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Dealing with Skunks?
Check out these skunk facts & FAQ’s.
Skunks are quite common around the Greater Toronto Area. They scavenge through garbage looking for leftover scraps of human food, or dig in the our yards or gardens looking for grubs and earthworms. They build dens in and around sheds, porches and patios, and especially near plentiful food sources.
Here are some more interesting skunk facts and FAQ’s to help you understand these pests and protect your home and family from their stinky ways!
What Do Skunks Eat?
Like humans, skunks eat both meat and plants. In the wild they eat almost anything as long as it is small: grubs and larvae, earthworms, small rodents and lizards, berries, nuts, leaves and grass. In populated areas, though, skunks prefer human food leftovers. If you hear some rustling around in your garbage at night, there’s a good chance it’s a skunk searching for it’s dinner.
What Are the Different Types of Skunks?
Skunks – along with their cousins the badger – belong to the “Mephitidae” family. There are twelve different species of mephitids found across the world, but the type that you’re probably more familiar with is the mephitis mephitis. This striped skunk, as it is commonly known, has black fur with a white stripe or two down it’s back.
How Often Do Skunks Reproduce?
Skunks mate in early the early spring – typically March or April, depending on the weather. A skunk’s gestation period is about 66 days, so babies are generally born during the month of May. A female skunk can have four to seven kits in her litter. When kits are born they are deaf and blind – their eyes usually open when they are about three weeks old.
How Do I Discourage Skunks from Building a Den on my Property?
Like many other types of animals, skunks are looking for a safe place and a plentiful supply of food when choosing where to build their den. Always keep your garbage out of reach, either in your garage or in a sealed container. Skunks have strong claws and can rip open lightweight plastic containers. Skunks also like to build their dens where it is dark so keep the sides and rear of your home well lit to discourage skunks from building a den.
Is a Skunks Spray Dangerous?
Apart from the terrible smell, a skunk’s spray isn’t dangerous to either humans or pets. A skunk will spray if it feels endangered, but before it sprays it will turn it’s back to it’s attacker, hiss and stamp it’s feet. If you see a skunk doing any of this behaviour, it’s time to leave! A skunk’s spray can last for days or even weeks and is difficult to wash out.