Early spring is skunk mating season, during which time the animals start looking for places to nest and raise their young. If they build a den on your property, you probably want to respond by calling skunk removal Waukesha as soon as possible.
Thinking about the mating habits of skunks raises some interesting questions. How do you tell male skunks from female skunks? Are both involved in raising the offspring? Is one more likely than the other to move onto your property?
Some animals are sexually dimorphic, meaning that they have characteristics that distinguish males from females other than their sexual organs. For example, in many bird species, the males have brightly coloured plumage to attract mates, while females are dull-coloured for camouflage.
Skunks are not sexually dimorphic, meaning that most physical characteristics, such as stripe pattern, are identical in males and females. Therefore, it is challenging to tell the difference between male and female skunks simply by looking at them.
Male skunks tend to be slightly larger than female skunks, but the difference may not be significant. It is typically a difference of just a few inches or pounds. Furthermore, if you see one skunk alone and have nothing to compare it to, this is not an effective means of identification.
The most conclusive way to determine whether a skunk is male or female is to examine its genitalia. However, this is not advisable. Skunk genitals are only partially exposed, meaning that you would typically need to get close to the skunk to get a good look. The skunk may feel threatened as a result and is likely to spray or bite in self-defence.
When trying to determine whether a skunk is male or female, it can be more informative to observe patterns of behavior rather than physical characteristics. Male skunks do not stay to help raise the offspring. They mate with more than one female during each breeding season, meaning that they are typically on the move and do not linger in one place for long. On the other hand, female skunks have to build a den or nest in which to raise their offspring. Therefore, female skunks are more likely to hang around human habitation where shelter and food may be easier to come by.
Female skunks are more likely to be seen travelling in groups. They may spend time with other females or go for walks with their kits once the latter are old enough to leave the den. On the other hand, male skunks typically travel alone, particularly while looking for a new mate. They are often ejected from their dens by their mothers when they are only a few months old, while female skunk kits are allowed to remain in the den.
Female skunks also go through behavioral changes when they go into heat. Ordinarily, skunks are docile creatures, but a female in heat may become more aggressive. Female skunks may also lose weight from eating less and become restless. They can also be aggressive in defending their dens from other skunks, particularly males.
Reasons To Call Skunk Removal Waukesha
A male skunk on your property is probably not cause for concern. He may just pass through on his way to find food or mates but is unlikely to linger. On the other hand, a female skunk is looking for a place to build a den to give birth and raise her kits. If she thinks your property would make a good home, she is prepared to cause property damage by digging beneath decks, porches, sheds, and foundations.
While skunks do not mean harm to humans, they can be a nuisance. Fortunately, there are humane ways to handle the problem. Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control can remove skunks safely from homes in the Waukesha area.