As the weather gets colder, you may wonder “do skunks hibernate in the winter?” if you have one of the creatures living on your property. 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 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 intermittent torpor daily; birds will enter torpor several times a day regardless of the season and throughout winter to conserve energy.
Skunks in winter 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
On two legs
Body in u-shape
How To Get Rid of Skunks in Winter
Preventing skunks from making a den in your home is the best way to get rid of the creatures. Make your house a less appealing environment by sealing any nooks and crannies in the exterior of your home. A skunk may decide to make a den in any small crevice, so minimizing nesting space is a good deterrent. You can also be loud in your yard because human noise often scares skunks away, and you can even place mild deterrents such as mothballs and kitty litter around your property to repel skunks, although you must remember that these deterrents aren't always effective.
When To Call a Professional for Help
When your best efforts fail and you need to know how to get rid of a skunk, it's time to call a professional for skunk removal. 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. You don't want to harm a creature that is only guilty of seeking out warmth and shelter during the winter, but it isn't safe to be in close proximity to wildlife. It's always best practice to call a professional for help at the first sign of skunks on your property.
Why Call Skedaddle
In most cases, skunks are harmless to humans. You may not ever encounter a skunk unless one has made a den near your home, so you don't want to hurt the animal. At Skedaddle, we take a humane approach to wildlife removal. We know that it's important to get wild animals out of your home for both their safety and yours. Our team is experienced in removing various types of wildlife from homes and commercial buildings, so we are familiar with skunk habits and can get them off your property without harming them. We can even show you strategies to deter skunks so that you don't have the problem reoccurring in the future. You and the skunks will be happier with some distance between you, so let us keep everyone safe during the removal process.
Schedule Skunk Removal Today
Like any other type of wildlife, skunks can be unpredictable and dangerous when they feel threatened. In the best-case scenario, there is a high probability of you getting sprayed with a stink if you attempt to remove a skunk from your property on your own, and there's also a chance that you could harm the animal because you don't know what you're doing. You should always let a professional handle any type of wildlife removal. If you have a skunk problem, contact Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control for professional skunk and other wildlife removals in Barrie and the surrounding areas.