The size of a cat or smaller with long fur and bushy tails, skunks are easily identified by their distinctive black and white coloration. These near-sighted omnivores have a hearty appetite for grubs and insect pests, and have also been known to consume mice and small rats. They are members of the Mustelid family, which also includes weasels, martens, and badgers. Skunks are found throughout North America, with only one species found in Asia.

3,465 Questions

What is skunk in Malay?


Animal Behavior
Chipmunks and Squirrels

Do skunks hibernate?

Skunks, like bears, go into a state of torpor. This is a very groggy sleep that is intermittent and can be interrupted by periods of time awake and active. Hibernation is a physical state where the body significantly drops in temperature and the creature is immobile for a very long time. A hibernating animal almost looks dead and takes a very long time to wake up. An animal in torpor can be woken more easily, which is why it isn't safe to disturb bears who are in torpor sleep for the winter. Skunks take long torpor naps in their dens, and females often in groups. They will wake to look for food on warm days, and will need to come out of the den at least once to empty their scent glands.

This would explain why folks sometimes see, or smell, skunks during the winter months.


Are skunks in the same family as cats?

No, skunks belong to the Mephitidae family and cats belong to Felidae.

DIY Projects

How do you remove skunk odor?

Inside house:

1. wash affected wall, floor, etc. areas with water containing either chlorine bleach or vinegar (acetic acid) or

2. Use a commercial odor-removing compound such as:

  • "Skunk-off" aerosol; get through Vet Clinic, or catalog of dog supplies through dog kennel or pet shop.
  • "Nil-Odor" made by Dow Chemical; follow directions and put couple drops in water, and put on furnace filter to circulate air through; can put on dogs as directed.
  • "Odor-Away" either liquid (use few drops) or aerosol.
  • Rexall "C-D Deodorant" aerosol, can spray furnishings, drapes, etc.

These odor-removers act to break down the oil and so remove the odor or neutralize it.

3. Spraying with aerosol or putting drops around will neutralize odor in air generally; may still smell for awhile as you put nose right down in drapes, carpets, etc. but will gradually dissipate.

Outside house on bare wood, concrete, soil: Get chlorinated lime water at drug store, or mix 1 cup agricultural lime in 1 gallon chlorine bleach and put on areas. BE VERY CAREFUL TO FOLLOW DIRECTIONS - don't get on skin, clothing, etc as it will burn (is a caustic solution), and will also burn grass or other vegetation.

On clothes: Launder in cool or barely lukewarm water with lots of heavy, built laundry detergent, plus a de greaser and some water conditioner (like Calgon) if water is hard. Don't use very warm or hot water as oil will be released in steam and odor will come up out of tub.

[Info from the Home Maintenance And Repair Database at the Michigan State University website]

More tips from FAQ Farmers:

  • Trying using vinegar first.
  • Soak in tomato sauce.

You could soak in tomato juice!

Another view

The best way to get rid of skunk smell.

  1. 1 bottle of Hydrogen peroxide 500ml (available at drug stores and most grocery stores)
  2. 1/2 cup of baking soda
  3. 1 tablespoon of any dish soap


Mix this in an open container (it will bubble)

decant into a spray bottle

Spray on the pets dry fur and leave to soak for 5 minutes NOTE: do not get this solution in your pets eyes, it can burn.

Rinse the pet with clean warm water.

re-apply the spray solution with a little extra soap and rub into fur

Rinse well again and dry pet.

This remedy is absolutely the best. It mimics the very expensive sprays available from the veterinarian and pet supply stores.

Note: Tomato juice no longer contains the acid needed to remove the skunk oils thus the smell. At over $1.00 per 14 oz can, it would take more than 20 cans to bathe a medium sized dog and with poor results.
I have heard (and used) tomato juice to remove skunk odor from my pet.

DIY Projects

How do you get skunk spray off your body and clothes?

Do not wash yourself with tomato sauce complete waste of money. I had to make a concoction of hydrogen peroxide and dish soap for my dog would that work???


Are groundhogs and skunks in the same family?

Yes, groundhogs are also related to the squirrel and the beaver. Skunks are related to the groundhogs... To find more information, go to to get the information about these creatures.


What do skunks do when they are scared?

When a skunk is scared they raise their tail and release a stinky smell. Stay away from them unless you really like tomato soup to bathe in!


What do skunks eat?

Skunks are mammals, although they eat both plant and animal material and changing their diet as the seasons change. They eat insects and larvae, earthworms, small rodents, lizards, rats,salamanders, frogs, snakes, birds, moles, and eggs. They also commonly eat berries, roots, leaves, grasses, fungi, and nuts.

In settled areas, skunks also seek human garbage. Less often, skunks may be found acting as scavengers, eating bird and rodent carcasses left by cats or other animals. Pet owners, particularly those of cats, may experience a skunk finding its way into a garage or basement where pet food is kept. Skunks commonly dig holes in lawns in search of grubs and worms.

Skunks are one of the primary predators of the honeybee, relying on their thick fur to protect them from stings. The skunk scratches at the front of the beehive and eats the guard bees that come out to investigate. Mother skunks are known to teach this to their young.
Ideally, skunks would eat mice, rats, lizards and small creatures like that.

But they love dog food, bbq droppings, compost, trash and anything else they find that we leave around..


Can skunk spray burn a dog's skin?

yes use tomato juice


Do opossums eat skunks?


Humor & Amusement

Where does the smell of the skunk go?

I don't really think it goes anywhere.

But when you smell it it wants to make u cry


How does a skunk protect itself from its enemies?

It sprays them with a foul smelling substance that it stores in a special gland.

Brown Bears

What adaptations does a brown bear have?


  • They have thick insulating coats and tend to be large which enables them to retain their body heat


  • They protect their young by attacking any predator/prey (anything that can pose a threat or harm to the cubs)
  • They hibernate during the winter.


  • Sharp claws and teeth which help them during the attack of their prey

1. Their excellent sense of smell that helps them find food rather than their poor eyesight.

2. Their curved claws that help them dig for roots(food)

3. Their thick fur and layer of fat help insulate them in their extreme climate

4. Their claws also help them rip apart their prey

5. Their claws also help them catch fish for their cubs.

They are big and eat other animals.


Are there skunks with one stripe?

Although popularized in American cartoons as females having a single stripe and males having two stripes, Hooded skunks (Mephitis macroura) may have one or two stripes, depending on the type. Striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) have two stripes. Spotted skunks (Spilogale putorius) have interrupted stripes on their sides and backs. Hog-nosed skunks (Conepatus)typically have a single stripe, but this pattern varies.


What do skunks smell like?

The Smell of SkunksThe smell of skunks has been compared to burnt rubber.

I describe the skunk smell as a VERY bitter smell. It was not what I had expected when my dog came to me, sprayed. It is NOT gross like a rotten egg, or something that smells more sour like. It is better, and indeed you will never forget the smell of a skunk. It also stays quite long, is very strong, and indeed a very unique smell which I think you will not find on anything else.

Here is more input:

  • When they spray: putrid. The worst lingering smell you will ever experience.
  • Skunks don't really smell like anything else. They are pretty unique in that sense.
  • Interesting animals, skunks are. They're really quite mild mannered, and if you don't startle them or make them angry, they're happy to leave you alone. All they want from humans is the scraps of food that we carelessly leave laying around. They normally eat just about anything from frogs to bird eggs to whatever they can find in your garbage can. However, nature has given them a very effective means of self defense in the spray that they direct at an enemy. The spray is a chemical concoction manufactured by special glands in the skunks body. One of the ingredients is actually sulfuric acid, a very strong acid used for making car batteries and other industrial uses. To describe the smell of skunk spray is tough, as there's nothing in our daily lives that resembles it. It can, in very very small amounts, smell something like burned rubber. But, in larger quantities it is just indescribable. Once you smell it, you'll never forget it. It's very strong, and makes your eyes water and breathing difficult. It's very, very unpleasant to be sprayed by a skunk, which two of my dogs will swear to. Hopefully, you'll get a chance to find the answer for your question from a distance. And, remember, skunks are known to be carriers of rabies. If you're ever bitten by one, see a doctor immediately. Otherwise, they're really gentle critters who mind their own business. The only time I take action is if they decide to set up housekeeping under my porch. In that case, spreading mothballs around under the porch seems to chase them away. Mothballs smell to skunks like they smell to us.

Also in short here are 3 things they smell like is garlic, rotten eggs, burnt rubber.

Try taking a whiff of all three, a fun experiment to do at home.


A skunk died under my apartment, and without knowing what the scent was I described it as an onion microwaved inside of a rubber glove for 20 minutes on high. That is exactly what it smelled like.


What animal hates the skunk smell the most?

Since we can't ask every animal what they think, it's not possible to answer this question. however, since birds seldom have great senses of smell, and owls eat skunks, they may hate it the least.


Why didn't the mechanical skunk have a bad smell?


He was out of odor!


Why do skunks smell bad?

They release a foul odor for protection from anyone/anything.

Dog Care

How should you wash the dog's blanket to get rid of skunk smell?

There is no way to get it out. You need to throw the blanket away and buy a new one. Trust me. If a person is sprayed with skunk odor, the clothes go in the trash and the person goes in the tub for a miserable hot scrub with the most fragrant soap in the house! Just count yourself lucky it was just the blanket and not the dog!!

At least 1x every summer my dog gets skunked. Last time somehow my husband got the spray rubbed onto his pant leg which then was put into the dirty clothes with my baby/kids clothes. Needless to say a stinking mess. However if make sure the clothes are extra dry and stick them into a trash bag, pour in a decent amount of cat litter and then some of that Arm & Hammer sprinkle on carpet deoderizer. Tie it up and let it sit for a few days, roll it around now and then to coat everything. After that hang it out on the line to make sure all the cat litter is removerd(don't want that getting into the washer). A couple of hot washes and all the stuff was clean and fresh smelling. I did this because 10 dollars on cat litter and carpet fresh was cheaper than replacing all the clothes. However a trip to Good Will and you could buy some new dog blankets for under $10.

Human and Animal Interaction

How do you get rid of skunks?

To have a skunk around is not necessarily a bad thing, skunks are placid, retiring and non-aggressive. They try very hard not to get in trouble. They eat mostly insects, many of which are pests so they are beneficial to have around. In winter and spring they may eat mice.

Sometimes skunks are killed or evicted because someone is afraid of getting sprayed; in true it takes a lot to get sprayed, they prefer to stay out of trouble. They will not spray in or near their homes if they can avoid it either.

Most skunks dig their own burrows but can also use abandoned dens of other animals, hollow logs, wood or rock piles, under buildings, stone walls, hay or brush piles and trees or stumps. They will establish a territory of a few hundred acres at most. They are primarily nocturnal and usually solitary - except when mothers are raising their babies. They are active throughout the year, but in northern areas, they spend the coldest parts of the winter in their dens.

If you really want to evict the skunk, first make sure that is not winter or that they have litter. For evicting them, first take measures to discourage them from sticking around. These include removing garbage and pet food left out at night and eliminating convenient denning sites such as wood and rock piles, elevated sheds, openings under concrete slabs and porches and access to crawl spaces under houses. You may however want an alternative den somewhere not too far so the skunk moves initially there.

Then try repacking the hole the skunk is using with leaves or other material to see if it will get the message and move elsewhere. Do not fill up the hole with heavy things or materials and don't poke inside the den or use aggression, otherwise, beside leaving the skunk to starve, you will also get the so feared sprayed odor impregnated in your place for ages.

If the previous measures fail, place ammonia-soaked rags near or inside the burrow to one side so that the skunk has to pass them to get in and out. Make sure the skunk is not close by before taking either of these measures.

Never close a den the first day you think it is empty, rather cover with leaves to check if the skunk is still using it, otherwise you may trap it inside and the feared odor will stay as a reminder for weeks.

Some people use mothballs spreading some of these in the area. Mothballs work but there is a risk for pets and children. If and only if all measures fail, place a one-way door at the place where the skunk leaves his den, he will come out but not be able to come in. This is however a last resource as may backfire to a trapped skunk (odor defense!) or other undesired outcomes.

The local humane society, will provide wire "spring traps" for free or a nominal rental fee. It is a small cage, with a spring loaded door. You place food at one end, the skunk walks inside the trap, and the door springs shut. Now you can call the humane society to pick it up or released it in the wild.

In the case of wild animals, it is always best to allow them to get away on their own, they know best where to go and how to survive. Sometimes to trap them, even if releasing them later, will only put their lives at risk in many ways.

Keep your yard clean and of fruits and vegetables. Do you have a real compost pile or is it just a place where you throw peels and discarded veggies? Skunks will not spray unless provoked. Ask what do skunks eat? If your place has food they like well maybe you are caring for them.

Domestic Dogs
Dog Health

If your dog got sprayed by a skunk in the mouth how do you make him stop smelling?

If your pet gets sprayed by a skunk, wash him with Dawn dish detergent. Just as Dawn cuts grease on dirty dishes, it will cut the oil in the skunk spray. I would ask your vet about treating the mouth.

Seriously, according to Mythbusters, a baking soda bath works better than tomato juice.

Easy tomato-juice bath, then I take my dog to a regular bath.

If you want your dog to smell like tomato juice and skunk spray, give it a tomato juice bath. If you want to get rid of the skunk smell quick, mix 1 quart hydrogen peroxide with a quarter cup of baking soda and a squirt of dog shampoo in a plastic bucket. Add a cup of water and mix thoroughly. Put on some rubber gloves and get the dog in the grass and apply mixture with sponge or wash rag. Let it sit for 15 minutes and give it a regular bath. The odor will be neutralized and you won't have a pink dog. I have 2 labs and live in the country and they get hit at list twice a year. This works. Don't premix the hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and store in the cabinet as the solution is highly unstable; e.g. kaboom....

I tried peroxide, tomato juice and baking soda. All it does is spreads the skunk oil and the smell. Dog shampoos masks the odor temporarily. Veterinarians use Doggicleen Skunk Spray. It works!


What body parts of skunk to use for protection?

Their claws (scratch), Teeth (bite), and their spray. Their spray have a type of chemical in it. So watch out for their spray.

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