Different Types of Skunks and Dangers Caused by Them

Different Types of Skunks and Dangers Caused by Them

Skunks are the mammas that are classified from the family Mephitidae. They are well-known for their defending abilities, i.e., they spray an unpleasant liquid to defend themselves from enemies. Different skunk species appear from black-and-white to brown, cream or ginger colored. According to the species, these skunks can grow from 15.6 to 37 inches (40 to 94 cm) long and weighs about 500 grams to 8.2 kg. All skunks have a long thick stripe on their back and tail and two thinner stripes, or a series of white spots and broken stripes according to the species. In this article, we will discuss the different types of skunks, the dangers caused by them, and tips to get rid of them.

Different Types of Skunks

Striped Skunk – Mephitis mephitis

Striped Skunk - Mephitis mephitis

Striped skunks are the most commonly found species with black and white stripes on their back, running from head to tail. These omnivores can eat insects, tiny mammals, vegetables, and fruits and are also good climbers. They can climb trees or wall fast to escape from predators.

Hog-nosed Skunk – Conepatus leuconotus

Hog-nosed Skunk - Conepatus leuconotus

As their name suggests, these creatures have a long upturned noses resembling a pig. They are the largest ferocious among other skunk species and feed on insects, small mammals, and plants. Unlike other skunks, hog-nosed skunks can make a loud growling sound when threatened or disturbed.

Spotted Skunk – Spilogale putorius

Spotted Skunk - Spilogale putorius

The unique white spots on a black fur backdrop of spotted skunks make them easy to identify. They are more agile and smaller than striped skunks, making them superb climbers and good predator avoiders. Feeding on insects, small mammals, and plants, spotted skunks are well known for their distinctive defence manoeuvre, a handstand and tail flick show that enables them to spray their scent in a 360-degree circle.

Hooded Skunk – Mephitis macroura

Hooded Skunk - Mephitis macroura

Hooked skunks differ from other skunk species in size and vigour, and they have a characteristic white patch on their forehead that looks like a hood. When confronted, hooded skunks are known for acting aggressively. They eat insects, small mammals, and plants. In addition, they are skilled climbers and can use trees or rocks to escape predators.

Dangers Caused by Skunks

Skunks are a nuisance because they frequently occupy areas adjacent to populated areas. They cause various dangers, including,

  • The ability to spray a foul-smelling liquid to frighten off potential predators. It may be an annoyance if this spray gets on people, animals, or property.
  • Frequently dig on lawns and gardens in pursuit of grubs and other garden insects, harming landscaping.
  • Cause structural hazards by tunnelling beneath porches, sheds, and building foundations.
  • Carry rodent-borne diseases that can be spread to people and other animals, including rabies.
  • Make a lot of noise, especially when mating or caring for their young


The above listed the common types of skunks and the dangers caused by them. It is essential to avoid these mammals to keep your property and health safe. If you spot the presence of skunks, hire a professional pest control service immediately without trying out any DIY methods because the improper implementation of DIY practices can increase wildlife infestation and harm your health and property.