In this post, we talk about the habits of skunks in winter. Do they hibernate? Where do they live? Find the answers below.
During the winter months, you may notice that you don’t seem to smell that infamous skunk odor the way that you do during the summer.
Where do those skunks go? Do they hibernate? Do they go south for the winter? Where are they?
Do skunks hibernate?
Many people are under the impression that skunks hibernate during the winter.
While skunks do typically go dormant for a month or so during the winter season, they do not truly hibernate.
True hibernators have a considerably lower heart rate, have almost no respiration and only take a couple of breaths per minute. Skunks do not have these drastic drops in heart rate or respiration.
Skunks enter a state called torpor. This is a state of inactivity and deep sleep. Although torpor appears similar to hibernation, it is not the same state as hibernation.
Animals in torpor may awake occasionally and seek out food or become active during a period of warm weather during the winter.
Skunks do prepare for winter in similar ways as hibernating animals though. They eat large amounts so that during the long naps they do take they can survive on their fat stores.
During their long winter naps, skunks can sense a rise a temperature. This easily wakes them and they usually immediately search for food. Males are typically more active than females, so if you happen to come across a skunk during the winter months, it is likely a male.
Related: Skunk Mating Season
Where do Skunks Live in the Winter?
They usually line their dens with grass, leaves, and other foliage in order to keep warm and they have several entrances/exits to quickly escape danger.
Skunks have been known to move into an open shed or garage as well. Skunks are excellent diggers and seek the easiest point of entry.
If you’re concerned about skunks moving in during the winter, keep an eye out for any holes, typically 3-4 inches, in your garden, yard, and around your home exterior.
Skunks may also move in under your deck or porch and build a den there to avoid the elements. If you smell a musky odor and hear noises at night, you might have a skunk.
Skunks can do damage to your property if they decide to seek refuge there during the winter. Their burrowing for a den and digging for food are usually the most common nuisance. Your yard and garden may be damaged by a skunk searching for food or burrowing.
Professional skunk removal
For professional skunk removal services in the Chicago suburban area, contact Attic Solutions for humane removal of skunks and other pests.
Attic Solutions specializes in locating and sealing burrows, trapping and removing skunks, and fixing damage to your home.