Skunks - School IPM - USU Extension

    Skunks

    Mephitidae

    skunk

    Striped skunk (Alfred Viola, Northeastern University, Bugwood.org)

    Spotted skink

    Western spotted skunk (National Park Service, Wikimedia Commons)

    skung damage to lawns

    Skunk damage to lawn (Ohio State University Extension)

    Identification

    • about the size of a housecat
    • black fur and two broad white stripes running the length of the body; spotted skunks are black with white markings and about half the size of a housecat
    • release odorous spray (distance of 8 – 15 feet) when disturbed or cornered

    Nesting Habits

    • build dens in brush piles, open irrigation pipes, storage areas, sheds, under structures, etc.
    • solitary animals, except for mating and during winter
    • most active at night

    Diet

    • wide range of plant and animal material including berries, fruits, vegetables, insects, small rodents, reptiles, eggs and young birds

    Significance

    • known carriers of diseases, such as rabies, and a variety of parasites
    • may damage lawns and athletic fields by digging for food; leave bare patches and small cone-shaped holes
    • odorous defensive spray

    IPM Recommendations

    • Check local regulations for skunk management prior to control.
    • Eliminate potential den sites and food sources outdoors.
    • In buildings without concrete foundations, seal all holes with a fine wire mesh to prevent skunks from denning under the structure.
    • If a skunk enters a structure, do not harass or disturb it. Leave exits open to allow it to leave on its own.
    • Contact a professional to trap and remove the skunk.

    Additional information: https://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/NR_WD_03.pdf