Do skunks come out during winter?

Asked By: Ib Mensah | Last Updated: 1st January, 2020
Category: pets large animals
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Skunks are nocturnal, usually active from early evening through the night. Skunks do not hibernate but generally remain inactive during winter, surviving on their fat stores. However, they may leave the winter den for short periods during warm weather.

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Also to know is, what do skunks like to eat in the winter?

Skunks sometimes wake up from torpor during the winter. If the temperature is above 30 degrees Fahrenheit, they may leave the den to forage for food at night. They may eat insects, eggs, frogs, snakes, earthworms, and other small animals. They may also forage for berries, leaves, grass, roots, and nuts.

Additionally, can skunks freeze to death? According to Michigan State University Extension, skunks can lower their body temperatures about 10 degrees for short periods of time, but this does not give them the edge for winter survival. In harsh, snowy winters when there is deep snow and a lack of food to find, as much as 50 percent can die.

Consequently, do skunks get cold?

While they do not hibernate, skunks enter at times of extreme cold or heavy snowfall, a state called torpor. Torpor is a sleep that, like hibernation, slows the metabolism and allows the skunk to survive without being active.

How do you get a skunk to leave?

To get a skunk to leave, try using a flashlight to scare it off. Just shine the bright light on the skunk, which should stop it from coming any closer. You can also try shouting or stomping your feet to scare it off. If you have access to a hose, spray some water near the skunk until it runs away.

38 Related Question Answers Found

What do skunks hate?

It may seem ironic, but skunks hate certain odors (as if they have room to judge). Citrus, ammonia, mothballs and predator urine (dog, coyote, etc) are three smells that can scare off skunks. If you use mothballs or ammonia-soaked cotton balls, be sure to keep them far away from children.

What do skunks like to eat the most?

For example, skunks favor insects, like grasshoppers, bees, beetles, beetle larvae, and crickets, and target these food sources during the spring and summer when the pests are most plentiful. During the winter months, skunks scavenge for fruits, nuts, garden plants, garbage, bird seed, and pet food.

What does a skunk look like?

Although the most common fur color is black and white, some skunks are brown or grey and a few are cream-colored. They may have a single thick stripe across back and tail, two thinner stripes, or a series of white spots and broken stripes (in the case of the spotted skunk). Some also have stripes on their legs.

Will skunks leave on their own?


A: Skunks will take advantage of cavities under decks and sheds to raise their young. However, they will leave as soon as the young are old enough. The simplest option is to wait for the skunks to leave on their own, and then seal off their entry hole with hardware cloth if you don't want skunks to return.

What do skunks do at night?

Skunks, as you know, are nocturnal animals, which means nighttime is the only time they come out to hunt, eat, drink and build their homes in the ground. Skunks are around more often in early spring too when mating season begins.

How old does a skunk have to be to spray?

Skunk Spraying Age
However, skunks generally are old enough to have their totally realized spraying skills when they're in the ballpark of 3 months old, give or take a couple of weeks.

What time of year are skunks most active?

Skunk Behavior
Activity: Skunks are nocturnal, so they are most active at night. They do not hibernate, but they tend to be inactive during the coldest months in winter, when many gather in communal dens for warmth. For the remainder of the year, skunks are generally solitary, living and foraging alone.

Why do skunks dig up my lawn?

Skunks dig up the turf looking for grubs. They move around at night and dig in grassy areas, making distinct 3- to 4-inch deep holes. Skunk activity increases in the spring and then lessens naturally, so any problems may stop all on their own. Of course, skunk spray is a common sign of damage.

How many times can a skunk spray?


The spray is an oily liquid produced by glands underneath the skunk's tail. A skunk's spray can go almost 10 feet and the skunk can spray up to six times in succession. After a full discharge, it can take a skunk up to 10 days to resupply.

Does Irish Spring soap keep skunks away?

Take a bar of Irish Spring Soap, throw it under the shed, or your deck, or wherever the little culprits are and they won't stay around for long.

Will a skunk spray if you shoot it?

A skunk will almost always spray when it is killed and your best bet for not getting sprayed is of course, for you to be a good distance away. This is why a lot of people opt to shoot, but by all means, do this only if it is safe to. The best method still remains to live trap the skunk and relocate it somewhere else.

What do you do with a trapped skunk?

Hold a large towel or sheet in front of you, down to your toes, as you walk towards the trap. Approach a trapped skunk calmly, humming softly as you near the trap in order to avoid startling the animal. Drop the towel or sheet over the cage once you reach it. Skunks don't like to spray if they can't see their target.

How smart are skunks?


Skunks are sensitive, intelligent animals, and like all intelligent animals, temperament varies with each individual. Skunks tend to be highly curious and will open cupboards that are left unlocked.

Are skunks blind?

Skunks are actually born blind and deaf, covered in only a soft layer of fur. Usually around three weeks after they are born, skunks will open their eyes. A mother skunk will create a nest and have her babies. The mother will keep the kits in the space for a number of weeks, until they are able to move about freely.

What animals can be frozen and still live?

These 6 Animals Can Freeze—And Then Come Back To Life!
  • Wood Frog. The wood frog embraces cold weather and ensures survival by freezing up to 70 percent of its body, including the brain and lens of the eye, according to Earth Touch News Network.
  • Arctic Wooly Bear Caterpillar.
  • Alligators.