The good things about skunks...

Discussion in 'Wildlife in the Garden' started by Beeker, Mar 14, 2022.

  1. Beeker

    Beeker In Flower

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    Come on, people. You must be able to think of something good about those stinky animals!

    Yes, the first thing we think of when we hear the word "skunk" is the stench.
    BUT, they are very beneficial to gardens and play spaces.
    They kill and eat garden pests and wasps that would harm our children.
    They prowl at night, so you most likely won't run into them at their most active times.
    And, you have to admit that they are kind of cute; the way they wobble around and are so oblivious to what is going on around them... just don't scare them!
    I've actually wanted a pet skunk for a long time. There are places that breed "domesticated" de-scented skunks. Besides, just think, if somebody attempted to break into your home and found a skunk prowling around, do you really think they'd stick around to consider if it is a pet or not? Chances are, they won't want to find out. So, I think they are great guard animals.

    So, with these in mind as a starter, I'd like to dedicate this thread to positive things about skunks and open it up to others to add stories, pictures, videos, etc..

    Please be kind and generous.

     
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  3. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Well Beeker, it isn’t fair but the best thing that I can think of is that they are over there. We don't have ‘em. Chuckle.
     
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  4. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    They ARE cute, but their smell sure isn't!
    A few years back while walking my dog one rainy day, a skunk popped out in front of us. My dog grabbed it by the tail just as it was running away and we both got sprayed.
    I give credit to my wet raincoat for keeping me safe, but my dog wasn't so lucky!
    Every time that dog got wet for the next few years you could smell skunk!!
     
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  5. mart

    mart Strong Ash

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    Stick with those raised to be pets ! Wild ones are known to carry rabies ! Never mess with one if running around in the daytime !
     
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  6. Dirtmechanic

    Dirtmechanic Young Pine

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    HaHa! My cousins had a pet skunk named Sugar! She was a sweetie!
     
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  7. Beeker

    Beeker In Flower

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    We had a family living under our shed.
    My better-half wanted to get rid of them.
    It looked like the babies were orphaned, as they were foraging during the day for a week and an adult was hit by a car up the road a ways. We finally called animal control to trap and remove them. They caught three out of five kits. We found one dead a couple of days later and never found the last one.
    We have since blocked around the bottom of the shed so no animals can get under there.
    Our neighbor now has a skunk living in her yard. I guess this neighborhood is a very desirable location for skunks.
    @Sjoerd - You have hedgehogs. Those are so cute! I wish we had those here!
    @mart - Sometimes skunks are active during the day. It usually happens when there are kits running around during the day. The mama will try to keep them together and close to home or sometimes, the mama is sleeping and the kits are wandering around outside by themselves.
    But yes, an adult out at midday can mean that it is ill.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2022
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  8. Beeker

    Beeker In Flower

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    It's unfortunate, but not surprising, that a thread titled "The good things about skunks" is so short.
    Pity.
     
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  9. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Yeah Beeker, the thread is shorter than a skunks lingering smell … but, it is interesting because we here do not have these beasts.
    I have read that some beekeepers have trouble with skunks pestering their bees.
    Don’t you go and get down-hearted now. I am glad if you can keep them from destroying your plants.
    The garlic and your skunks can have a backyard smell-off. Sell tickets. Maybe you can offer a package deal to include plane fare and meals. I would be interested.
     
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  10. marlingardener

    marlingardener Mighty Oak

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    Beeker, I have been thinking and thinking about one good thing to say about skunks. I'm sure they are underappreciated, but I can't come up with one positive thing about them.
    In the springtime the amorous skunks who have no luck, get depressed and go to the highway and throw themselves under passing semis. The aroma driving into town is amazing!
     
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  11. Zigs

    Zigs In Flower

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    They look like Badgers so they're ok by me :D
     
  12. Tetters

    Tetters In Flower

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    I read that it is cruel to ''de scent'' a skunk, and can cause a lot of stress and damage to the animal. Evidently it involves removing the necessary mechanics that allow them to use the foul scent which they actually need to repel predators.
    I suppose the only way to achieve the right effect in a kindly way would be to treat the animal like royalty and make sure it is never upset - very difficult job indeed :eek:
     
  13. Beeker

    Beeker In Flower

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    @MIKE ALLEN - Very good points, indeed. I've often analyzed women's thought processes, actions and reactions and have found, just as you said, that women do (subconsciously) dress, accessorize, etc. in order to look good for other women. It is women that are most critical of each other. I have heard many men say that they don't like earrings on women and, just as you said, women, more often than not, don't need make-up. But if a woman goes out without those things, it is other women that will judge them critically.

    @Tetters - It sounds like it may be as bad as declawing a cat. I thought it might be similar to getting a dog "fixed" but I guess, unlike the health benefits of getting a dog fixed, it is more detrimental to take away an animal's defense, especially when the animal is not as historically domesticated as a dog.

    I've read that skunks have poor eyesight, poor hearing, and more of a directional sense of smell. That is why they are so oblivious to their surroundings and can get surprised and react. I thought they were bold courageous animals, but they really are not. They are just unaware. If you stand still, they will walk right up to you, not out of being unafraid, but because they don't realize you're there until they are practically standing on your foot. Even then, they will probably sniff your foot and leg and then keep walking.
    As I reflect on the family I mentioned above, I think I would handle it differently if it happens again. I would probably put a little food out for the babies and support them myself until they are grown enough to move out and find their own homes, like some people do for hedgehogs in other countries.
     
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  14. Tetters

    Tetters In Flower

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    Actually @Beeker we actively look after our hedgehogs here as many gardeners do. They are dear little creatures with their own personalities that are threatened by all kind of dangers - mostly caused by humans, and yet they are the gardeners super helpers.
    Some other creatures like rabbits, partridges and pheasants can cause a bit of damage - along with squirrels, but we just try to live alongside them. We do however tend to deal with rats and moles. We cannot take chances with rats, and clearing the place of moles isn't too awful if it is done in the right way at the right time, ensuring as little damage to the mole population as possible. Foxes also have their place, and we are totally against the awful English snobbery and behaviour of ''The Hunt'' :mad:
     
  15. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Well said Tetters and I agree with you 100%
     
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