They are a family of carnivorous mammals. They are medium-sized animals that live mainly in America, with a genus in Southeast Asia. Without a doubt, the main 'skill' of the skunk or skunk is the fetid and strong smell secreted by its anal glands, which throws when lifting the tail or hind legs after producing a shrill and sharp sound. This substance can reach two meters away and is the main weapon of defense it has. The skunk is omnivorous and feeds mainly on insects, fruits, eggs, small mammals, honey and birds. The males are very lonely and almost do not meet other congeners, since their own territory can be somewhat limited. They only cross those boundaries when in late winter or early spring they look for a female to mate.

Types of common skunk in new jersey

Skunks, or Mephitidae, are a family of medium-sized mammals about the size of a pet cat. They are typically black-and-white-furred. Skunks were once grouped with a family of animals that included weasels, ferrets, minks, and wolverines, but scientists decided they belonged in their own special family called Mephitidae. The word Mephitis is descriptive as it means foul smelling. Skunks are best known for their ability to spray a foul-smelling fluid as a defense against predators. Their spray is so strong it can cause temporarily blindness.

How to identify a skunk

The sole skunk species in New Jersey is the striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis). This skunk has distinctive markings, prominent, lateral white stripes that run down its back. Its fur is otherwise jet black. Most who see a skunk know what they are looking at and instinctively know what to do — get away and quickly!

The skunk has short, stocky legs and proportionately large feet equipped with well-developed long, curved claws that enable it to be very adept at digging. The body of the striped skunk is about the size of an ordinary house cat with a very bushy tail. The body can be 13-16” long and the tail 7-16″ long. Skunks can weigh from 6 to 14 pounds.

The Warner Brothers Loony Tunes character Pepe Le Pew was accurate in that skunks do have a natural malodorous scent. With its powerful scent glands, it’s hard to not walk around with a lingering odor. As such, the distinctive smell of skunk is a strong indication that there may be a den of skunks making a home underneath your deck or inside your crawlspace. Even skunk droppings have a strong musky odor. But odor alone is not always a reliable indicator of the presence or absence of skunks. Sometimes dogs, cats, or other animals that have been sprayed by skunks move under houses and making homeowners mistakenly believe that skunks are present.

What do skunk tracks look like?

The tracks of a skunk show 5 toes. The skunks dig their five long claws into the soil and the shape of a skunk footprint is readily identifiable to a wildlife removal professional. Perhaps the most noticeable sign of a skunk control issue is a strong smell of musk in the air. When skunks squeeze through small openings, they can leave a few long black or white hairs behind. Finally, cone-shaped holes in a lawn are a sign that skunks have been digging for food.

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