Skunks

Skunks

Skunks

Skunks are mammals best known for their ability to secrete a liquid with a strong, foul odour. Skunks belong to the family Mephitidae and to the order of Carnivora. There are 10 species of skunks, which are divided into four genera: Mephitis (booded and striped skunks, two species), Spilogale (spotted skunks, two species), Mydaus (stink badgers, two species), and Conepatus (hog-nosed skunks, four species).
The stwo skunk species in the Mydaus genus inhabit Indonesia and the Philippines; all other skunks inhabit North and South America.

Skunks are mammals best known for their ability to secrete a liquid with a strong, foul odour. Skunks belong to the family Mephitidae and to the order of Carnivora. There are 10 species of skunks, which are divided into four genera: Mephitis (booded and striped skunks, two species), Spilogale (spotted skunks, two species), Mydaus (stink badgers, two species), and Conepatus (hog-nosed skunks, four species). The stwo skunk species in the Mydaus genus inhabit Indonesia and the Philippines; all other skunks inhabit North and South America.

They are omnivorous, eating both animal and plant material, with insect larvae forming a large part of their diet. They have become accustomed to humans, thriving in semi-open agricultural areas, mixed woods, meadows, and even urban areas. In the fall is when they feed voraciously, building up fat reserves for winter dormancy. With the onset of cold weather, they seek out dens, and hibernate for the winter. Areas that provide dark secure hiding places are commonly used as den sites, like under barns, utility sheds, and porches.

Mating occurs in late February and early March when males become active, leaving their dens in search of females. Female skunks will usually produce 5 kits on average, with the young being born in late April or may after a gestation period of 62 days. Within a month, females and young can be seen actively foraging for food.

Traps to catch skunks are often set up at entrances of known denning sites, or around their feeding areas. A wooden box trap with a wire mesh end is an ideal way to control the skunks. When caught in box traps, they can be safely moved if caution is taken to avoid shaking the trap. Wire mesh traps must be carefully covered with a cloth material before moving it.

FAQs

Lots of people say using tomato juice helps to get rid of skunk odour, but others say that this doesn’t get rid of the smell completely. Thankfully, to get rid of smells, you can create a cleaning solution made up of 1 quart of freshly opened hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup of baking soda, and 1-2 teaspoons of dishwashing soap such as Dawn. This mixture is effective to bathe stinky pets in, and you could use it to treat areas or objects outside that may have gotten sprayed as well.

You can prevent skunks from moving in with you by taking several simple preventive measures. Skunks come looking for food, so feed your pets inside the house only. Secure trash cans, and make sure they have tight lids. Check your front and back porch, and make sure all areas where skunks could sneak under your porch are properly sealed off. If you have fruit trees on your yard, make sure you pick up any fallen fruits. One last way you can prevent skunks is to remove piles of wood or other objects that may provide a skunk with shelter.

One sign of a skunk being present in your yard is if your garden or lawn has a lot of holes dug in it. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever see a skunk since they are nocturnal, however, another sign a skunk could be present is if you can smell rotten odours coming from around your yard, or from underneath your porch.

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