Skunks are in the weasel family. Most of us relate skunks to their foul smelling spray that they use as a defense mechanism whenever they feel threatened or scared. There are many people who have been able to experience the odor at the roadways and on the dogs if they ever come into contact with a skunk.
In North America, skunks carry rabies. The most popular skunks in the area are the spotted and the striped skunk. They are nocturnal animals and start their activities early in the evening and they carry on into the night.
The diet of skunks usually consists of cutworms, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets and different kinds of insect larvae. Sometimes the skunks can enjoy a meal of fruits, garden veggies, eggs and even poultry. Sometimes they dig so as to search for insect larvae. They also feed on small mammals like moles, shrews, squirrels, rats and even mice. They are very essential in keeping the population of rodents on the down low.
The most popular thing about skunks as noted above is the obnoxious odor that they are able to discharge if they are provoked. This odor is usually released for self-defense. The most fascinating thing is that the oily liquid that they spray can go up to 10-15 feet away. What’s more, they can spray it some 6 times in succession! This means that if you keep provoking the animal, you may get more and more of the discharge on you.
If the liquid gets to the eyes, it is very painful and it can lead to temporary blindness for some 15 minutes.
Skunks usually stamp the feet, growl or hiss and they then raise the tail erect warning a person that there is an oncoming discharge. Once the skunk discharges all the liquid, it takes up to 10 days to fully replenish the supply again.
One of the things that people should know is the fact that the skunks will usually spray the liquid as a last resort only. In most cases, the skunk only prefers to retreat once faced with danger but if this isn’t possible, then the spray comes in handy.
If you have a skunk issue around your home, it is important to get rid of them in the most professional and humane way possible. Skunks, just like other animals come with the risks of diseases such as rabies.
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