5 Interesting Facts About Skunks

Skunks are most commonly known for their ability to spray their foul-smelling spray when they feel threatened. While this is a very unique ability of skunks, there are many very interesting things that make skunks an animal like no other in the animal kingdom. Continue reading to learn more about five interesting facts about skunks.

1. They Spray

While everyone knew that this was going to be on the list, there are some really interesting facts about the simple fact that skunks can spray! Whenever a skunk feels like it may be in danger, it is able to lift its tail and spray an oily substance from a gland that produces this foul liquid. What is really interesting is that this spray can go a distance of up to 10 feet, providing the skunk with plenty of range to keep potential attackers at bay.

One of the very unique features of this substance is that it can last for days, and sometimes even weeks, before the smell peters out. In addition, the chemicals in the substance can cause temporary blindness if it hits a person in the eyes. If you ever do get sprayed, many swear by the ability of tomato-based products to remove the odor quickly!

2. Skunks Cause Problems

Skunks seem like very innocent animals that simply wander around, minding their own business. Skunks are actually very destructive to properties and homes, as they have some habits that cause problems. Skunks are prone to dig if they cannot find the type of shelter they require, often deciding to dig their dens right next to or underneath homes, garages, sheds, pavement, and sidewalks.

This burrowing can weaken the structural integrity of various structures, possibly causing collapse. In addition to burrowing, they also dig small holes to search for grubs and insects, causing yard damage.

Beyond their destructive damage they cause, skunks are also able to spread a variety of different diseases to humans and pets. Rabies, leptospirosis, tularemia, and many more potentially deadly viruses and diseases are often carried by these stinky critters. These reasons are why it is so important to remove skunks from your home as soon as possible.

The best way to do this is to hire a professional wildlife removal company, such as Wildlife X Team, as these experts can not only remove skunks, but also prevent them from coming onto your properties in the future.

3. Skunk Reproduction and Young Behavior

There are some constants that can almost always be counted on for the reproductive traits of skunks. Skunks give birth once a year, with a gestation period of around two months. The interesting part is that there can be anywhere from two to ten skunk pups in each litter. This variability can lead to large swings in local skunk populations in any given year.

Skunk young, called kits, are completely blind at birth, like many other animals. Usually, after three weeks these little guys finally open their eyes. After about two months, the kits are being weaned off of their mothers, and they will eventually go to live on their own. Skunks usually live anywhere from two to three years, often falling victim to vehicles and disease.

4. Enemies of Skunks

Skunks have many natural enemies, though they are generally able to keep them away by using their spraying abilities. A crazy fact that is not known by many is that snake venom does not affect skunks!

Skunks are completely immune to the types of venom that snakes carry. There are foxes, mountain lions, coyotes, owls, dogs, and many other animals that still harm skunks even with their spray. In addition, distemper and other natural diseases and parasites often kill skunks. Finally, one of the most common ways that skunks die is by being hit by vehicles.

5. The Diet of Skunks

Skunks have one of the most unique diets in the animal kingdom. These animals will eat grubs, insects, worms, fish, and reptiles. They also eat many different types of fruits and vegetables, causing some problems for homeowners who own a vegetable garden or fruit trees.

Finally, one of the common problems that are associated with skunks is their penchant to eat small mammals, poultry, and fowl, as well as their eggs.