What Do Skunks Eat?

Category: Mammals.

Skunks are known for their smelly defense mechanisms, but what else can you identify about skunks? Skunks are mammals, and they live in forests and other areas around the world. Skunks have to find different foods depending on their location, as well as the population of other animals and plants around them. For the most part, skunks can be classified as carnivores, but they will eat plants if the need arises. If you are curious to learn about the specific foods that skunks eat, continue reading, and you may be surprised at what you learn.

Striped skunk eating an egg. Skunks love to raid and eat eggs and young of ground nesting birds, such as wild turkey, quail and waterfowl. © NCPedia.

Plants and fruits

If skunks are unable to find meat for a meal, skunks will adapt and go after plants and fruit. Especially in spring and summer months, skunks will feast on plants and shrubs, and, if available, berries and nuts. Sometimes skunks will make do with leaves and grass if there is nothing else to find.

A skunk caught eating honey bees. © Callens Honey Farm.

Animal meals

Skunks are hungry creatures, and like many medium sized animals they are known them going after smaller animals. Skunks eat small insects and bugs, including the larvae and eggs from them. Skunks don’t shy away from branching out in their food selection, and they commonly go after small creatures such as mice, rats, or moles. Sometimes, a skunk will get extra bold and go after snakes, salamanders, and lizards. Also, on occasion, skunks will eat birds, if they are able to catch them. For the most part though, the animals that skunks eat are usually dead, and they eat the left over remnants of the once living animal.

Skunk behavior

We now know that skunks are scavengers, and that they get most of their larger food from dead animals. When it comes to insects such as worms, the skunks use their paws to dig in the ground for them. Don’t get in the way of a skunk looking for food because it would have no problem attacking you with its pungent defense mechanism!

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