Did You Know?
- Four species of skunks have been known to live in Colorado: striped, eastern spotted, western spotted and white-backed hog-nosed. The hog-nosed may not currently live here as none have been reported in the past 50 years.
- The striped skunk is the largest in size and the most widespread in population.
- All skunks in Colorado have the familiar warning colors of white on black. This is the most common coloration, although some skunks are brown or grey and a few are cream colored.
- All skunks are striped, even from birth. They may have a single stripe, two thinner stripes, or a series of white spots and broken stripes.
- Skunks are omnivorous, eating both plant and animal material and changing their diets as the seasons change.
- Skunks are one of the primary predators of the honeybee.
- Skunks are notorious for their scent glands and can spray with a high degree of accuracy as far as 10 feet. The smell is sufficiently powerful to be detected by a human nose up to a mile down wind.
- Skunks are reluctant to spray their scent as they carry just enough for five or six uses and they require 10 days to produce another supply.
- Skunks’ only serious predator is the great horned owl which has a poor-to-nonexistent sense of smell.
Tips for coexisting with skunks:
- Eliminate all food sources from your yard. Skunks are creatures of opportunity and will help themselves to anything that’s available such as garbage, berries, dog food and bird seed.
- Lock all dog and cat doors into the house as skunks will come inside searching for an easy food source.
- Ensure that all trash cans have securely attached lids and are kept covered.
- Cover all window wells to keep skunks from falling into them and being unable to get out.