Midwest summers can be scorchers, chasing the hardiest of humans indoors to air-conditioned buildings. Humans manipulate their environments to make them cool enough to survive the unbearable heat.
Wildlife doesn’t know how to create artificially cooled spaces, but they do know how to manipulate their surroundings to stave off the worst of the heat. They also have behavioral adaptations. Skunks may take advantage of the easy shade your deck or porch provides to stay cool. If you have a resident skunk, contact the professionals at Skedaddle for humane skunk removal.
Sleeping It Off
Skunks are nocturnal creatures. They are naturally more active at night when it’s cooler. This makes it easy for them to stay out of the sun during the heat of the day. Where diurnal animals might seek out shade if the sun is baking hot, skunks are hidden away in their dens during the heat of the day.
Skunk dens are in places that are out of sight from predators. In the forest, they look for burrowed-out shelters under logs, but in urban areas, they may find the perfect place to hide out under your deck, porch, or shed. If no readily available area exists, skunks will dig their own cool abode.
In the middle of the day, skunks are tucked away in their dens, sleeping. If it’s particularly hot out in the evening hours, they may delay their hunting and scavenging activities until a little later. These critters already select naturally cooler sleeping quarters, but they may seek out a new shelter nearer the cool environments of a human home.
Digging in Deep
Have you ever noticed a dog digging in the dirt and then laying in it on a particularly hot summer day? This behavior isn’t just for fun. The further down you go in the dirt, the cooler it is. The sun’s heat has a difficult time penetrating through the layers of Earth’s surface. As such, it doesn’t take long to dig deep enough to find a cool spot in the dirt.
Though skunks tend to be lazy when it comes to using their claws in the dirt, if it gets hot enough out, they may decide to dig deep. They don’t necessarily dig a new den, but they may make their current one deeper. If you notice new, turned-up soil under your deck, porch, or shed, a skunk may be seeking to improve their den to make it more suitable for cooling off in the heat of the day.
Finding a Refuge
Skunks may seek refuge from the heat in the shade of your home. While these animals are typically not aggressive, they use their spray when they get startled or feel threatened. A mama skunk is defensive when it comes to her kits. She protects them fiercely. Though their spray is their primary weapon, a mama skunk may also bite and scratch anyone who disturbs her den.
Kits are born between May and June. They remain in their dens for eight weeks and completely rely on their mothers for survival. The hottest weather in summer often arrives when the little ones are still tucked away in the safety of the den or just emerging to learn the skunk ropes from Mama.
If a skunk or skunk family found refuge around your home, and you find this refuge, it’s important to contact professionals to help with humane wildlife control in Madison. If you disturb the den, you risk getting sprayed. If there are kits inside, you risk your safety as well as theirs.
Getting Help With Skunk Removal
When skunks seek shelter from the heat on your property, they need to be removed, safely and humanely. No one wants to become the target of a skunk’s stinky weapon. Skedaddle knows the right way to handle this delicate situation. If you have a skunk on your property, contact Skedaddle in Madison to schedule services.