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Striped Skunk—Mephitis mephitis
Skunks are members of the weasel family; the most common is the striped skunk. They are omnivores, eating insects, small mammals and birds, crustaceans, fruits, grasses, leaves, buds, grains, nuts, and carrion. Insects make up approximately 70% of their diet.
Skunks become pests when their burrowing and feeding habits conflict with humans. They burrow under porches or buildings; they disturb garbage left outdoors; they damage beehives by attempting to feed on bees; they occasionally feed on corn; and, of course, they often leave behind a distinct odor. They are valuable, however, in helping to control insect and rodent populations.
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Identification and Control Information (each will open in a new window)
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[Photos: Alfred Viola, Northeastern University, Bugwood.org]
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