Skunk facts

  • Skunks are best known for their ability to excrete a foul odor. They use their odor for self-defense only, never for attacking
  • Even skunks themselves can’t stand the smell they make!
  • If a skunk feels threatened, he will give ample warning before using his scent, stamping his front feet to tell the intruder to “back off”
  • Skunks are nocturnal and omnivorous, eating insects, small animals, birds, eggs, worms and berries
  • Skunks can’t see very well. They are near-sighted and that often gets them into trouble
  • Baby skunks are called kits. They are born blind and deaf and stay with their mother for a year
  • Skunks are not good climbers! Sometimes they need help in getting out of a fix!

Watch the PBS skunk documentary here

Avoiding and resolving problems with skunks

For the best resource on solving skunk problems, click here

  • Make sure that there are no holes or other access points in the outside of your house, especially attics and basements. Don’t ever leave food garbage bags lying around, since this attracts wildlife. Keep them in sealed garbage cans. If you let your cat outdoors and have a cat door, use a magnetic cat flap that only opens for your cat or keep the door closed at night.

But there’s a skunk family under my shed now!

  • If a skunk does have a litter under a deck or shed, the ideal solution is to wait until the babies are old enough to leave permanently with their mother (4-6 weeks). However, if you do need to get the skunks out immediately, then visit the HSUS website above, call your local wildlife rehabber, or email HOP! for tips on how to humanely evict the skunk family

Help, our dog smells of skunk!

Instant skunk deodorizer recipe (courtesy of HSUS):

  • One quart 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 tsp liquid dish or laundry soap

Mix together, dip a washrag in the solution and rub down the dog/clothes/skin. Rinse and the odor will disappear within minutes.

Skunks and the environment

Skunks are extremely efficient rodent and insect controllers!

Photo credit: Eric Isselée

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