What’s black and white and digs holes all over your yard? Yes, you guessed it – a skunk. But what exactly is it is looking for? Let’s take a look at the skunk diet and the tools skunks use to catch their prey.
Tools of the trade
A skunk’s diet is not too particular. A large part of what it eats depends on what it’s able to catch. Skunks have five long claws on their front and back feet that enable them to dig holes or climb trees. Striped skunks have longer front claws that are curled in, enabling them to dig for food in the ground. Both striped and spotted skunks have 34 teeth, including four canine teeth, to help them chew through food. However, claws and teeth are not a first line of defense for this animal. Its stench is far more powerful.
What do skunks like to eat? When skunks dig, they look for grubs, insects, small mice or rabbits and ground nesting birds. Spotted skunks are better predators and more prone to seek out mice and rats. Some of them will brave the edge of ponds or streams in search of crawfish – a particularly tasty treat.
Skunks are omnivorous, however, meaning that they seek out fruits and vegetables as well. Fruits, grains and even garbage may be considered food sources if there is a lack of preferred insects.
Because of this, skunks can become a nuisance. This is especially true for homeowners who are growing a garden.
Thankfully, most skunks will not climb a fence to seek food, but it can happen. If a skunk gets into your garden, it can be beneficial since it eats grubs and other pests, but the skunk’s diet and appetite can also destroy your crops. It can be even worse if they get in your house. At the first sight or scent of a skunk in your home, call Terminix® to get rid of this stinky problem.