A variety of wildlife live in Toronto, and many of these mammals can become nuisances for homeowners. The striped skunk is one of the animals that often move into a homeowner’s yard in search of a place to call home.
A Striped Skunk’s Appearance
Striped skunks are easily recognizable by the line of white fur appearing on the entire length of their back and tail. The rest of a skunk’s fur is black with the exception of a narrow stripe running from the nose to the top of the head.
The average-sized skunk in Toronto weighs approximately 2.20 to 3.5 kg. Its body is elongated with a wider back end than front end. Each of its legs is muscular and short, while the front paws have long, sharps claws.
A Striped Skunk’s Habits
The striped skunk is nocturnal, so it is active at night. Although you might see skunks around your home during the early morning or late evening, this would happen rarely.
This mammal digs well, using its skills to build a burrow. Typically, this animal prefers to build beneath existing structures such as sheds, decks, woodpiles, and porches.
While skunks do hide away in their burrows for long periods of time, they never actually hibernate. During this phase, the skunks lay dormant, eating little and doing even less. The females often share a burrow in the winter, while the males keep to themselves in individual dens.
As an omnivorous mammal, the striped skunk isn’t a picky eater. It eats a wide variety of edible vegetation as well as small mammals, insects, and tiny reptiles. Since skunks spend a lot of time digging in search of food, they often create a lot of damage to Toronto yards.
Striped skunks mate during the months of February and March. They typically have litters between four and seven kits, the name given to baby skunks.
A Striped Skunk’s Defense Mechanism
Skunks are equipped with the ability to spray a malodorous liquid to defend themselves against other mammals, including humans. When the skunks feel threatened, they release the liquid as a spray from tiny ducts located underneath their tails. Typically, skunks also spray nearby mammals whenever they are startled.
Fortunately, you will get about three seconds to react because skunks stamp their front feet and turn around before spraying their victims. However, this mammal can spray as much as ten feet from their location, and it is accurate in its aim, leaving you little choice but to run away fast.
The striped skunk carries a supply that lasts for approximately five uses. Once the supply is used up, it takes up to ten days for the skunk to produce a new supply. During this time, the skunk is defenseless against predators and might exercise a higher level of caution when searching for food.
A Striped Skunk’s Lifespan
Striped skunks typically live for only three years. They have bad eyesight, which makes it difficult for them to survive when crossing roads or navigating dangerous terrain. A few skunks will live longer than three years but not many of them will survive another year.
Removing Striped Skunks from Your Yard
Most Toronto homeowners hire an affordable wildlife control service to remove skunks from their yards because it is safer that way. No one wants to get sprayed by skunks because they will have to deal with trying to eliminate the foul odour that accompanies the liquid spray. Plus, their sharp claws can create a lot of damage if the skunks attack you.
Canadian laws require residents of Toronto to remove all protected mammals humanely, so killing them is out of the question. If you have an infestation of skunks, please contact a skunk removal company to assist you with this problem. Experienced wildlife removal specialists have the equipment and skills needed to remove striped skunks humanely and safely.