SKUNKS

***“Animal Help Tips” is offered as a public information source, not a formal instruction manual on how to deal with wild animal situations. The Wildlife Rescue League does not accept responsibility for any outcomes that might result from reading and acting on this material.***

SKUNKS

Birthing: 2-12 (average 5) young in March-June
Eyes opened: 17-21 days
Weaning (beg-end): 3-8 weeks
Active: Night time; year-round
Diet: Insects, rodents

Q - I’ve been gone on vacation and a skunk has sprayed around my house. What happened?
A - The skunk, most likely soon to be a mother, is preparing a den. Look under porches, decks, and sheds for the signs of fresh digging. Skunks often borrow old groundhog dens. If she has not already given birth, slight harassment will speed her on her way. Skunks are less tolerant of people than most mammals.

Q - I saw a skunk in my yard. What should I do?
A - This is not cause for alarm. Remove any attractants like preferred habitat, pet food left outside, garbage, or to close in any elevated outbuildings. The skunk will probably keep to himself and move on before long. Check for any signs of digging a den.

Q - I think a skunk has been in my garden! Should I worry?
A - Lucky you! Skunks eat many garden pests including grasshoppers, insect larvae, beetles and grubs. They have 1-2 mile ranges, so are probably only passing through.

Q - I have trapped a skunk! Now what should I do?
A - Skunks usually live in a small area of a few acres and should not be relocated involuntarily. Usually when a skunk is live-trapped, the next question is: “How do I handle it without being sprayed?” Covering the trap with a towel or sheet is essential. Too often when a skunk is live-trapped, it ends up being euthanized rather than released, out of fear.