As the cold weather settles in, you may think you are in the clear for seeing skunks. Not so! Skunks do not hibernate and can be highly active in the winter at almost any time of day. Skunks may not hibernate in the winter, but they do burrow in their dens during especially cold spells.
Skunks will look for the most convenient locations for their dens. They are looking for a warm place with easy access to food and water, which can most likely be found on your property. Skunks will make their homes under houses, under decks, in basements, under woodsheds or woodpiles, and anywhere else that gives them shelter from the elements.
Skunks don’t look for food as often in the winter, but certain foods can bring them to your home. The most common snack? Your garbage. Pet food left on your porch, or in a garage or shed is also a favourite of theirs.
A regular food supply will give skunks a great reason to take up residence underneath or inside your home.
Grubs are still the staple of their diets. A skunk can tear up a garden or lawn looking for insect larvae. Surprisingly, grubs are most plentiful during the colder months as they lay dormant underground.
If you don’t want skunks making your property their home, there are some measures you can take:
1. Eliminate any grub problem you may have before the cold weather arrives, and if you aren’t sure how, call a professional for help.
2. Make sure your trash cans and recycle bins are secure and clean them out from time to time to get rid of any lingering food and odours.
3. It’s also a good idea to seal off any vulnerable areas with fencing or chicken wire.
4. Noise and light are highly effective. Female skunks select den sites that are quiet and dark because they offer her a sense of security for her young. Place a battery-powered radio tuned to an all-talk station near the den. You can also place a battery-powered light shining towards the den and go out several times a day and make noise.