Skunks only live for up to three years, typically staying within a close radius to their homes. They are not hibernating mammals but tend to go into a semi-dormant stage during the winter months. Females will burrow together during the winter, whereas males will stay by themselves. Their senses of smell and hearing work exceptionally, but they have terrible vision. This leads to many deaths by cars and lots of roadkill.
Skunks are an obvious pest due to their odor, but they are also pests for their scavenging nature. They can dig burrows with their claws or move into abandoned dens of other animals, under stone walls, in hollow logs and sometimes even abandoned buildings. They typically use the same den throughout seasons.
Skunks typically breed in late winter or at the beginning of spring. During this process, males travel up to five miles to find a mate and commonly will mate with multiple females. After this mating process, a female skunk can store the sperm and offset pregnancy until she’s ready. The skunk’s gestation period is between 60-75 days and will usually produce one litter of up to six kits per year. Kits are born completely unable to fend for themselves, not being able to see or hear. The mother knows that her babies are helpless and will spray at any sign of danger presented, including their father, who has no involvement and may even try to kill the kits.
Skunks are omnivores, meaning that they’ll eat both animal and plant materials. They prefer insects and their larvae, grasshoppers, crickets, earthworms, small rodents, lizards, birds, roots, fruits, nuts and fish. When they are in dire need for food, skunks may even eat a rabbit or other small mammals.
If there is a skunk in your neighborhood that won’t seem to go away, contact the experts at Pest EZ East to humanely rid the area of it!