Most skunks are found in North and South America, with the highest concentration in the United States. Some skunk species also inhabit parts of Europe, Canada, Mexico, and Asia. While they are found in various habitats, including forests, grasslands, and deserts, skunks tend to inhabit nearby water sources.
Each skunk has its home range which can vary in size depending on the availability of food and water. Home ranges of female skunks are typically smaller than those of males.
Skunks are relatively solitary creatures and usually only come together to mate. So, when they’re through with the reproduction season, where do these small stinkers go to? Let’s find out!
Habitat in the Wild
As we mentioned, skunks are found in various habitats throughout North and South America. Some of these habitats include:
Forests: Both deciduous and coniferous forests provide ample opportunities for skunks to find food and shelter. In fact, the striped skunk is the only species known to den in trees!
Grasslands: Grasslands, or prairies, offer an open landscape for skunks to forage for food. These habitats are also home to many animals that skunks like to eat, such as rodents and insects.
Deserts: Although you might not expect it, deserts can be suitable habitats for skunks. The great underground holes that skunks like to live in can help keep them safe from harsh desert conditions.
Urban areas: You’re probably not too thrilled about having skunks near you, but it’s not uncommon for these animals to make their homes in urban areas. This is because urban areas often have plenty of food and shelter for skunks, and they can easily find places to build their dens.
Skunks typically den in burrows that they either dig themselves or take over from other animals, such as foxes or badgers. These dens can be located in various places, including under porches, abandoned buildings, or on the ground.
Where Do Skunks Live In The Winter?
The winter season calls for a few changes in how skunks live. For starters, skunks typically spend more time in skunk dens during winter to stay warm.
Skunks do not hibernate, but they may become less active during periods of cold weather. This means that they will spend more time sleeping and less time foraging for food. When the weather starts to warm up, skunks will come out of their dens and resume their normal activities.
The winter season is a pretty long period for these animals. In fact, their mating season falls in the late parts of winter, and they give birth to their young, usually in May or June.
In addition, skunks will also build up their fat reserves by eating more food before winter. This extra food helps them to survive the winter when food is scarce.
Where Can Skunks Hide Around Your Home?
You might not expect it, but some animals actually treat your home as the best living area. This is because your home provides them with everything they need, including food and shelter.
The winter season is the most influential factor for these animals to inhabit your property. This is due to the snowy fields, woodlands, and forests that prevent them from burrowing or building nests. There are also not enough materials to provide them warmth. In short, they become outcasts of their habitat. So, there’s no other way than to resort to urban or suburban areas so they can save their lives.
One animal that does this is the skunk. Skunks are attracted to homes because they offer plenty of opportunities for food and shelter. If you have a skunk living near your home, there are a few places it might be hiding:
Under your porch: Skunks like to den in dark, enclosed spaces. This makes your porch the perfect place for them to hide. If you think you have a skunk living under your porch, you might be able to see its tracks in the dirt or mud.
In your attic: Skunks can climb into attics and make themselves home. If you have skunks in your attic, you might hear them walking around or scratching the walls. You might also be able to smell them if they’ve sprayed inside.
In your shed or garage: Sheds and garages also provide shelter for skunks. If you store food in these areas, that’s even better for the skunk! You might be able to see skunk tracks or droppings in these areas.
Under your deck: Like your porch, your deck can make a perfect home for a skunk. If you think a skunk is living under your deck, you might be able to see its tracks in the dirt around the perimeter of the deck. Aside from this, skunks may also choose crawl spaces and wood piles as the best living spots.
As you can see, skunks can make themselves at home just about anywhere on your property. If you think you have a skunk living near you, take steps to keep them away!
More Skunk Knowledge
What do skunks eat?
Skunks are omnivorous animals. This means that they eat both plants and animals. Some of the things that skunks like to eat include:
Fruits and vegetables: Skunks like to eat fruits and vegetables, such as berries, apples, and tomatoes.
Insects: Skunks eat insects, such as grubs, beetles, and caterpillars.
Small mammals: Skunks, like rodents and rabbits, will also eat small mammals.
Skunks will also eat carrion or dead animals. Or when they infest your property, they can stumble on your pet food and eat them.
What Are The Common Species of Skunks?
The common species of the skunk family include striped skunks, spotted skunks, hog-nosed skunks, and hooded skunks.
Each of these species has unique characteristics that lead to their separate classification. The striped skunks have two thick white lines that appear as an inverted V and run from their forehead down to their backs. The spotted skunk has several lines, usually six, that more likely appear as spots. On the other hand, hog-nosed skunks only have one broad straight line. And lastly, hooded skunks have white fur encircling their neck.
Need Help With Skunks?
Skunks are one of the animals that can cause damage and health risks to your property. If you have skunks in your home, it is best to call a professional to remove them safely.
AAAC Wildlife Removal specializes in removing skunks and other wildlife from homes and properties. We will work with you to create a custom plan to eliminate and prevent skunks from returning. Call us today to learn more!
Skunks are small mammals that belong to the family of rodents. They are found in North and South America, Mexico, Canada, and some parts of Europe and Asia. They live in various habitats like grasslands, deserts, and forests. But, urban areas are also not taken off the list.
When the winter season comes, these animals do not hibernate but only become less active. They will use the energy and food they have gained throughout the season before winter. And, when winter comes, some of them will make your home the best spot for their false hibernation.
They may live under your porch, deck, garage, and attic. Remember to call AAAC Wildlife Removal when such incidents happen.
Are skunks and stink badgers the same?
Stink badgers are now considered members of the skunk family. This is because they share many similarities based on appearance and behavior. However, stink badgers are only found in East Asian countries, like Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
How many babies can mother skunks give birth to?
Female skunks can give birth to 4 and up to 6 young skunks. The gestation period varies by species but falls within 1 to 2 months.