harboring mold. Mold and mildew can grow in your carpet, and the easiest way to get rid of it is to use one of these three treatments.

Step #2. Clean up the mold

To stop the spread, you’ll need to act quickly once you find the cause. Before dealing with mold, it is best to wear safety gear such as masks, rubber gloves, and goggles.

Mold can be dealt with in a variety of methods. Simple ingredients like bleach or a combination of vinegar and baking soda can also be used.

If the stench is coming from your attic, you may need to take certain precautions to keep the mold from spreading to other areas of your home. Here’s how to get rid of mold from attic plywood with this technique.

Step #3. Fix any water leaks

Leaky pipes and roofs are common causes of mold growth. In order to prevent future mold infestations, you should address the leak that caused the water damage.

How do I get rid of mold smells?

The problem with that query is that mold odors are typically just one indicator of a mold infestation. Doing a thorough cleaning of your bathmat or tossing out objects that were harmed by water during the last flood won’t always be necessary, so don’t be alarmed every time you smell something rotten.

As long as you can identify and eradicate its source, the stench may go away on its own. You can speed things up by opening a window or using a fan to ventilate the room.

I can smell mold, but I can’t see it. Does this mean that I don’t have to worry?

Unfortunately, ignoring a moldy odor in your home isn’t a good idea. Stachybotrys chartarum (“black mold”), for example, has been found to create mycotoxins, which are toxic compounds that can harm mammals.

  • Pain in the intestines (IBS, nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, etc.)
  • aches and pains in the joints
  • Asthma, sneezing, and sinusitis
  • Migraine headaches and other brain lesions
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Slurred speech and confusion are symptoms of cognitive impairment (“brain fog”).
  • Problems with hearing
  • Rashes, hives, and open wounds on the skin
  • Anxiety and depression are common in the elderly.

It’s possible that mold spores are to blame if you’ve been feeling sluggish and you’ve recently detected a musty smell in your home.

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It all depends on what kind of fungi you’re dealing with and how tough it is to get at the mold. Vinegar, commercial mold remover, a lot of scrubbing, and a lot of elbow grease are some of the tools you can use to remove mold yourself (and equipment, and safety gear).

In any case, scheduling an inspection with a professional, recognized environmental inspector is a good option if you’ve discovered mold in your home. It’s possible to hire an expert to help you if you’ve been unable to discover the source of the funk on your own, since they’ll have the expertise and equipment to do so.

In the end, if you suspect that mold is present in your home, you should take it seriously and work to destroy it. When left untreated, a mold infestation will only worsen over time. Because, if you don’t deal with the issue, it may become the least of your problems.

A person’s memories and emotions can be elicited by the way they smell. In order to avoid this, most people prefer to live in a home without an overpowering odor. Also “foul” is the smell of mold; it’s the smell of dirt and wetness that is reminiscent of mold. Don’t try to “simply live with it” if you fear you have mold in your home. Toxic mold must be removed from your home if you want to get rid of the odor. This is a win-win situation.

Basement Smells Like Skunk? (Possible Causes & Fixes)

Before You Begin: Is It A Gas Leak?

Not to be trifled with when it comes to gas leaks. Subtle differences can be found in the amount of natural gas and sewer gas leakage. When it comes to the scent, natural gas is more sulfuric, like rotten eggs. Sewage gas, on the other hand, can have a pungent odor.

Evacuate everyone from the house if you can’t tell the difference or have a feeling that it’s a natural gas leak. If you don’t address this problem, it has the potential to be fatal. To be safe, rather than sorry, is the best course of action.

What Else Could The Skunk Smell In The Basement Be?

The time has come for you to conduct your own investigation if the authorities rule out a natural gas leak. Fortunately, all is not lost. You’re most likely dealing with sewage gas. Here’s how to track down the source of the issue and implement a solution.

Look For Dried Out Plumbing

Inspecting your basement’s P-traps should be your first priority. P-traps in your sinks, toilets, and laundry room floor drains are all included in this. If so, how long have you been putting it to use? Sewage gas could be leaking into your basement because your P-trap has dried out.

Fortunately, this is a simple repair. Running the water, flushing the toilet, and adding one gallon of water to the floor grate are all that is required.

Poorly Assembled Plumbing And Venting

Most of the time, it’s just a matter of time. There are numerous ways in which bad plumbing can lead to leaks, such as:

  • Unfastened Toilet Chain. Is there a bathroom in the basement somewhere? Sewer gas may be escaping from a toilet that has become loose on the floor.
  • Vents are obstructed. Sewage gas can’t get out of your house if your vents are clogged. Gas might build up in your basement if your sewage vents become clogged. It may be beneficial to get the vents cleaned.
  • Sewer Lines that Have Burst. The only thing we can hope for is that your sewer lines are leak free. This can occur in a variety of places, including your walls, the subfloor, or even in plain sight. In the event of a spill, you’ll need to repair the line as well as replace the majority of the surrounding debris. What I mean by that is, it’s going to be riddled with actual bodily fluids.
  • There is a Bad Ejector Pit. If you have an above sewer line, you’ll also need an ejector pit to dispose of the waste from it. Ventilation and adequate sealing are essential. A blockage, missing lid, or loose pieces will necessitate attention.

Poorly constructed plumbing and venting almost always necessitates the services of a professional plumber. Sewage gas, on the other hand, can be too much for people with sensitive noses to handle. You may also use it to see how much more clutter you have to cope with.


There are a few mold species that can produce a skunky, musty smell, despite the fact that this is not the most frequent way to characterize a moldy odor. If you see brown or green stains in your basement, you may have a mold infestation that is causing the odor. One of our methods for eliminating mold from wood or spraying bleach on the affected area may be an option.

An Actual Skunk

For example, if you write an essay about a skunky basement stench, you should at least mention the skunk. Even though it’s highly unusual, skunks could have found a way into your basement and made a home there. It’s extremely rare, but it does happen.

When you have an open window at the top of the basement wall, you’re more likely to see this. In this example, the skunk was attracted to the open window because he wanted to keep warm in the house. It’s just a matter of time before you see it. Animals, like humans, seek comfort in their surroundings.

Is this possible if you leave a window open from time to time? In any event, you’d undoubtedly see or hear the odd buzzy-purr sounds made by skunks in the wild. Any metal grating on your windows that has been chewed can also show signs of wear and tear.

Is A Skunk Smell In The Basement A Sign Of Something Dangerous?

We’ve already established that a skunk-like odor in your home could be a warning sign for something more sinister. As a result, we advise you to presume that your odor is a natural gas leak if you detect even the slightest trace of it.

It’s not just a natural gas leak that might pose a danger, though. Mold can trigger allergic reactions, sewer gas can cause long-term respiratory problems, and skunks, of course, can be rather harmful in their own right. They’re cute, but there’s a possibility that they’re infected with rabies, so be careful with them.

Should You Call A Professional?

When you can’t figure out what’s causing the stench on your own, it’s always a good idea to seek professional advice. Sewage line breaks and ventilation issues can be difficult to locate in many scenarios. Once you uncover the root cause, it can be difficult to solve the problem.

It’s recommended to call a professional if you ever feel that you can’t handle the stress of attempting to find the cause of the odor. The following are two instances in which you should seek the assistance of someone other than your typical pro:

  • If you find a skunk in your house, the first thing you should do is notify animal control. First and foremost, this is a public health problem. Is it rabid? You have no idea.
  • If you suspect a gas leak, dial 911 immediately. Once again, all live creatures must be removed from the house.
  • A public works company may be needed if there is a sewer break beneath your basement floor. To begin, ask a plumber if they can do the repair. If the line crosses your property line or is next to it, it is most likely a matter of public works.

What would make my house smell like skunk?

Consequently, if you notice an unpleasant scent, such as that of a skunk, in your home, you should immediately contact your local gas company and take all necessary precautions to avoid an explosion caused by a natural gas leak. Sewer gas is what? It’s possible to smell sewer gas coming from your septic or sewer system.

What smells like skunk but isn’t skunk?

Although they don’t spray foul-smelling liquid, some animals can nonetheless emit a skunk-like scent without doing so. Boar, wolverines, marmots/rockchucks, and a variety of other critters can be found in the area.

Why does my basement smell like skunk at night?

A tiny natural gas leak in the basement is likely to be the source of a skunk-like scent in the evenings, as heaters work harder in cold weather.

Can you smell a skunk from inside your house?

You won’t be able to handle being in the house if it smells bad. The smell of a spraying skunk will be noticeable, but you won’t be affected by it because of the faint stink. Having a strong odor suggests that a skunk has sprayed near your home or property.

Are skunks aggressive creatures?

A skunk’s aggression is not normal. The only time skunks get violent is when they feel threatened or unwell. Get out of the house and call animal control immediately if you see a skunk racing at you aggressively. In all likelihood, this particular skunk is showing early signs of rabies.

Why is a gas leak dangerous?

Inhalation of excessive amounts of natural gas can be fatal. It substitutes gas for the oxygen you should be taking in. A prolonged period of time spent in a “gassed” location might result in dizziness, nausea, headaches, and even fainting. Furthermore, natural gas is highly combustible.

An explosion or fire can occur at any time that a spark is ignited if you have an active gas leak. When there is a gas leak, even lighting a match can be dangerous.

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What kind of pest would cause an ammonia-like smell in a house?

In terms of ammonia-like odors, the mouse is the most typical culprit. The ammonia smell of mouse urine is overpowering. Because mice don’t pee as often as larger animals, most people aren’t aware of the problem straight away. The odor is most obvious when you have a huge mouse population.

Cats, on the other hand, are known for their ammonia-scented urine. The majority of the population, on the other hand, does not consider cats to be pests in the traditional sense. Because they’re so beloved, people tend to overlook the fact that their pee smells so bad.


Is it a good idea to inquire which mold has an unpleasant skunky odor? That depends on the environment in which the mold is growing. But knowing what skunks smell like and how mold smells might assist you identify the cause of the stink and eradicate it, so protecting yourself and your family from possible health consequences.