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It's a 'stinky time of year' in CT. A wildlife expert explains why

Skunk in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on July 01, 2023.
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Skunks are a nomadic species which breed in Connecticut from the middle of February to early March. (File Image)

As winter winds down, mating season revs up for Connecticut wildlife.

But for skunks, which are on the move statewide from mid-February to early March, when a love match fails — a pungent odor is left behind.

“That's what people smell this time of year, females telling the males to go away, and they are not getting the message,“ said Laura Simon, president of the Connecticut Wildlife Rehabilitators Association. “So it's always a stinky time of year.”

If a love match is made and the skunks successfully mate, a litter of around six babies will be born after a gestation time of a little over two months.

Sometimes a skunk might choose to give birth under a homeowner’s porch or shed, which Simon said can be a good thing.

“They deter mice and rats. They eat all the pests people don't want, all the insects in their garden, all the bugs, all the grubs and slugs,” she said.

But if a mother skunk is really becoming a problem, Simon said the Connecticut Wildlife Rehabilitators Association offers free advice on how to evict a skunk and its family.

“We do that by creating unpleasant smells and sounds which convince her ‘this is not where I want to be, I'm going to move my babies elsewhere,’” Simon said.

Once the skunk leaves, Simon advises homeowners to then properly seal off the space they want to keep animal free.

Simons said the best option is just patience. Since skunks are a nomadic species, they will eventually move their young.

Jennifer Ahrens is a producer for Morning Edition. She spent 20+ years producing TV shows for CNN and ESPN. She joined Connecticut Public Media because it lets her report on her two passions, nature and animals.
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