There are 5 species of skunk in Texas. They are heavily nocturnal. At least half of its year-round diet is insects and grubs. Bees and wasps, as well as their larvae, honey, and nests, also are favorite items on the menu. Mice and other rodents fill in one-fourth of the diet, and vegetable matter one-tenth. A mixture of spiders, reptiles, amphibians, birds and their eggs, millipedes, and centipedes rounds out the menu.
Most people immediately think of the scent of skunks when talking about them. Since the skunk usually is a gentle, nonaggressive creature that only uses its terrible weapon for defense, the best way for you to avoid its spray is to leave the animal alone. When threatened, the skunk may give three warnings before actually spraying. First, it lowers its head, arches its back, and lifts its tail, except for the tip, which hangs limp. If the enemy doesn’t back off, the skunk then rapidly stamps its front feet. Finally it lifts the tip of the tail and prepares for battle. However, if surprised or threatened, the skunk shoots immediately without warning.
- Skunks can shoot their spray, which comes from their anal glands, up to 10 feet.
- Skunk spray is highly flammable.
- Immune to snake venom, skunks are known to eat rattlesnakes and other venomous types.
- A group of skunks is called a surfeit.