|Striped Skunk- Wikimedia|
We saw nine skunks who had given their all for love along the roadsides on the way back from Bull Creek with three along one mile alone. Francis Skalicky's article in the News-Leader on February 16th mentions that they are also looking for dens to raise their young so it is no wonder that they are traveling the roadsides.
Setting aside their tendency to raise a stink, they are beneficial over all.
"In addition to grubs, one of their favorite foods, skunks also consume large numbers of mice, rats, moles, shrews and other small mammals that can be problems for people. A dietary evaluation of a skunk's feeding habits shows about 68 percent of its diet is beneficial to humans, 27 percent is neutral and only about five percent is harmful."Skunks give plenty of warning when they get riled up, stamping their feet, clicking their teeth and raising their tail. I had always heard that you were safe if they were facing you, but Francis says that they can spray to either side and even in front. Also, be warned that they have a range of up to 16 feet and a repeater, good for 5-6 rounds. *
Perfume manufacturers no longer use skunk oil to enhance the time their odor lingers (and a thousand skunks sigh in relief).
mephitis is Latin for ‘noxious exhalation.’ Mephitis mephitis must mean doubly noxious.