Skunks

Did You Know?


  • Four species of skunks have been known to live in Colorado: striped, eastern spotted, western spotted and white-backed hog-nosed. The hog-nosed may not currently live here as none have been reported in the past 50 years.
  • The striped skunk is the largest in size and the most widespread in population.
  • All skunks in Colorado have the familiar warning colors of white on black. This is the most common coloration, although some skunks are brown or grey and a few are cream colored.
  • All skunks are striped, even from birth. They may have a single stripe, two thinner stripes, or a series of white spots and broken stripes.
  • Skunks are omnivorous, eating both plant and animal material and changing their diets as the seasons change.
  • Skunks are one of the primary predators of the honeybee.
  • Skunks are notorious for their scent glands and can spray with a high degree of accuracy as far as 10 feet. The smell is sufficiently powerful to be detected by a human nose up to a mile down wind.
  • Skunks are reluctant to spray their scent as they carry just enough for five or six uses and they require 10 days to produce another supply.
  • Skunks’ only serious predator is the great horned owl which has a poor-to-nonexistent sense of smell.

Tips for coexisting with skunks:


  • Eliminate all food sources from your yard. Skunks are creatures of opportunity and will help themselves to anything that’s available such as garbage, berries, dog food and bird seed.
  • Lock all dog and cat doors into the house as skunks will come inside searching for an easy food source.
  • Ensure that all trash cans have securely attached lids and are kept covered.
  • Cover all window wells to keep skunks from falling into them and being unable to get out.