When the summer heat begins to affect wildlife, they adapt by changing certain behaviors. We review how skunks and raccoons respond to summer weather, how to recognize abnormal behavior, and what to do if they’ve made your property their home.
How Skunks Handle the Heat
Skunks tend to have an easier time in summer, simply because they’re nocturnal. This allows skunks to be active in cooler temperatures and avoid daytime heat by retreating to their dens.
Where Skunks Build Dens
Skunks can build their own dens, but typically these animals seek out spots that are already built and not visible to predators. Skunks have been known to choose hollowed-out logs in forest settings, and they will typically take up residence under structures like sheds and porches in populated areas.
Skunks will also make a den by digging a hole deep enough to surround them with cool earth.
Changes in Skunk Behavior During Summer
Adaptations for skunks during summer depend on how hot it gets. If they need to, a skunk will make renovations to their existing dirt den by making it deeper. The deeper the den, the more natural air conditioning that’s available.
A skunk may also remain in their dens for longer during summer evenings, which delays food searching until cooler, later hours.
Raccoons and Summer Temperatures
Raccoons are also nocturnal and sleep during the day and scavenge during summer’s cooler nights.
Where Raccoons Build Dens
Raccoons will also seek shady places during summer days. They will burrow and also live above in the trees. They are notorious for invading high and sheltered locations in human spaces such as attics, chimneys, barns, and even sewers
Changes in Raccoon Behavior During Summer
Raccoon movement often increases dramatically in mid-summer. After mating season and gestation, baby raccoons (called kits) move past weaning and become more independent. This can cause much concern with homeowners, who suddenly hear lots of strange noises coming from their homes and nearby structures.
During late summer, raccoons may also start raiding gardens and turning sod in their search for a pre-winter meal. However, nothing is really out of bounds for these scavengers, so be sure to secure your trash cans as well.
Signs of Abnormal Behavior
Never approach any animal you think may be sick. Call a wildlife removal company immediately if you recognize any of the following signs of rabies or distemper:
- Foaming at the mouth
- Being out during the day
- Not being afraid of humans
- Visible discharge around eyes and nose
Skunks and raccoons are not cold-blooded animals, so they stay cool by lowering their body temperatures. This can result in your home becoming their summer quarters.
If you suspect a raccoon or skunk is on your property, call Animal Capture Wildlife Control. We possess over 20 years of experience in the safe and humane removal and relocation of unwanted wildlife. Learn more about our services or call us to speak with a team member: (310) 551-0901.