Latin Name: Mephitidae
Size: 40 to 94 cm (15.6 to 37 in)
Life Expectancy: 1 to 7 years
Problems: Rabies, strong odor and property damage

Signs of Skunk Problems:

Signs of skunks in your area can be feeding damage, such as overturned trash cans. Another sign can be the structural damage they may cause as they try to enter buildings, such as into attics. If provoked, the skunk will cause a strong odor to be present.


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How to minimize damage from Skunks:

  • Keep trash cans clean and debris picked up.

  • If practical, keep refuse containers inside the garage, and set out for pickup in the morning rather than the night.

  • Keep tight fitting lids on refuse containers.

  • Do not allow leftover pet foods to remain outside.

  • If you have fruit trees, remove any fruit on the ground.

  • Cover compost piles to prevent raccoons from feeding on food scraps

Behaviour, Diet and Habits:

Skunks are most active at twilight and are solitary animals when not breeding, though in the colder parts of their range, they may gather in communal dens for warmth. During the day, they shelter in burrows which they can dig with their powerful front claws. Skunks are omnivorous, eating both plant and animal material and changing their diets as the seasons change. They eat insects and larvae, earthworms, grubs, small rodents, lizards, salamanders, frogs, snakes, birds, moles and eggs. They also commonly eat berries, roots, leaves, grasses, fungi and nuts. In urban areas, skunks also seek garbage left by humans.

Less often, skunks may be found acting as scavengers, eating bird and rodent carcasses left by cats or other animals. Pet owners, particularly those of cats, may experience a skunk finding its way into a garage or basement where pet food is kept. Skunks commonly dig holes in lawns in search of grubs and worms.

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