Play an important role in insect control and sometimes even the production of fragrances.

Skunks munch mainly on insects, berries, nuts, and some plants, making them omnivores. Ground-nesting bees and wasps make for a delectable skunk snack, especially the larva. Opportunistic hunters, skunks will catch mice, snakes, toads and other small prey they come across, in addition to leftovers from other predatory animals.

If sprayed-In an open container, mix together ¼ cup baking soda, a fresh 1 quart bottle of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, and 1 to 2 teaspoons of liquid dish detergent. Use it right away, as the mixture can’t be stored without losing its power. Don’t use this on cloth, it can remove color.

The skunk’s main predators include owls and other large birds of prey, like hawks and eagles. Other than vultures, these raptors can't smell and strike quickly from above. Mammals like coyotes and large domestic dogs prey on skunks, but usually only if there’s no other food source available.

A skunk’s tracks look like mini bear tracks. Both feature long claws, five toes, a heel pad and a metacarpal pad. Surprisingly, skunks and bears eat mostly the same things as they’re both omnivores.

skunk_Tony Moline 2

Iowa DNR