Skunks are small, carnivorous mammals that live throughout the United States. The two most common species are the striped skunk and the spotted skunk; both species grow to be about the size of an average housecat. Skunks are probably best known for the potent smelling liquid that they spray to defend themselves.
The striped skunk is the species that is most commonly found living in our area. Adult striped skunks grow to be approximately 20 to 30 inches long with their tail adding another 7-15 inches to their total length. Adults weigh between 2.5 and 11.5 pounds. Their most unique feature is their black body that has a white stripe starting at their head which divides into two stripes and travels down their entire body and tail.
Habits and Lifecycle of Skunks
The breeding season for skunks starts in February and goes into April. After a period of between 62 and 66 days, the female gives birth to a litter of blind, deaf skunks that are covered in a layer of thin hair. There are usually 4-7 kits (young skunks) in each litter. They stay with their mother until they reach about 1 year of age and are sexually mature.
Skunks tend to live along the forest edges, in grassy fields, and in areas of high brush that are close to food and water sources. Skunks make burrows in the ground, in caves, in the crevices of rock piles, and in woodpiles. If skunks live in close proximity to people, they may make their burrows underneath decks, sheds, porches, garages, and foundations. Skunks are not true hibernators; they do, however, become less active in the winter months, sleeping a lot and only coming out on the warmer sunny days of winter.
Skunk Damages and Dangers
Skunks can cause a lot of damage to lawns and landscaping. In order to find prey to feed on, they will use their claws to dig. Their digging can leave homeowners with unsightly mounds of dirt on their lawns and landscaping that has been dug up injuring delicate root systems.
The foul-smelling liquid that they spray from glands at the base of their tail is not only very smelly, but it can cause temporary blindness if it gets into the eyes of people or pets. Skunks are also dangerous to have around your property because they can carry and transmit rabies and other serious diseases.
How American Pest Solutions Can Help To Control Skunks
Skunks are wild animals, known carriers of rabies, and defend themselves by spraying a foul-smelling liquid from the base of their tail. For all of these reasons, it is important that skunks are removed from your property by trained wildlife control experts. The experts at American Pest Solutions have the knowledge, experience, technology, and safety equipment needed to humanely remove skunks from your property through our comprehensive wildlife control services.
Preventing skunks from choosing your home to live in or your property to live on can be a tricky task, but there are several things that you can do to help deter them. Do not purposely feed skunks or other wild animals. If you have bird feeders, place them some distance away from the outside of your house. Make sure that outdoor trash cans, woodpiles, and compost bins are stored a distance away from the outside of your home as well. Fill in holes and low areas found around foundations, sheds, decks, and garages that skunks could burrow in. Place fencing material around garden areas and put mesh wire around decks and porches to help prevent problems with skunks on your property.