Kristie Leong M.D. is a family practitioner who believes in the power of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle to prevent and fight illness.
Do skunks eat flowers? Skunks are omnivorous animals and, therefore, eat both plants and animals. While a skunk's diet consists mostly of insects and small animals, they will also eat plant-based foods, especially fruit.
On some occasions, skunks will nibble on flowers they find in yards and gardens. It’s helpful to consider a skunk’s tendency to forage when trying to keep them out of gardens, as they will eat just about anything they find if they’re hungry.
Often, skunks that eat flowers are looking for insects and other edibles that appeal to them more and eat flowers out of convenience. They also turn to flowers when they're not finding enough other foods to satisfy their hunger and meet their energy needs.
Skunks don’t have a strong affinity for flowers. Flowers are not a natural part of their diet, and they are not strongly attracted to them when other foods are available.
Skunks Are Scavengers
Skunks are opportunistic eaters. They’ll eat what’s available to them. Skunks are scavengers, which means they will eat just about anything. This includes garbage, dead animals, and even pet food. When desperate, they even eat soil.
So, if you have a skunk living near you, keep your garbage cans tightly sealed, and do not leave dog or cat food out for your pets. Skunks can wreak havoc with the contents of a trash can or a bag of dog food.
The scavenging tendencies of skunks usually peak in the winter when they have fewer food resources. This is the time you want to guard your garbage can even more closely and avoid tempting them with a trash container full of food or half-empty pet bowls of food. They’ll even invade an open bag of pet food if you leave it out.
They Hang Out in Gardens After Dark
Skunks are nocturnal animals and sometimes hang out in gardens after dark. They are attracted to the insects and small animals that live in the gardens. Skunks will also eat the fruit and vegetables that grow in gardens and may nibble on a flower or two.
However, skunks don’t actively seek flowers to eat unless they’re starving. Starvation and a decline in food resources will drive animals to eat foods they wouldn’t routinely eat, and skunks are no exception.
Do Flowers Provide Nutrition for Skunks?
Most people don’t think of flowers as nutritious, but they can be a good source of vitamins and minerals.
For example, roses contain vitamin C, which is an important nutrient for immune system health. Plus, flowers such as chrysanthemums and marigolds contain carotenoids, which support visual health.
Additionally, flowers contain phytochemicals, which are compounds that have been linked to a variety of health benefits, including reduced inflammation and improved heart health.
So, skunks may not want to make a meal of flowers, but they do offer some nutrients and potential health benefits. Flowers are also a source of water for hydration.
When skunks eat plants, they would prefer to nibble on fruits. When it comes to fruit, skunks are open-minded. They enjoy a wide variety, including grapes, berries, melons, and even bananas. While they typically go for the sweeter options, they will occasionally snack on a sour fruit if they're feeling adventurous.
No matter what kind of fruit they snack on, skunks always enjoy a good meal outdoors surrounded by nature. Concerning types of flowers, skunks don't have a preference since flowers are more of an emergency or secondary food source for them.
They Eat Flowers on Occasion
Skunks occasionally eat flowers, although it’s not their top food choice. They’re more likely to nibble on flowers when they have a limited supply of other foods. Being omnivorous, skunks eat many foods. This gives them the strongest chance of survival when resources are in short supply. So, don’t be surprised if skunks nibble on your flowers but don’t ‘assume it’s their favorite snack.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.