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Striped Skunk

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Striped Skunk


Striped Skunks are an animal well known in the US and elsewhere in the world for their method of self protection which is to emit a strong noxious smelling odor.They are mammals, belonging to the Carnivore order, and there are eleven different kinds of skunks living in areas as diverse and the United States, Canada, Indonesia and China.


Striped Skunk

Striped Skunk

Striped skunks are easily recognized by their characteristic colors and pattern. The fur is black with a white stripe that begins as a triangular shape on the top of the head, forks into two stripes that travel down the sides of the back, and usually merges again near the base of the tail. Another white stripe runs from the base of the snout between the eyes and ends on the forehead. Stripe width and length vary with each individual. Stripes sometimes occur on the tail, but more often the tail is composed of both black and white hairs intermixed.


Striped skunks is about the size of a domestic cat, with a small head, small ears, short legs, and a long, fluffy tail. Feet are plantigrade with five partially webbed toes. Claws are longer on the front feet to aid in digging. The skull is distinct from other carnivores in having only one molar on each side of the upper jaw and two on each side of the lower jaw. The upper molars have a characteristic square shape. The dental formula is 3/3 1/1 3/3 1/2.Total length varies between 575 and 800 mm, tail length from 173 to 307 mm


Striped Skunks prefers somewhat open areas with a mixture of habitats such as woods, grasslands, and agricultural clearings. They are usually never found further than two miles from a water source. They are also often found in suburban areas because of the abundance of buildings that provide them with cover.


Striped Skunk

Striped Skunk

Striped Skunks is a true omnivore, eating a vast assortment of things including insects, small mammals, birds and their eggs, crustaceans, fruits, grasses, leaves, buds, grains, nuts, and carrion. Insects make up approximately 70% of their diet. Striped skunks often attack the nests of colonial insects, such as bees and ants. When attacking a bee hive, they wait for the angry bees to emerge from the hive, then bat them out of the air and eat them. Striped skunks are opportunistic and diet changes depending on the time of year and available resources.


Life Cycle:Skunks generally live alone, only spending short amounts of time together during mating season. They mate in early spring, usually from February through March. After a gestation period of about 60 to 77 days, the female will give birth to a litter of between four and seven young. Baby skunks are called kits.


They are extremely immature at the time of birth. They cannot see or hear and will stay in the den and nurse with their mother for about six weeks before starting to venture out with her to learn to live on their own. Kits will leave their mother and siblings at around one year of age.


Striped Skunks

Striped Skunks

Adaptations: Striped skunk's most famous adaptation is its ability to spray a foul-smelling liquid to fend off anything that they consider a threat. The skunk's bold coloration serves as a warning to its predators, but they will usually only spray as a last resort. When a skunk feels threatened, it will first usually issue a series of warnings which include arching its back and its hair standing on end, stomping, and hissing. Skunks also have long, sharp claws on their front paws which are used for digging burrows or digging insects out of the ground.


Predation : Striped Skunk has perhaps the most widely known defense system of any mammal, the scent-spraying mechanism. Striped skunks usually do not discharge the foul smelling contents of their scent glands unless mortally threatened. When faced with danger they arch the back and erect the tail and hair. When mortally threatened they bend into a U-shape with both head and rump facing the enemy.


They then emit two streams of fluid from scent glands located just inside the anus, which meet after travelling about a foot, finally spreading into a fine spray that can travel up to 2 or 3 meters. The spray often causes nausea and burns the eyes and nasal cavities of the unfortunate target. Because of their offensive odor, skunks are rarely preyed on by mammalian predators. Instead they are eaten primarily by large birds, such as great-horned owls and red-tailed hawks.


Striped Skunks

Striped Skunks

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Beyond Environmental P.C.

Our pest control specialist service NYC & NJ and all boroughs including Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Long Island, Suffolk County, Nassau Country & Staten Island, Westchester County & Rockland County, Hudson County in New Jersey including Jersey City, West New York, Union City, Hoboken, Bayonne.

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