Do Skunks Climb? You Never Knew These Facts About Skunk! | Kidadl


Do Skunks Climb? You Never Knew These Facts About Skunk!

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Metropolitan areas close to the woods would often make homes an easy target for animals such as skunks, which are natural wanderers.

Most of the time, homeowners set fences to keep these wandering animals away, but can these animals overcome barriers such as fences and gates? Let's learn the answer for one such animal, the skunk.

Skunks are popular mammals found in North America, although they can be found throughout the US. There are many varieties of these small mammals: striped skunks, hog-nosed skunks, hooded skunks, spotted skunks, and many small skunks. Four types of skunks are native to the US, primarily located in Virginia, the striped skunk, hog-nosed skunk, Eastern spotted skunk, and the hooded skunk, which is found in the extreme southwest regions.

It may seem to most of you that skunks are similar to badgers, but in reality, it is more similar to weasels. They are also known as polecats in some regions of America. Let's try and understand how these tiny garden pests look like so you can quickly identify them if they were to invade your property. Skunks have five toes on each paw and have four legs. They have thick fur to guard themselves against stinging bees and have long nails necessary for them to dig. Their sensitive ears help them to protect themselves from any predators or threats, including us humans.

However, their near-sightedness is a shortcoming that doesn't let them see things that are more than 10 ft (304.8 cm) away. Skunks are solitary animals, to begin with, and don't go in packs until winter, as they need warmth. They usually hunt at night and stay out of their den until the sun rises. You might notice that most skunks have black fur, and guess what the black color is for? It's to make them invincible during the night.

Skunks live in small dens and burrows made of dried leaves. During summer, you'd find these tiny animals staying in tree hollows under woodpiles.

Speaking about their diet, skunks are essentially omnivorous that eat both plants and animals. Some farmers even consider them an asset in their gardens as the skunks feast on insects, fungi, and larvae. Their ability to scratch beehives and force hornets and bees to come out helps the skunk clear out many insects from the garden, thus indirectly helping the farmer. The mother skunks teach baby skunks this scratching technique from a young age. In some situations, you would also find skunks eating dead insects and even rummaging on food from trash cans. During summer, skunks mainly feed on insects and larvae as the insect population increases, whereas in colder seasons, they'd go for more plants and roots.

Skunks have a fascinating strategy to protect themselves, and that is their ability to spray. Skunks can effectively spray at a distance up to 15 ft(457.2 cm), and while this spraying isn't necessarily harmful, it can still cause eye irritation and, at times, temporary blindness. Fun fact: skunks will never spray on other skunks, quite a loyal bunch of animals, right?

In the end, you might ask, how do we get rid of these animals from our yard and house? Well simple, spray your yard or property with certain odors they hate, such as citrus, mothballs, ammonia, and predator's urine(coyote, dog, etc.). These smells scare skunks so that they will stay away from you as far as possible.

We have more skunk facts for you to check out, how to get rid of skunks and what do skunks eat, so do read them as well!

How well do skunks climb?

Most skunks can climb high fences that are at most six feet (182.88 cm) in height. Skunks climb fences made of chain link, wood, and wire mesh easily as they have rough surfaces, which gives them a better grip. The spotted skunk is one of the excellent climbers in the skunk species and relatively struggles less while climbing fences. It is a good climber as it is lighter and has very long nails. Another species called the striped skunks are poor climbers but are excellent at digging, another distinct forte of the skunks, and although they do climb, their long nails, in fact, make it difficult for them to climb.

Skunks climb fences if they really want to and make efforts, and most do it well, but it depends on the species and the height of fences. Most skunk species give up climbing if the fence is higher than 18 in (45.72 cm) because climbing is an actual challenging task for skunks!

Skunks avoid jumping over the fence, so they use their long claws and snout to make their way. Still, a metal fence made of rough materials such as concrete and other metals is needed, but if there is a determined skunk, it can even climb smoother surfaced fences. If you have an object close to the fence, the skunk could climb over that object and then climb over the other side of the fence.

The discussion on how well do skunks climb cannot conclude unless we talk about spotted skunks, the best fence climber skunk you'd ever find. Spotted skunks choose to climb fences willingly and are adept at climbing any fence, such as wooden fences and solid metal fences. Spotted skunks can climb trees and fences and can even walk along any tree branches that reach your fence.

Do skunks go into houses?

Have you spotted a skunk outside or inside your house recently? They may be found in the attic, bathroom, kitchens, and bedrooms, and this can happen if you leave any window or door open. At times these skunks even squeeze their bodies through cracks and narrow openings to enter your house. So how or why do these skunks come into our houses? Let's find out.

Skunks usually loiter around houses or in the front yard when they sense that little human activity is being performed. These skunks don't immediately enter anyone's home, they first enter the garden or garage, and if they don't suspect any humans of being around, they move inside the house.

Several things lure the skunk into any house, namely, pet food, especially if you are habituated to feeding your pets outside. If you house any fruit trees in your garden, then skunks could be enticed by them too, especially when fruits from the trees fall and you forget to pick them up. You are also most likely to spot skunks in abandoned houses as they hide in the broken roofs.

Always be cautious when handling a skunk that moves into the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, or any other compartment of the house, as the skunk may be a carrier of various viral infections and bacteria. The skunk could be sick and could also carry diseases like rabies, and so if you were to come into contact with its blood or saliva or get bitten by it, then there are chances of you getting infected by the disease. Always opt for pest control for your house regularly to avoid such mishaps.

Do skunks burrow under houses?

Interesting skunk facts.

Have you recently been seeing signs of digging around the bottom of the walls around your property? Don't be surprised to see a skunk burrowing! Usually, the smell of the skunks would alert most house owners of any local skunks around, but the skunks won't smell unless threatened, so the burrowing under houses may come across as a surprise at times. The skunk is often confused with raccoons and possums but does not dismiss them because skunks digging under your home is an alarming sign of an increase in their population. They are likely doing so in their breeding season to produce their offspring.

A skunk typically looks for rock piles or sheds while digging under any house to give its babies warm, adequate shelter away from the outside cold. They look for low decks, sheds, and crawlspaces to provide a perfect environment to raise the baby skunks, and for this, the only option for them is to dig underground. The skunk's strong legs help it dig under foundations and access crawl spaces that could be two ft (60.96 cm) deep too.

Do skunks climb or jump?

Skunks are unique animals with different adaptation capabilities. In contrast to their white strip, their black fur makes them stand out amongst the crowd and helps them camouflage it in the environment. Along with these abilities, skunks can jump and climb. Let's read more about this to find out more.

The skunk's body has strong hind legs, which are the same size as a cat, so a general misconception about the skunk being as agile as a cat in jumping does arise. However, skunks do not require jumping skills to find their food, and skunks do not jump like cats. The same can be said about skunk's climbing skills with respect to a cat.

If a skunk is not adept at jumping, its long claws and sharp teeth make it a go-getter for digging and climbing too as and when required, although the striped skunk isn't a great climber. They can climb boards, wire mesh, chain link fence, and seldom climb trees.

Do skunks climb chain link fences?

Along with climbing, a skunk's digging skills are also much-appreciated thanks to its sharp teeth and claws. These animals are known to be nearsighted and have a good sense of hearing and smell. Seal these hidden spots well because skunks can fit any small holes as small as 4in(10.16 cm)! This also helps the skunks become burrowing animals which are popularly spotted underneath houses, decks, sheds, and other similar structures.

Skunks are known to climb a fence but do they climb a chain-link fence? Let's find out!

Skunks are avid climbers who are particularly adept at climbing chain link fences, but they can also scale vehicles, woodpiles, and other outdoor structures. The striped skunk specifically climbs these structures easily owing to its long claws, so you'd often find them in fenced-off areas.

Are skunks afraid of cats?

Skunks and cats are not friends despite the opposite shown in the looney tunes cartoon, where Penelope, the cat, and the skunk are courteous to each other. So are skunks afraid of cats? Well, not really.

In reality, skunks could be pretty dangerous to pets. Your pet dog or cay may happily sniff around skunk, and at first, the situation may seem friendly, but a minor annoyance to the skunk and the skunk will turn around and spray! Let us warn you that this skunk spray is very smelly and not just that it is also not suitable for your pets. The skunk's spray is a kind of warning to other skunks or animals that they should immediately back off, now!

So it's the cats that are probably more afraid of skunks, don't you think so?

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for do skunks climb, then why not take a look at are skunks nocturnal, or can baby skunks spray?

Written By
Deepthi Reddy

A content writer, travel enthusiast, and mother of two kids (12 and 7), Deepthi Reddy is an MBA graduate who has finally struck the right chord in writing. The joy of learning new things and the art of writing creative articles gave her immense happiness, which helped her write with more perfection. Articles about travel, movies, people, animals and birds, pet care, and parenting are a few of the topics written by her. Traveling, food, learning about new cultures, and movies have always interested her, but now her passion for writing is also added to the list.

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