Hanna’s Animal Control Officer is receiving an increase in calls regarding skunks in town. Citizens are asked to keep their garbage in proper containers or keep it inside until garbage pickup day. The diet of a skunk changes with the seasons. They eat small rodents, insect larvae, berries, leaves, grasses, fungi and especially like to seek garbage left by humans. They are known to be scavengers, eating carcasses left by cats or other animals and have even been known to enjoy cat and dog food!
Skunks can have as many as 7 or 8 young who are leaving the nest in August or September. These nocturnal animals live in abandoned dens of other animals, in cellars, stumps, rock piles and refuse heaps and very rarely dig their own den. They rarely travel any more than 800m from their den each night and usually return to the same den each winter. Females hibernate in groups so if your property is skunk friendly, they may become very difficult to get rid of.
How to make your property UNFRIENDLY to skunks:
- Seal all possible entrances along foundations to close off potential den sites. Skunks are persistent and will dig under to return to their den so the seal should be underground.
- Properly dispose of lumber, brush, rock piles and junk cars that can provide a shelter or home.
- Use tight fitting lids to keep skunks out of garbage and compost.
- Keep garbage inside until garbage pickup day
- Keep pet food and water dishes, as well as food scraps so they are not accessible to skunks.