Skunks are mid-sized black and white mammals known for their ability to spray a strong, foul smell when they are in danger. Skunks are omnivores, meaning that they feed off of both plants and animals in the wild. Active during the night, skunks can destroy your property in several ways. Skunks will dig up sections of grass to pull up bulbs and other plants. If you have pets, they are at risk of being sprayed by a squirrel.
What does a Skunk look like?
Several species of skunks live in North America, and their coats feature different patterns of white stripes, spots, or swirls on black fur. About the size of a house cat, skunks have small, triangular heads, long bodies, and muscular legs with sharp claws used for digging. Their long, bushy tails are often also marked with varying white patterns or stripes.
What does a Skunk eat?
Skunks typically come out at night to forage for fruits, berries, eggs, insects, worms, and small animals. As opportunistic omnivores, they will not pass up the chance to eat spilled birdseed, garbage, or garden vegetables, as well.
Wooded areas with plenty of vegetation are the preferred habitat of wild skunks. Easily accessible food and water sources are their top priorities, so skunks can adapt to many other environments, including residential areas, as long as these things are present. They usually make their burrows in the abandoned dens of other animals but will also search for suitable logs, brush piles, or abandoned buildings in which to dig out comfortable nests.
Identifying Skunk Scat
Waste left behind by cats and skunks has a similar appearance. Skunk scat is tube-shaped with blunt ends and a smooth surface. The only way to differentiate between feline and skunk feces is to look inside. Unlike cats, skunks eat fruit, berries, and insects, which are visible in their scat.
Skunk Tracks Identification
With their thick black fur and white stripes or spots, skunks have a distinctive appearance. However, the footprints they leave behind aren’t as easy to distinguish from other animals. Raccoon and skunk tracks are similar, as both pests have five toes.
Knowing which animal is infesting the property is crucial to effective removal. Because both are nocturnal, homeowners are unlikely to actually see them during the day. As a result, people may need to rely on tracks and other signs to decide whether they have a skunk or raccoon problem.