Because skunks don’t hibernate all winter long, they only enter intermittent states of torpor, the chances of you encountering a skunk that’s made a den on your property throughout the winter is very likely. Since skunks don’t usually want to interact with humans, heading back inside covered in the stink is unlikely. However, unlikely doesn’t mean impossible. Learn more about how skunks spend the winter months and who to call if you need to find out how to get rid of skunks in Barrie.
When To Expect Signs of Winter Preparation
As the leaves begin to fall from the trees, you can expect to see all different kinds of wildlife start preparing for winter. Squirrels begin stashing away nuts and seeds for winter food stores, chipmunks look for burrows ideal for extended torpor, some birds migrate south, and skunks start looking for a place to build their winter dens. One skunk may deem your home’s porch or an overhang at your commercial building a prime piece of winter real estate but sometimes skunks den up in groups to keep warm. Walking out to find several skunks on your residential or commercial property seems like a special kind of nightmare.
How Do Skunks Get Through Winter
Like most animals, skunks have developed a way to get through the harsh winter months without freezing to death or starving. Some animals enter a state of deep torpor known as hibernation; bears are often the most familiar animal to enter a hibernating state. Other wildlife has daily intermittent torpor; birds will enter torpor several times a day regardless of the season and throughout winter to conserve energy.
Skunks enter a state of extended torpor wherein they drop their body temperature to lower their body functions. This state of inactivity may last for days but not for months, like the bear experiences. Leading up to winter, skunks will put on extra weight to help them during torpor. Skunks will still awake and head out of their dens to forage for food and water when the temperature rises a little or their energy reserves get too low.
Skunks on Your Property
Whether residential or commercial, skunks will do their best to secure a winter home anywhere they can find it. If they think they would benefit from bringing a few skunk friends along, they will do that too. When skunks exit a state of torpor, they may be confused and disoriented. While skunks want little to do with humans and will often avoid the interaction altogether, coming out of inactivity could affect their senses. Slowly but surely, back away if you observe the following actions that are the classic skunk behaviour leading up to a spray:
- Charging back and forth
- Tail shaking
- On two legs
- Body in u-shape
Removal From Your Property
It is true that everyone needs a place to stay for the winter months, but your residential and commercial property isn’t for skunks. The choice is less about you being selfish and more about the safety of the skunk. Cars, people, and pets can have unfortunate interactions with the skunk that they would not otherwise have if they were in a safer den, further from the hustle and bustle of daily human life.
Never attempt skunk removal on your own. Aside from the obvious potential to get skunked and stink for several days following your encounter, interaction with wildlife can be unpredictable. For best results, call in a professional wildlife removal company at first sight of a skunk on your property rather than wait until you think you might have a nesting situation.
Contact Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control for a professional skunk and other wildlife removals in the Barrie and surrounding areas.