Baby Striped Skunk in a Log.
|

8 Fun Facts About Baby Skunks

Baby skunks are one of the cutest animals around! Not only do they have delightfully fluffy fur, but they also have a unique and fascinating life cycle.

From the moment they are born until adulthood, baby skunks go through many physical and emotional changes.

They may seem small and adorable, but these little creatures have much to offer! Here are eight fun facts about infant skunks.

Key Pest Points

•Baby skunks are born deaf, blind, and toothless. Due to this, they rely on their mother for warmth and protection until they can be independent.

•Newborn skunks can become independent by 8-12 weeks old and begin spraying at around four months old.

1. Baby skunks are born blind, deaf, and toothless.

Newborn skunks are only about the size of your thumb and are blind and deaf. Within three weeks, their eyes open, and they begin to have some sense of sight. Newborn skunks don’t develop teeth for six to seven weeks after birth.

Infant skunks usually remain with their mother until they are eight to twelve weeks old. Baby skunks learn a great deal from their mothers, including how to find food and stay safe from predators.

2. Baby Skunks Have Limited Spray Ability

Baby skunks only develop the ability to spray once they are about four months old and need to learn how to spray with accuracy.

This means that baby skunks will continue to rely on their mother for protection until they are old enough to use their spray effectively.

3. Baby Skunks are Called Kits

Baby skunks, like baby raccoons and foxes, are called kits. A litter of skunk kits is usually between four to six babies.

These little bundles of fur are born in late spring through early summer and will stay with their mother until they can survive independently. It is not uncommon for newborn skunks to remain with their mother through their first winter.

4. Baby Skunks Have Striped Fur

One of the cutest things about infant skunks is their striped fur coats. Like adult skunks, these fuzzy little kits have white stripes in the middle of their backs surrounded by black fur.

Mother striped skunk checks on her kit that is on a log.

This coloring helps to warn potential predators that the skunk is not to be messed with. It also serves as camouflage, making it easier for young skunks to hide in the wild at night since they are nocturnal animals.

5. Baby Skunks Are Nocturnal

Like adult skunks, skunk kits are nocturnal animals. This means that they sleep during the day and come out at night to find food.

Infant skunks will often follow their mothers around foraging for food, learning what is safe to eat and where it can be found in the wild.

6. Baby Skunks Are Omnivorous

Baby skunks, like their adult counterparts, are omnivorous animals. This means that they feed on both animals and plants. They will feed on a variety of fruits, vegetables, insects, and small mammals.

Two stripped skunks eating an egg on top of a log.

It’s not uncommon for baby skunks to find food with their mothers and siblings. In the wild, they may feed on bird eggs and nestlings, small reptiles, and even carrion. These foods provide newborn skunks with essential nutrients and energy for growth.

7. Baby Skunks Have a High Mortality Rate

Unfortunately, skunks have a much higher mortality rate due to predation and disease. These animals also struggle to survive in urban areas due to the lack of food and shelter.

Baby skunks are particularly vulnerable, as they need their mother’s protection to survive until adulthood. Skunks typically live for 2 to 3 years in the wild, although they can survive for up to 15 years in captivity. So, it is important to do what we can to ensure that skunks can thrive in their natural habitats.

8. Skunk Kits Belong to a Different Scientific Family

Skunk kits were initially thought to belong to the Mustelid family by scientists. As a result, it was assumed that they had an ancestor with badgers, otters, and weasels. However, when scientists examined skunk molecules, they found that the classification of the animal was incorrect. 

According to the results of the molecular investigation, skunks belong to their own family. Mephitidae, a family with only four species of skunks and stink badgers, is the new name given to them. Hog-nosed skunks, spotted skunks, hooded/striped skunks, and stink badgers are members of this restricted family.

Overall, baby skunks are adorable and fascinating animals. They rely on their mothers for protection and guidance as they grow and learn how to survive in the wild. With a bit of help from us, we can ensure that these animals continue to thrive in our environment.

How To Prevent Skunks From Taking Over Your Property

Skunks can be a nuisance when they reside in your yard or under your deck. To deter skunks from making their home in your yard, here are a few things you can do:

Remove food sources

There are many food sources that skunks are attracted to, such as pet food and bird seed. Make sure you secure these items in air-tight containers so that skunks can’t get access to them. You can also pick up fallen fruit or nuts so skunks won’t be attracted to your yard. Spotted skunks are agile climbers, so take any food sources out of reach.

Secure potential nesting sites

Skunks often look for dark, secluded spots to make their homes. Make sure your shed, deck, and other potential nesting places are secure so that skunks can’t get access to them. These areas should be sealed with weather-resistant materials and covered in mesh.

Install motion-activated lights

Skunks are nocturnal, so consider installing motion-activated lights near potential nesting sites to deter skunks from making their home on your property. It’s also a good idea to keep your yard well-lit at night, as skunks are more likely to look for food when it’s dark.

Remove brush piles

Skunks love to hide in areas with dense vegetation and brush piles. Remove any potential hiding spots, such as wood piles and overgrown weeds, to prevent skunks from taking up residence on your property.

A baby skunk walking in green grass.

Identify Skunk Tracks

If you think skunks may be living on your property, it’s a good idea to identify their tracks. Skunks typically leave behind front tracks with nails longer than the toes, which can be recognized as their prints. By identifying these prints, you can determine if skunks live in your area and where they may be entering and exiting.

By following these steps, you can help make sure that skunks are not taking up residence on your property. Skunks can be a nuisance if they move in and make themselves at home, but with the right strategies, it is possible to keep them away from your yard.

Baby Skunk FAQs

Now that you know more about newborn skunks, here are some additional questions that you may have:

Can baby skunks spray you?

Skunk kits typically won’t spray until they are four months in maturity. However, they can make their scent during birth.

What do baby skunks eat?

Infant skunks eat various food, including insects, larvae, small rodents, fruits, and vegetables. They may also eat pet food, bird seed, and other human-provided food sources.

When do baby skunks leave their mothers?

Infant skunks stay with their mothers until they are 3-4 months old. At this point, the mother will usually encourage them to leave and find their own territory.

These fascinating animals can be incredibly rewarding to watch and learn about. We can ensure that these skunks can live out its lives in the wild without disrupting our environment.

However, they can also be a annoying if they reside on our property. By following the suggestions above, you can help ensure that skunks stay away and help keep our environment healthy.


DID YOU ENJOY THIS POST? PIN IT FOR LATER.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *