Seeing or smelling skunks in February and March in New York is ok! It doesn’t always mean you have a rabid skunk on your hands. It could just mean you have a male skunk around and he is looking for love or has been spooked.

Below are some skunk facts for the state of New York, prompted by the many questions ☘️Sheridan Pest Control gets about skunks around this time of year:

  • Male Skunks will start to get randy in February and March and they will go looking for a mate.

  • Skunks sometimes unleash a spray as a last resort defense mechanism. They do not spray for the fun of it!

  • Skunks DO NOT hibernate in the winter, but they do slow down to a state of inactivity (torpor). In torpor their body temps, metabolism, and breathing all slow down.

  • In the winter Skunks will congregate in communal dens for warmth and survival.

  • Winter skunks survive on their own fat stores.

  • Skunks are nocturnal. If you see them during the day it doesn’t have to mean they are sick, it could just mean they have been scared/woken up by something.

  • Skunks will surprise you or your dogs in the dark so always turn on exterior lights and check walking areas before blindly passing through. But REMEMBER – skunks aren’t the fastest mammal on 4 paws so give them time to run away.

  • Skunks are mammals that fall into an evolutionary family of their own called the “Mephitidae.”

  • Skunks are sometimes called “Polecats,” or “Smelly jerks.”
    (“Smelly jerks” has not been confirmed with research)

  • Skunks will live under decks, sheds, outbuildings, detached garages, etc. and will have no problem using another pest’s abandoned den.

  • Skunks are omnivores and will eat insects, fruits, berries, pet food, and garbage. Skunks will also eat rats, mice, rabbits and other small rodents if necessary to survive.

  • Skunks will damage turf in search of grubs, and other insects.

  • Skunks are mostly non-aggressive and won’t spray unless they feel threatened.

  • Skunks can spray up to 15 feet!

  • Female skunks will give birth to 1 litter annually with anywhere from 1-10 kits.

Skunks will damage turf in search of grubs, and other insects.

Don’t forget, if you do have a skunk/skunks living somewhere in your yard or underneath your deck, call ☘️Sheridan Pest Control for trapping help!

Mike Sheridan