Countdown To Baby Season: “How do I know if a skunk is going to spray?”
The first instinct for most people when they see a skunk is to shriek and immediately head in the opposite direction. Skunks are typically harmless and have acquired a bad reputation due to their obnoxious spray.
When will a skunk spray? Well the answer is quite simple, they spray when they feel threatened and they are nearsighted so any movement within 10 feet of them can entice them to spray. Skunks typically give a pretty clear warning sign that they are going to let their stink loose. Unfortunately if you aren’t aware of these signs, you may not react in time to get out of their spraying range.
Skunks will start to stomp their front feet as a warning sign, turn their rear end towards their target and lift their tail. Skunks can accurately spray up to 10 feet, so if any of these warning signs are displayed you should slowly back away.
Skunks are able to defend themselves with their spray starting at a very young age. Around 8 days of age these babies would be able to emit musk, which would just come out as a dribble. By 3 months of age these skunks would be developed enough, both physically and mentally, to start using their spray as an accurate defence mechanism.
Adult skunks give birth every year and often give birth to 1-10 ten babies at a time. Baby skunks are born with their eyes closed, which will open around 3 weeks of age.
By Brad Gates, B.Sc.
Brad Gates is the owner and president of AAA Gates Wildlife Control. He has over 35 years experience in the humane wildlife removal and prevention industry.