Skunks bodies are shaped like a cat, except their feet. Their feet are more dog-like. They are proficient diggers. They can burrow and tunnel under buildings rock piles. Skunks are omnivorous and eat anything they can find or catch. Their diet can consist of insects, rodents, frogs, crayfish, bird eggs, nestlings, fruit, berries and plants. There are five basic species of the skunk: Striped Skunk, Eastern Spotted Skunk, Western Spotted Skunk, Hognose Skunk and Hooded Skunk.
- The Striped Skunk is the largest, can get up to 14 pounds. It gets its name from the stripe down its nose and the big “V” stripe on its back. They like bees and insect larvae.
- The Hognose Skunk can get up to 5 pounds and has a pig-like nose. This species roots for grubs and insects. Their backs and tails are completely white and the lower sides and belly are black.
- The Hooded Skunk also can get up to 5 pounds. The Hooded Skunk sports a 15″ tail and a ruff of long white hair on its neck as the only marking.
- The Eastern and Western Spotted Skunks are the smallest at 2 pounds. They have short body stripes, with an additional spot on the forehead and under each ear. They also have a white tip on their tail. They mainly hunt for rodents and rabbits.
Skunks mating season is in late winter, early spring. The Striped Skunk can delay implantation of an egg for at least 4 months. They may mate in September or October but not implant the fertilized egg until March.
Skunk gestation is 60-75 days with the babies or “kits” being born in May to June. Normally there are 4-7 kits in a litter. The skunks will return to their birth site to mate and have kits. Their kits will do the same each year.
Skunks And Skunk Smell
Skunk spray can cause (besides the smell) temporary blindness and nausea. The Skunks main predator is the Great Horned Owl. Other predators include coyotes and dogs. See our skunk bath for dogs page for helpful hints.