Do skunks come out during the day?

Like many animals, skunks are crepuscular. This means that they sleep during the day and are active at night. They wake up at dusk and begin to search for food or burrow into the soil. Skunks are small animals, not much bigger than a small cat or dog and so they rely on the dark for its protection from predators as they go in search of food. This is the reason why most people believe that seeing a skunk during the day is unusual and that daytime sightings mean that the skunk is sick. Why you may see a skunk during the day
Below are some reasons you may see a skunk during the day: It’s searching for a new home
If for some reason a skunk's habitat is disrupted, then it might be out during the day trying to look for another home. They will likely not wait until nightfall before searching for a new space because they need to settle in and use the night for hunting. A skunk without shelter is vulnerable to predators as it won't have a place to retreat to when faced by a predator. It's searching for food
Sometimes a skunk that was unable to hunt the previous night may go out during the day to hunt for food. New mothers often go out during the day when the babies are asleep to hunt for food. As it is now hunting for more than just itself, it needs the extra time to gather enough food, therefore it might come out during the day. During winter, skunks may wake from their sleep and decide to hunt for food. They do not store food for winter as many other animals do. Instead, they eat as much as they can to store fat deposits under their skin which they gradually deplete during the winter. They may however still need to hunt for food before winter is over and may go out during the day.

It’s adapting to its habitat
A skunk will come out in the day if the conditions for food and shelter require it to. For instance, if food or water is only available during the day where they live, then they will change their tactics and hunt for food during the day instead of at night.

It is sick or injured
Skunks injured by prey from the previous night’s raid may be unable to make it back to their den. It may sometimes fall sick too due to eating something poisonous and become disoriented and as such may not be able to go back to its den.

It is rabid
One of the symptoms of rabies is disorientation and erratic behavior. A rabid skunk may come out during the day and begin to attack other animals or even humans. Skunks are one of the major carriers of the rabies virus and they may transmit it to other animals or even humans through their bite.

Are all skunks active during the daytime rabid?

Most people are of the opinion that seeing a skunk during the day means that the skunk is rabid or sick. As pointed out above, this is not the only reason why a skunk can be spotted during the day. It is important to look out for the signs of rabies in the skunk so as to protect yourself and your family. Some signs to look out for to determine if a skunk is rabid or not are:
Foaming at the mouth
Avoidance of water
Erratic behavior

If you notice any of these signs in a skunk you spotted, then report them to the local wildlife management authorities straight away. They will know how to handle the situation without anyone getting hurt.

Go back to the Lebanon wildlife removal home page.