Females are monestrous, but they occasionally can have a
second estrous if the first pregnancy is unsuccessful. Mating
takes place from mid-February until mid-March. The gestation
period is between 60 and 77 days, with delayed implantation
probably involved. Usually, five or six young are born in each
litter. At birth, baby striped skunks are blind, deaf, and extremely
immature. They nurse for about a month and a half in the
mother's den. Fully weaned, the young then follow the mother
about, finally breaking from the family about a year after
reaching adult size.
Striped skunks are nocturnal, sleeping during the day in
underground burrows and emerging around dusk to search for
food. They prefer to use burrows made by other animals of
equal size or natural burrows under tree stumps or buildings.
They use their long front claws to build their own den if
Both males and females undergo periods of inactivity from
November until March. Females often remain in their winter
dens for the entire winter, but males usually emerge during
mild temperature periods to feed. Winter dens usually consist
of six females and their young. One male sometimes
occupies a den with females, but usually lives alone in its
A skunk is a true omnivore, eating a vast assortment
of things including insects, small crustation,mammals,birds and
eggs, fruits, grasses,
leaves, buds, grains, nuts, and carrion. Insects make up
approximately 70% of their diet. Striped skunks often attack the
nests of colonial insects, such as bees and ants. When
attacking a bee hive, they wait for the angry bees to emerge
from the hive, then bat them out of the air and eat them.
Striped skunks are opportunistic and diet changes depending
on the time of year and available resources.