Dogs and cats are just some of the furriest creatures that people delight at seeing and taking care of at home. When other wildlife animals, however, such as squirrels, raccoons, and opossums infiltrate the household, a ruckus often ensues. When you talk about skunks invading a house, all hell sets loose. Man is so averse to this seemingly innocuous animal that thousands of blogs are found on the internet to eradicate the skunks in most households. The smell is instantly recognizable and no one wants to be on the business end of a threatened skunk.

Skunks are very common in North America. Also known as polecats, these furry animals inhabit most of Canada, South America, Mexico, and the United States. In California, the skunk population is starting to be a bane to the local government, following the fast-increasing transformation of former woodlands to megacities. Residents are in increasing contact with displaced wildlife animals such as beavers, squirrels, raccoons, opossums, snakes, bats, and birds.

The most feared of these uninvited guests are the infamous skunks. In the science world, these little beasties are classified under the Mephitidae family (in layman’s terms, “the skunk family”), which can be further grouped under order Carnivora. Scientists have discovered close to 12 species of skunks, most of which thrive in the Western Hemisphere (or rather unfortunately, the Americas). The fear people have for skunks stems from the animal’s preternatural ability to ward off predators using its stinky secretion from its anal glands. The secretion is comprised of a mixture of chemicals but sulfur is the most dominant. Sulfur (orthiols) is notorious for its foul-smelling scent, akin to slowly-rotting eggs.

The malodorous juice that skunks secrete come from the animal’s derriere (yes, you read it right, they attack via their butts). When agitated or excited, the skunk raises its tail and aims at the oncoming predator. With the help of their muscular legs and behind, the skunk can aim its spray accurately at its target.

Skunks thrive on a mixture of both plant and animal material. The stinky little critters are considered omnivores. Their diet usually consists of roots, berries, nuts, leaves, and fungi. Skunks also feast on various bugs, worms, insects, wood rodents, and lizards. It has been reported that these foul-smelling creatures also feed on frogs, salamanders, snakes, moles, birds, and moles occasionally.

Skunks usually inhabit places where humans do not usually frequent. You can find these shy animals in woodlands, forests, and even deserts. They often find refuge in desolate buildings and large rock piles in urban areas. While the skunks we often see in television and movies are found predominantly in the Americas, a new species of skunk, namely the stink badger, is found mostly in the Philippines and Indonesia. They are not good climbers like raccoons but prefer to dig burrows and are most often found in crawl spaces underneath a house or other building. If you are facing any problem through this animal, feel free to Contact Us.