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This is a difficult question as there are a number of factors to bear in mind, and the answer is that sometimes a skunk in such a cavity will have a nest of babies, but this is not always the case. Here are a few factors to look at that may help you to identify the answer, and some guidance on how to deal with a skunk and her kits if you do indeed have a nest beneath your shed or porch.
Skunk Mating Seasons
It is worth bearing in mind that although some pest species can breed throughout the year, skunks do not and their mating season usually begins in early spring, and most litters of young skunks are born in May and June. This means that if you are investigating a skunk beneath your property earlier in the year then it is unlikely, and after around August, those baby skunks will be juveniles. It is also worth noting that some dens can be used by several adult skunks, so it is worth investigating to see if you have more than one adult there.
Signs That There May Be A Nest Of Babies
If you have trapped an adult female skunk, then one of the key indicators is if you can see visible nipples on the underside then you can be certain that there is a nest of babies to deal with. You may also be able to hear faint sounds coming from the nest beneath the porch or shed too, with baby skunks making high pitched trilling or chirruping noises.
How To Deal With A Skunk And Her Babies
If you have identified that it is just a single skunk and her babies, then you can usually set a trap that will catch the female, as she will be the only one leaving the nest. Place the trap near the entrance to the cavity, and make sure you check it regularly, and cover it with a blanket to prevent spraying once you have caught the skunk. The babies can then be removed gently by hand.
Sealing The Cavity To Prevent Future Infestations
Having removed the skunks, make sure that the cavity is cleaned and disinfected, and you should then consider whether or not you want to seal it to prevent another infestation. This can be done either by installing a wire mess cover that can be removed if you need access to the cavity, or the best seal is one that is fixed and embedded a few inches into the soil, to prevent the skunks from burrowing past the mesh. For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does skunk removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of skunks - my main skunk removal info guide.