Young skunk in a Saskatchewan roadside ditch

The time of year has almost arrived when the striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) begins its breeding season.  The skunk breeding season usually starts in February and can run into April depending on weather conditions.  Females that are impregnated early in the season have a delayed implantation because of the ongoing winter conditions.  The gestation period for skunks is around 63 days.  The young are usually born in April or May.  Females will give birth to 4-7 pups.  The newly born skunks are completely dependent on their mother after birth because they are blind and deaf for the first 2-4 weeks.  They are nursed for about 6 weeks and the young skunks will stay with their mother until August or September when they will set out on their own.

When the female is almost ready to give birth she needs to find a proper den site.  They will move from their winter den site to a more enclosed and protected site for giving birth.  One of their favorite places to give birth are abandoned ground hog dens.  If none are available they will dig their own or use woodpiles, rockpiles, and hollow logs.  Skunks are very comfortable around humans and will gladly take advantage of human structures to raise their young as well.  Common places where skunks will create a den include under sheds, decks, concrete steps, and sidewalks.  Homeowners that have a skunk den on their property or under a structure usually find out when the skunks spray.   The odor will permeate the air and enter into the home.  The odor can linger for long periods of time.  Skunks will only spray as a last measure of defense.  Young skunks also have the ability to spray just like their parents.  Household pets are a common reason for them to spray.  Nothing is worse than letting the dog out at night and it returns after an encounter with an angry skunk.  Eliminating the smell from pets is not an easy process and it can last for weeks.

If you discover that you have a skunk problem on your property it is best to call a licensed wildlife professional.  Trapping skunks on your own using cage traps is not recommended.  If one is caught in a cage trap it can easily become agitated and approaching the trap will most likely result in the skunk spraying, most likely at you!  Skunks can also carry rabies.  Coming in direct contact with a rabid skunk or the trap it is in could lead to rabies.  At Aaxis Wildlife Control we use solid traps specifically designed for the humane removal of skunks.  Once caught in one of our special skunk traps, they will remain calm because they cannot see out, allowing us to remove the skunk without any spray issues.  The solid trap also contains any feces and urine to the inside of the trap.  Call Aaxis Wildlife Control at 610-247-0501 for all of your skunk removal needs.  We will continue to set traps until all the skunks have been removed and once the problem has been solved we can install barriers around buildings, decks, and steps to prevent skunk problems in the future.