Fun Facts About Skunks
• Skunks are a member of the weasel family of carnivores.
• As a line of defense, skunks will move towards their threat on their forelegs, and direct their scent glands towards the threat.
• Skunks can spray their secretion up to 12 feet away.
Tennessee is home to the striped and spotted skunk, creating a threat to homeowners throughout the state.
Skunks are easily identifiable by their black and white coloration. Striped skunks are black with a large white stripe down their back, and the Eastern Spotted skunk has smaller white stripes along their back, neck, and mid-body. Skunks vary in size, ranging from 36-42 inches and 6-14 pounds in striped skunks. Spotted skunks are much smaller at 14-22 inches and .75 – 2.75 pounds.
A skunk’s diet consists of crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, worms, mice, crawfish, lizards, mushrooms, small rodents, reptiles, and eggs. They will also consume fruits, seeds, and nuts depending on their location and season.
February is the breeding season of skunks, which produce a litter of 4-8 kittens per year. Newborns are born blind and furless, but will have a black and white coloration to their skin. They will open their eyes at 3 weeks old, and begin hunting with their mother at around 6 to 8 weeks of age.
Skunks prefer to live in areas of pasture and timberland that include access to quality water sources. They can be found in both urban and rural communities. Their dens are often located along fencerows, in rocky crevices, and grassy banks, or above ground in barns, haystacks, or wood piles.
As a common household pest, skunks often require exclusion services to be safely rehomed away from human property. If you find skunks near your home, it is best to call in a professional wildlife control service, as they have the proper tools to exclude skunks from personal property. Should you choose to trap a skunk yourself, be sure to check your local laws. States such as Tennessee prohibit the relocation of trapped animals due to illness and disease.
If skunks become a nuisance in your life, be sure to call your Middle Tennessee wildlife control experts at Ace Wildlife.