Where Do Skunks Sleep During the Day?

November 7, 2023

Skunks are primarily nocturnal, so seeing one out during the day is unusual. But a skunk is not necessarily rabid or sick when it's seen during the day - it might be frightened out of its den, looking for food or trying to find a new home. It could also be a mother with her babies, or just out searching for mates. If you see a skunk during the day, keep a safe distance - it has sharp claws and powerful legs that can inflict painful injuries.

Wild skunks live in fields, grasslands and woodlands, often burrowing beneath the ground or using abandoned animal dens. They are proficient diggers and use their front claws to dig holes. The animals are opportunistic omnivores and are attracted to garbage, bird seed and pet food. They do a lot of damage digging up lawns to eat grubs and worms and pilfering food from pet feeders and trash cans. Their weak eyesight makes them easily trapped in window wells or other deep pits; if you suspect a skunk lives on your property, try leaving a rough board as an escape route.

Scratching sounds and body language are the primary cues that indicate if a skunk is in distress, so listen for these sounds when you're outdoors. Skunks will huff and whine when angry or excited, chirp like a bird to call for help, squeak or stomp when afraid or freighted, and whimper or "chip" when happy, sad or fed up.

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