When it comes to skunks, you will encounter 4 different species of the North America. Here, you can find the striped skunk, the eastern spotted skunk, and the hog-nosed skunk. Its average size is 20-30'' long and it weighs 6-10 lbs. a skunk may live an average 2-4 years and has a distinctive black and white fur. It also has some long and strong claws ideal for digging.
Skunks can be found in all over the United States. The most common species, the spotted skunk can be found in all US and Mexico. The rarest species, the hooded and the hog-nosed can only be found in the Midwest, the Southwest, and the Mexico.
Skunks are able to live in many different types of habitat, assuming they can find food, shelter, and water. The most ideal shelter will be within the first 2 miles of a standard water source. They prefer tree hollows, brush piles and any human structure that seems appropriate.
Skunks mostly prefer to eat insects and grubs; however, they tend to eat anything they can find. This is why you can find them eating out of garbage and everything else that can find. Among their favorite meals are fruits and especially berries, beetles, grasshoppers, bird eggs, and mushrooms.
Skunks belong to the nocturnal family; therefore, they are significantly more energetic during night. They do not hibernate, but they tend to be less active during the cold, winter months. They live a rather solitary life, except from when they breed. Their mating season is between April and June, and they tend to give birth to 1 to 7 young skunks per time.
They have long nails, and they are excellent diggers, they can dig holes literally everywhere. When they are unable to find a proper shelter, they will dig underneath a building in order to create a new home in the foundation openings.
When a skunk feels threatened it is able to release a strong scent through its anal glands. This is the ultimate defense system when they are cornered or when they are trying to protect their young ones. Before spraying, they will grow, spit and stamp the ground in an attempt to scare off the enemy. This is the famous bad scent we all know, and it can stay to the enemy's body for a very long time period.
Skunks seem to be very cute and innocent; however, they can carry some very serious contagious diseases. This is why, if you detect a skunk presence you must find the most proper methods to get rid of them and offer them the chance to leave your house. A skunk may carry leptospirosis, canine hepatitis, canine distemper, rabies or even intestinal roundworms. If you get beat by a skunk, you must immediately visit a hospital or a doctor to offer you a proper vaccination.