That Wayward Skunk May Be Looking for a Nesting Site
By Chris Williams on April 7, 2014.
For the last week, we have seen a skunk every evening sniffing around our back porch. I’m afraid to try to scare it away because I don’t want it to spray. How can we get it to move on? L.R., Rochester, NH
That may be a female striped skunk looking for a den site, in which case you may not be able to get her to move on. The skunks’ breeding season, which in Massachusetts typically runs from February through March, is just ending. It won’t be long before the female will establish a den for her nest. She may be scouting.
The female selects a site where she has to do as little digging as possible. She often uses abandoned burrows or will nest in a brush pile, stone wall, or hollow log. But in suburban areas, skunks often den under decks, porches, sheds, or other buildings. She could be eyeing that space under your porch and evaluating its desirability as a den.
Inside her den, the female skunk will give birth to 2 to 10 kits in late April or May. The kits will remain in the den with mom for 6 to 8 weeks. When they leave the den they stay close to mom on her foraging trips for another few months. That’s a long time to have skunks living under your porch. The young skunks can “spray” when they are only 7 weeks old. The opportunity for an accidental encounter is significant.
Move That Skunk Out While You Can
Better not to take any chances that the skunk might be moving in as your very close neighbor. If she has decided on a den site, it could be very difficult to get her to leave. Consider having an exterminator or wildlife control professional trap and remove the skunk from your property before she can have her young. Alternatively, if she has already moved in under the porch, they may be able to install a one-way door that will allow the skunk out of the space but will not let her back in. This can only be done if there are no young in the den that would die without the mother’s return. Exclusion methods, such as installing screening, can keep the skunk out of that space.
At Colonial, we’re not just your average exterminators; wildlife control is one of our specialties. We’ve been trapping and excluding skunks and other nuisance wildlife around homes for 30 years. We have technicians that are certified and licensed in Nuisance Wildlife Removal and Exclusion in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Give us a call today so we can remove that skunk right away.