Binomial Name: Mephitis mephitis
Life Cycle: Adult skunks begin breeding in late January, although yearling (a skunk that is a year old or in it’s second year) females born in the previous year mate in late March. Gestation usually is 7-10 weeks. Older females bear young during the beginning of May while yearling females bear young in June with litters consisting of 4-6 young. Skunks can live up to 10 years but few live past 3 years in the wild.
Behaviour: Skunks are dormant for about a month during the coldest part of winter when they will remain in their den. Den sites typically have good drainage and are protected from the rain; under porches, decks and sheds provide excellent den sites. Skunks are nocturnal, slow-moving and have great confidence in defending themselves against other animals with a foul smelling secretion from their musk gland.
Signs of Infestation: Since skunks are nocturnal their presence may go unnoticed until they take up occupancy beneath a building or have a confrontation with another animal, leaving the telltale odor of their presence. Damage by skunks to structures tends to be of an olfactory nature rather than affecting the integrity of a structure. Damage to landscapes will often appear as small, 7-10 cm, cone shaped holes or patches of upturned earth.