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What do skunks look like?

The question should be, "What do they smell like?" and I'm sure that most already know. But if you have not had that experience you should feel blessed that you haven't. A defense mechanism for a skunk, its odor, is just as distinctive as it black and white appearance. Skunks are similar in size to the common house cat normally weighing 6 to 10 pounds. They have pointed snouts and small, triangular heads with a white stripe on their nose and forehead. Normally their coat is black with a white stripe running down the middle of their back and splits into two stripes down a skunk tail. On occasion, skunks can be predominately white called albino skunks. A skunk's tail is wide
and bushy and can be completely black or vary in the amount of white stripes that run down the tail.
Skunks have short legs which causes their noticeable waddle and categorizes them as poor climbers.
Although skunks have short legs they have rather strong forefeet and long nails making them excellent

How to remove a skunk

Removing a family of skunks from its established dwelling area can seem rather daunting, fearing that any confrontation will creating the unbearable odor we all have come to love. We provide services for the humane removal of skunks and the prevention of their return. We also provide services that allow skunks to exit their dwelling with no means of return. Skunks will often dig under sheds, decks, porches, sheds, and homes to dwell all of which can be fixed with what we call trench prevention. 

Should a customer block an entryway to stop the skunks?

No, No, and No again! It's just a suggestion but blocking a skunk's only means of entry could mean that you have blocked its only means of exit instead. If you have blocked a skunk's active travel path and are not 100% certain that the den is vacant then you open yourself up to a whole new set of problems. 

It is possible that a skunk or skunks become trapped and if they cannot dig another way out they will certainly die under your home or affected structure. When a skunk does become deceased the muscles that, holds in the oil which produces the dramatic odor, release allowing the oil to leak out and cause a constant and overpowering smell from the skunk. Understanding that skunks burrow very deeply and out of reach of predators and animal control officers justifies the difficulties that might follow for dead skunk removal. Deodorizing services will help but the source of the odor almost always needs to be found and removed. 

*It is significantly easier for a live skunk to walk out of its den and be trapped by a professional that it might be for a professional to become trapped in a skunk den. 

If you have a skunk problem and want to eradicate it yourself your best to consult a wildlife pro.

Image by Bryan Padron
Image by Jack Bulmer




The striped skunk is easily identified by the white stripe that runs from its head to its tail. Its stripes start with a triangle at the head and break into two stripes down its back. The stripes usually meet again and form one stripe at the base of their tail. Their tails are usually a mixture of white and black fur. Each striped skunk has a unique stripe pattern. The striped skunk is about the same size as a house cat. It has a small triangular head and little ears. Its legs are short with webbed toes and claws the striped skunk uses for digging and looking for food.

Habits and Habitats

Whereas most mammals have evolved coloration that blends with their environment, the Striped Skunk, like other skunks, is boldly colored, advertising to potential enemies that it is not to be bothered. Its anal glands hold about a tablespoon of a fetid, oily, yellowish musk, enough for five or six jets of spray - although one is usually enough. When threatened, the Striped Skunk will face the intruder, arch and elevate its tail, erect the tail hairs, chatter its teeth, and stomp the ground with the front feet. This usually causes the intruder to retreat, but if it remains, the skunk will twist its back around, raise its tail straight up, evert its anal nipples, and spray scent 10 to 15 feet (3 - 5 m). The mist may reach three times as far, and the smell may carry a mile. Spray in the eyes causes intense pain and fleeting loss of vision.

The Striped Skunk is primarily nocturnal and does not hibernate, although during extremely cold weather it may become temporarily dormant. The animal's temperature drops only from about 98.6º to 87.8º F (37º to 31º C), rather than down to the temperature of its den.

The Striped Skunk is an omnivore, feeding heavily on a wide variety of animal food in spring and summer, including insects and grubs, small mammals, the eggs of ground-nesting birds, and amphibians. Some of the more important invertebrate foods consumed are beetles and their larvae, grasshoppers and crickets, earthworms, butterfly and moth larvae, spiders, snails, ants, bees and wasps, and crayfish. This skunk eats fruits in season, such as wild cherries, ground cherries, blackberries, blueberries, and many others. In the fall, the animal gorges itself to fatten up in preparation for the lean winter months.

The Striped Skunk usually dens in a burrow that has been abandoned by another animal, although it may also dig its own or use a protected place, such as a hollow log, crevice, or the space beneath a building. Maternal and wintertime dens are underground; other dens are often aboveground. The young are weaned at six to seven weeks, at which time their scent has developed but is not yet very potent. Mother and offspring begin to hunt together at about this time. A mother skunk is fiercely protective of her young, and at the approach of an intruder, she will posture and spray if necessary. The procession of a mother skunk followed by her young in a single file is an amusing sight. The skunk is not a social animal, although in winter several skunks will sometimes occupy one den.

The striped skunk is only found in North America. Its range runs from central Canada to northern Mexico. Habitat The striped skunk tends to live in open areas with a mix of habitats like woods and grasslands or meadows. It is usually never further than two miles from the water.

The only serious predator of the skunk is the great horned owl. Mothballs sprinkled on the ground discourage skunks from digging up lawns for insects and visiting homes or campsites since they and many other small animals are repelled by the smell of camphor. Pelts of the Striped Skunk are not highly valued, but the musk, once its odor is removed, is used as a perfume base because of its clinging quality.

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