CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Can weigh up to 14 lbs., depending on species
  • Length approximately between 33-46 cm (13-18 in) excluding the tail, which is another 18-25 cm (7-10 in)
  • Triangular heads
  • Large, bushy tails
  • Black fur with white stripes
  • Ability to secrete a liquid with a strong, foul odor when threatened
  • Before spraying, the skunk will give several warnings with its final warning standing on its front legs and its hind quarters in the air
  • If intruder does not back off, the skunk will proceed to squeeze its two anal glands together to secret the pungent scent against its threat

DIET:

  • Skunks are omnivorous, eating both plant and animal material, and their diets change as the seasons change
  • Insects and larvae
  • Earthworms
  • Grubs
  • Small rodents
  • Lizards, salamanders, and frogs
  • Snakes
  • Birds
  • Moles
  • Eggs
  • Berries and nuts
  • Roots, leaves, and grasses
  • Fungi
  • Human garbage

HABITAT:

  • Skunks can be found in both rural and urban areas
  • Anywhere where water sources can be within 2 miles
  • Usually stay in range from their dens
  • Requires an ample supply of food and cover
  • Can adapt to many different habitats such as woods, grasslands, brush, open prairies, and developed areas

CONTROL:

  • Skunks can be infested with ticks, fleas, lice, and mites, which are known transmitters of diseases such as rabies, canine distemper, roundworm, leptospirosis, histoplasmosis, tularemia, Q-fever, trypanosoma, salmonella, mange, distemper, listeriosis, and canine hepatitis among other transmitted diseases
  • Poisoning skunks is prohibited
  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife approval is required before trapping and relocating any wild animal
  • If you have a problem with these animals, call animal control or fish and game for assistance
  • Once the animal is removed, flea control measures may be required to prevent infestations