Skunks are opportunistic eaters that can chow down on just about any type of food available to them. Because of this, they can be a real nuisance to your home, your garden, and your garbage cans. This article will explore some of the many sources of food skunks have available to them in a suburban environment.
Skunk Diet in the Wild
In the wild, skunks can feed on a variety of both plant and animal materials, being omnivores. A standard skunk diet consists of grubs, insects, berries, small rodents, bird eggs, and nuts. Their diet is fairly complex, and they can adapt well to the changing seasons, and the food available during the different times of the year.
Skunks and Your Home
In addition to eating their normal dietary items, suburban life offers a plethora of additional food sources. The four main manmade sources of skunk meals are garbage, the garden, bird feeders, and pet food.
Skunks and Garbage
Skunks can knock over trash bins and even claw into cheaper plastics. They can eat most food scraps and can leave quite a mess around your cans.
Skunks love gardens. They will eat many of the insects within, which could be considered a good thing. However, they also love to chow down on fruits, vegetables, bulbs, leaves, and roots. From broccoli to zucchini, skunks can mow through most garden plants indiscriminately. The few plants they avoid usually include squash, which has leaves with hook-like “hairs” that can be irritating for the footpads of many pest animals.
Often, when we talk about bird feeders in this blog, it involves squirrels. However, skunks can also be a nuisance to your bird feeder. While they are not expert climbers, skunks have been known to navigate their way to bird feeders. Adding a baffle below the feeder will help prevent skunks from getting into the seeds.
Skunks and Pet Food
Leaving pet food out in your backyard can attract other hungry animals, including skunks. Do not leave your pet, or its food unattended in your backyard. If you put food out for your pet while it is outside, be sure to take the bowl inside when you bring your pet in.