All About Skunks That You Should Know

Skunks can be found in the American continent, except for desert and semi-desert regions. There are 4 types of skunks in America: the striped skunk, spotted skunk, pig-nosed skunk, hooded skunk.

Next, to provide an answer for how skunks can climb, it would depend on their species.

Behaviors Of A Skunk

behaviors of a skunk

Skunks have great hearing. However, they have limited sight and will need to be close to see the food you are throwing. Additionally, skunks prefer their solitude as it helps keep warm in the winter months by huddling together.

Because their black fur makes them camouflaged in the night, skunks are almost invincible at nighttime.

Skunks hibernate in their burrows during the cold season, waking only at night to eat and roam. During the summer months, they sometimes use tree hollows, under piles of leaves or debris, or cabins to sleep in.

Can Skunks Climb Trees or Fences?

can skunks climb trees or fences

It is a common misconception that skunks can’t climb at all. The ability to do so varies depending on the type of skunk, but there are a few facts about climbing to consider. Can Skunks Climb?

Skunks are known to climb trees voluntarily and may also occasionally find themselves on the ground. This is largely dependent on where they live; many skunks in America cannot reach high places due to fencing blocking their way.

Skunks have strong hind legs and sharp claws that should give them an edge, but their ability to climb could vary.

Skunks often do not possess the appropriate opposable digits for climbing, so it isn’t easy to know with certainty if a given species of skunk is capable of scaling vertical surfaces.

Skunks And Their Climbing Ability

Skunks often have an intermediate climbing ability, sometimes as skilled as most other animals but slightly less effective than squirrels and other animals.

For reasons of weight and balance, skunks are not natural climbers. If they find an alternative means of scaling a fence or tree, they will take it.

Reasons The Skunk May Climb

When skunks climb, it will often be for one of two reasons. The first is that they want to get to a specific food source or location on the other side of an obstacle.

Alternatively, skunks may flee from a particular predator or something they perceive as a threat.

Skunk Proofing Your Fence

There are several steps you can take to make your home more resistant to any potential skunks and keep them out. The type of fencing that works best for skunks is a wire fence, but the metal needs to be thick enough to resist the shearing power of their claws. Failing that, they’ll rip right through it like an overripe tomato on the vine!

Place barbed wire at the top of the fence or build a slanted section that extends into the ground to prevent them from climbing over, and putting it six to twelve inches deep will keep them from digging under.

Why Don’t Skunks Climb Trees?

The striped skunk is the most common in America, and generally, it prefers not to climb. Even though its claws allow for functionality while climbing, they impair movement when trying to get down from a tree limb.

However, the spotted skunk is a different story; reports say they will climb readily and have even adapted for descending trees headfirst.

Most Common Skunk Species

most common skunk species

The striped skunk and the hooded skunk are two of the most common species found in America. Other common species include spotted skunks, found on the west side of the Mississippi River, and pig-nosed ones, found in desert areas.

The striped skunk is found in northern Mexico through sections of Western Texas, where their diet consists primarily of insects. The honey or hog-nosed skunk thrives in South America and spends its time eating ants.

Spotted skunks mainly feed on small rodents, insects, fruits, and berries. Striped skunks are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals.

While they do not interact often, the species of skunk do differ in social tendencies. The striped skunk is increasingly social and will congregate with other family units beyond their own kind. Skunks are generally foraging animals who spend very little time interacting with others.

Skunk’s black and white stripes are unique to the animal and are most distinctive in identifying them. Striped skunks have dark green back fur with a tawny body. Their faces, feet, and ears also have black fur on them, but they may fade to gray in the fall or winter months.

Striped Skunk

striped skunks are the most common skunk species

Unlike a visual barrier of a brick wall or an opaque fence, skunks can easily see through one-inch by one-inch mesh wire. They also more easily find gaps they can squeeze through than bait, and like the effect of food on the fence work.

The only way to protect your house from skunks is by installing a wire mesh around the bottom of your building up two feet so it’s below ground level and touching the edges of the building. This will prevent them from digging under it or escaping.

When looking for a burrow, you will be able to identify it because of the above-ground mound. If skunks are coming out, there is one foot of fencing they need to climb over to escape and break into your home.

Avoiding skunks is impossible, but ignoring them may be an option. Skunks are nocturnal, so it’s best to set up your barrier at night when they’re inactive. The following morning, you can identify any holes and seal them before the skunks wake up again.

Spotted Skunk

spotted skunks are the most common skunk species


If you find yourself in the country or suburbs, the better question is, what doesn’t a skunk eat?

Skunks are resourceful animals that love a variety of foods, including berries, insects, and worms. The most famous skunk food is the blueberry – they adore them! Interestingly, I’ve seen them getting into the dog’s food and even in our garbage. Skunks enjoy corn on the cob and tomatoes too!

Striped skunks are omnivores and eat a variety of food, including insects (e.g., lightning bugs), ground beetles, grasshoppers, centipedes, scorpions, spiders (e.g., black widows), crickets, snails (e.g., giant African land snails), slugs (e.g., banana slugs), pillbugs or woodlice (pill-bug or sow-bug). They will also eat other types of plants and fruits and vegetables such as apples, beans/peas/peanuts/pistachios/almonds, etc…

Contrary to popular belief, they don’t just eat garbage. They enjoy a wide variety of food, including blueberries, carrots, sweet corn, and beans. Skunks are omnivores who also consume plants and small animals in addition to carrion and bird eggs, among other things like insects, mice, frogs, earthworms, as well as garbage.

Hog-Nosed Skunks

hog nosed skunks are the most common skunk species

Hog-nosed skunks are relatively simple creatures and will burrow in any area they feel secure, provided there is a low barrier. However, because the species has poor climbing ability, hog-nosed skunks often build escape holes near their hiding locations to escape predators.

This burrow provides escape if a predator comes near, and it also provides somewhere for the skunk to rest.

Skunks are omnivores, and they will eat both plant and animal foods. Their major prey in the wild is insects, especially crickets, earthworms, and small amphibians like frogs. They’ll also hunt mammals such as mice and squirrels if given the opportunity.

To discourage skunks from digging under your fence, you should start with the first place: when you install it. The height of the fence should be at least five feet tall to prevent any digging, but make sure to ditch it deep enough as well so that they can’t still tunnel by the edge of it.

To prevent skunks from digging a burrow near their escape route, you may want to install a double gate when installing the gate, including a long piece of metal that forms an incline ramp that descends from the burrow to ground level.

The skunk will be able to walk up this ramp and leave the hole in which it lives. Skunks usually leave the same way, so they’ll get used to going down the path that leads to the ramp.

Hooded Skunks

hooded skunks are the most common skunk species

The hooded skunk, native to North America, is easily one of the most recognizable species of skunks. Its signature styles are its black forehead and white eyelashes that make it look like it’s wearing eye shadow.

The hooded skunk is probably the type you’re less likely to miss for those looking for skunks. Naturally curious and slightly notorious for its foul musky odor, the hooded skunk is one of the most social of all the species found.

It’s also one of the four recognized types of skunk, known as a “dug,” which means it shelters in dens with musky scents and several entrances to keep unwanted animals from getting in.

Even with its unpleasant odor and the fact that it feeds on insects which humans tend to find offensive, the skunk is not a dangerous animal. The worst thing it’s likely to do is spraying you with its musky scent.

Its musky odor is released through a gland on the back of its neck and can travel up to 12 feet away.

As a small animal, the skunk is likely to avoid confrontation with humans and run away before being spotted. The white-tailed deer may sense that there are predators around from the aroma of their natural fear predator – which can be confusing to them as they usually only react this way in response to coyotes or bears.

Factors That Attract Skunks To A Yard Or Garden

factors that attract skunks to a yard or garden

Like many pest species, skunks are opportunistic animals that will take advantage of any weakness to access a good food source or prime nesting area. These reasons are the main ones for why they’ll visit particular yards and gardens often.

Skunks are resilient and resourceful animals. They can find many different food sources, ranging from pet food left out in the open or an accessible shed to garbage bags and fruit on the grass of a garden or orchard.

Skunks often like to make their nests in areas under decks, sheds, or porches. One way to keep them out of your property is by reducing access to these parts.

How To Prevent Skunks From Getting Onto Your Property

how to prevent skunks from getting onto your property

Skunks are often a good addition to yards but also pose an annoyance for those living nearby.

Skunks have strong digging and burrowing abilities, emit a nasty smell, and carry certain diseases.

Skunks can be found occupying sheds, garages, porches, or houses in addition to making dens in tree holes, under tree stumps, fallen logs, and woodpiles.

Skunks are omnivorous predators and scavengers. They will stalk and eat any food they can find, including rodents, birds, insects, birdseed, pet food, vegetables from your vegetable patch or chickens, or eggs from your coop or household garbage.

Skunks dig paths throughout your lawn. As nocturnal animals, they can be found moving around at night and leave behind lots of holes in your garden that are typically 1-3 inches wide and fall to a depth of no less than one foot.

To stay away from the possibility of encountering a skunk in your yards, do not provide any space for them to be drawn in. Skunks will climb fences and trees or burrow into your property because they are attracted to something there.

Clean Up Your Yard

clean up your yard to prevent skunks from getting onto your property

Eliminate any holes in your home that would attract a skunk, such as underneath porches or decks; remove any growth of plants, pots, trees, and organic matter for optimum effect.

Do Not Leave Any Pet Food Outdoors

To minimize the rodent population and to reduce the number of skunks, hang up bird feeders so that skunks can’t get their hands on them. Ensure to pick produce from your garden or fruit trees as they are ready.

Regularly Clean Up Fallen Fruit And Others

Be sure to regularly clean up fallen fruit, nuts, berries, branches, and leaves because these harbor insects which skunks like.

Keep All Trash

keep all trash to prevent skunks from getting onto your property

it is important to make sure you store trash in cans with tightly closed lids.

Fill Any Animal Burrows And Holes

To deter skunks from settling on your property, you need to take this action.

Close Up The Entries

To protect your home and garden, use fencing with mesh, metal flashing, sturdy barriers, boards, or wire mesh to cut branches close to your home.

Put In Night Lights Around

put in night lights around to prevent skunks from getting onto your property

Skunks, which are nocturnal and sensitive to light, can be deterred by using night lights around your property. Skunks also react negatively to sound, but keeping music on all night might disturb your neighbors, so you may only want this as a last resort if you live in an isolated area.

Use A Skunk Repellent

A skunk repellant is an option, although it cannot be used indoors. There are both liquid and granular repellents and an electronic device that sprays water at any approaching skunks.

When There Is A Skunk In The House Or Garage

If you find a skunk inside your house, close all the doors and windows except one. This will provide the skunk with an exit point instead of trapping it. Do not use food to make its departure easier as this will not only fail to work but also teach the animal that food is available at YOUR house.

Best Fence To Keep Skunks Out

best fence to keep skunks out

Although not all types of skunks are fence climbers, those that can be and should be up to no good, they’re quite relentless when they want to get in somewhere.

Skunks have a sharp, strong claw that makes them capable of climbing wooden fences, chain-link fences, and many other types of fences. They will often climb low fences or use trees and branches to enter roofs or yards.

The best way to keep skunks out of your yard is a solid metal fence about 2 feet tall. The smooth material prevents the skunk from digging its claws into it, so it cannot climb it.

You can have a metal fence installed to keep out any animals that are capable climbers, such as skunks or opossums. Doing so will be more expensive, but it might be worth the cost if you’re having trouble with either type of animal getting into your yard.

Skunks have strong claws and sharp teeth, which are advantageous when digging. Even if they do not climb trees or fences, skunks find ways to get into yards; they can dig beneath the fence or underneath houses.

Skunks cannot dig underneath fences of a certain height. The fence should be between 1 and 2 feet below the ground level, or skunks will reach over it to get out.


Can Skunks Climb Walls?

Skunks are unable to climb walls as they lack the proper feet for such a task. Lizards are one animal that can crawl up walls using their strong hind legs.

Do Skunks Climb On Roofs?

Unlike squirrels, skunks cannot access the higher levels of your house through climbing. They can only go upstairs if they can do so by entering or going down a staircase.

Can Skunks Climb Stairs?

Correspondingly, do skunks climb stairs? The answer is that, contrary to popular belief, skunks can climb and move well in trees. When they are in their natural habitat, they will often climb and move around different tree branches.

Can Skunks Climb Wire Fencing?

They don’t have excellent vision, but their sense of smell and hearing are powerful. The common striped skunk doesn’t have the ability to climb. Although it can make its way up wire mesh, fences, and boards with some struggle from its long nails, it often refuses to climb a tree because of this handicap.

What’s The Type Of Skunk That Can Climb Trees And Fences?

The Eastern spotted skunk is smaller than other skunks, which makes it easier for them to scale trees and other high spaces.

In Conclusions

If the animal would not leave your property, you may need to call a wildlife removal company. You will also want to get advice on how to trap the skunk before trying it yourself.

Be cautious when trapping a skunk, as it can be difficult to do on your own, and this task is made even more challenging by the risk of being potentially sprayed.

There is also the chance that new skunks will come if you don’t remove them to an appropriate location with adequate food and shelter.

It is essential to have a sense of the laws and regulations about trapping this type of animal in your area before proceeding with the rest. Some states prohibit the capture and relocation of wildlife, while others allow it for specific purposes.

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