Striped, spotted, hooded, and hog-nosed are the types of skunks living in America. Some, like hooded skunks, live mainly in Texas and New Mexico. Hog-nosed skunks live in Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado. Striped and spotted skunks are prevalent across America. While they all have black and white coats and are similar in most ways, they also have characteristics that differ, including their ability to climb.
Which Skunks Climb the Best?
Given the right circumstances, all skunks will climb. For example, if a tree has numerous limbs, it is easy to move from one branch to the next. Or if a fence or wall has elements that allow the skunk to get a good grip while climbing. Without these benefits, skunks vary significantly in their ability to climb.
The spotted skunk outperforms all other skunk species when climbing. While all skunks can climb, the spotted is the one that has little trouble scaling objects. The hooded, hog-nosed, and striped skunks struggle to climb above two feet. Having long nails makes digging and burrowing an easy task for these skunks.
Spotted skunks are smaller and lightweight, which makes maneuvering much more effortless. The long claws of spotted skunks make them excellent climbers, allowing them to scale objects 20 feet or higher. It also helps that they have tough foot padding that aids in climbing.
Why Do Skunks Climb?
Skunks, just like all wildlife, are looking for food, water, and shelter to survive. They also need to escape predators. Climbing helps them access the food they desire. Skunks are omnivores, meaning they eat plants, insects, small rodents, fish, human food, pet food, and anything else they can find.
Skunks search for birds, eggs, bugs, nuts, sap, and beehives. They can also escape foxes, coyotes, bobcats, and domesticated dogs that threaten their life.
Skunks typically establish a home inside a tree hollow, underground burrow, or in log or brush piles. They will also take advantage of basements, crawlspaces, and the area under the decks and porches of a home. Spotted squirrels will seek shelter in attics and chimneys.
Will a Skunk Climb a Tree?
Skunks will climb a tree, especially if they feel threatened by something on the ground. It is the spotted skunk that will climb a tree without trouble. Not only can they climb, but they can also descend a tree headfirst. They aren’t quick like squirrels, however.
Skunks climb trees for many reasons, including maneuvering around fences or obstacles blocking them from a food source. They like branches close to your home’s roof that give them easy access to your attic, vents, and chimney.
How to Keep a Skunk From Climbing Over My Fence?
While keeping a skunk from climbing over your fence, you must also ensure it cannot dig under it. Some skunks dig up to two feet until they have a hole big enough to squeeze through.
To avoid potential damage or injury, it’s recommended to contact a wildlife control operator. They are expert technicians in applying exclusion methods for skunks.
Examples of methods to keep a skunk away include the following:
- Strong smells, such as soap or mothballs
- Motion sensor lights since skunks are nocturnal and not used to bright lights
- Sound repellants like a recording of a dog barking, a coyote howling, or snakes hissing
- Clean yards to remove the log, rock, and brush piles and remove or hide food sources
- Seal all entry points leading into your home, preventing access to skunks
- Install skunk-proof fencing under and above ground in a way that skunks cannot penetrate
You do not have to wait until you have a nuisance skunk on your property to implement exclusions. Call a wildlife expert to install prevention methods, saving you time and money later. Critter Control offers inspections of your entire property regarding prevention, intervention, and exclusion.