Do skunk hibernate in the winter

We all tend to walk away when we see this striped animal nearby. Indeed, no one wants to fall victim to the skunk's foul smell, which the wind can spread for kilometers around.

What do skunks do in the winter?

During winter months, skunks enter a phase of lethargic sleep, without falling in a complete state of hibernation. We can sometimes smell a skunk's odour during wild weather, when it gets out of its hiding place to feed. Females get together to spend the winter, and there can be as many as 12 of them in a single hole. 

Males, for their part, spend the winter alone in their own hole. Generally, skunks enter their lethargic sleep phase from December to March. They lose about 30% of their weight over that period. They look for places like patios and garden sheds, under which they can dig a hole to hide until spring.

Tips to prevent being visited by skunks 

Here are a few tips to apply to deter these pests from visiting your yard.

  • Use moth balls as a repellent to keep them at bay.
  • Place all garbage in a solid, air-tight container.
  • Clean your garbage can often to eliminate odours.
  • Block all entry points under your patio, garden shed or barn with wire netting.
  • Pick up all the fruits, nuts and seeds that may have fallen on the ground.
  • In the fall, rake and pick up dead leaves.
  • Install a motion-sensing light outside.
  • Come summer, treat your lawn against white grubs.