Eating Habits and Diet of a Skunk

Since skunks do not hibernate, they have to be able to find food sources throughout the year, which can be difficult during winter months. However, these animals enjoy many types of food that is found in the wild and they will also eat human food if it is offered or can be found. These animals, like many large rodents, have feeding habits and special diet systems.

Skunks are omnivores, so they will eat plant and animal material. Since they are slow moving animals, they cannot chase after their food, so they will feed on anything that is available. During the fall and winter months, these mammals will eat plant and animal materials equally. However, during the spring and summer, they tend to lean more towards animal materials since they are more common and easily avaiobale.

In regards to preferred foods, skunks are not overly picky. They will eat the first thing they come upon, making it easy for them to sustain in the wild. Some of the most popular foods that are ingested include:

  • Grasshoppers
  • Ants
  • Bees
  • Beetles
  • Crickets
  • Beetle larvae
  • Grubs
  • Small rodents
  • Caterpillars
  • Eggs
  • Moles
  • Small snakes and birds

They do enjoy fruits and nuts as well and will be found raiding vegetable and fruit gardens to get berries, cherries, blueberries, roots and various garden crops. Their long claws and strong feet allow them to easily dig for food. Skunks benefits from low fat foods that have low protein contents. Foods that have high counts of these will make the skunk fat and will also result in laziness and lethargy, which can shorten the lifespan of the animal.

It is relatively easy for a skunk to find food sources. They spend most of their time foraging and they will hunt at night when not sleeping. Most skunks will be highly drawn to grubs, which they can smell through the layers of soil. Skunks are great diggers, and will make holes in the ground to find grubs and other insects.

Skunks are also known to raid a food that may have been stored by another rodent like a weasel. Skunks themselves are not food storers. They eat everything they find and do not being food back to their dens. Most skunks will be seen foraging for food on their own. It is rare to see multiple skunks in the same location.

These animals are not as fearful as most people think and they generally just stroll along looking for food. Though they can be destructive to gardens and have been known to damage property at times, they are rather harmless if left alone. If skunks do become threatened, they will warn their predators with stomping and noises before they emit a powerful and pungent spray. They are not high on the prey list for other animals, so they do not have to fight for food.