Why Skunk Activity is High in the Spring and Summer

Monday Aug. 3rd, 2020

Skunks are small and agile creatures characterized by their black and white markings. Skunks are known for their ability to spray their unpleasant scent in defense when they feel threatened. Skunks are also known to be more active during spring and summer, This is also when skunk spraying dramatically increases, whether it be kids or pets. Skunk activity is unlike other mammals like tree squirrels who are active throughout the year.  


Why are skunks more active in spring and summer?

Mating Season
The reason for the sudden increase of skunk sightings is that springtime is the mating season for skunks. Other times of the year, skunks are dormant. Specifically in colder weather. Not only this, but reduced visibility due to decreased sunlight hours in the winter means it would be challenging to spot skunks in winter months.

As the weather becomes warmer, skunks emerge in search of mates. Males will become much more active as they search for females to have their offspring. You are also likely to see females flee from unwanted males and move around as they avoid them to find a safe space.

To Forage
Skunks emerge in the spring in search of food as their supply lessens in the passed colder weather, skunks eat grub, insects, and small animals. This is why they spend their time near woodlands and parks.

Birth of Their Litter in Summer
As skunks mate in the spring, they often give birth during the summer. This also helps explain the increased sightings and activity in the warmer months. Skunks are known to have relatively large litters and can have as many as seven pups. After the skunks give birth, the parents are often seen foraging in local areas to bring food back to their pups. Skunk pups are not dependent on their parents for long. After approximately two months, young skunks will venture out individually and begin to forage for themselves.

Increased Visits to Urban and Rural Areas
You are also likely to spot skunks as they often prefer urban areas where people tend to live and visit regularly. Urban areas offer ideal shelter for skunks inside garages, sheds, and deck spaces that protect them from poor weather conditions and predators. These areas allow them to forage for food as they are known to rummage through trash cans. This may cause skunks to be pests in and around people’s homes. Click here to learn more about taking care of skunks as pests.

Visits to rural spots, forests, and lakes often dramatically increases in the summer so this may also be why people often comment they have seen skunks in spring and summer.

Increased Sunlight
You are more likely to see skunks at nighttime in the spring and summer months as they are most active at night. Due to increased sunlight and longer days, you are also more likely to be able to see skunks at nighttime in the summer and spring than you would naturally be able to see them in winter and autumn.

If skunks are becoming a nuisance to you this summer, please contact Wildlife X Team for your pest removal needs.