How to Get Rid of Porcupines

Save

Asking politely hardly ever works with a porcupine; they tend to be prickly about such things. These North American natives are in fact peaceful creatures and strict vegetarians, chowing down green shoots, fruits and even tree bark. Their appetite for plants explains why they may not make a gardener's list of favorite animal visitors.

Meet the Gentle Porcupine

  • Porcupines don't see very well, and that makes them one of the world's most watchable wild critters. You can get very close to one of these slow-moving creatures without frightening it away. They are gentle and solitary, spending days out of sight in a tree hollow, and descending at night to eat. In fact, you may make a porcupine's acquaintance only when Fido comes in with a mouthful of quills. But don't believe the myth about porcupines throwing quills; they simply brandish their tails to frighten away or repel predators.

Voracious Vegetarians

  • Porcupines eat only plants, and this seems perfectly acceptable unless the plants come from your garden. These animals can survive on tree bark to make it through a long winter, but they much prefer tender greens, veggies and fruit. Particular favorites are summer berries. Once a porcupine discovers your garden, it might make itself a nuisance. Porcupine repellants are available, but they can be harmful to humans and pets if ingested. Your best bet is to remove or protect the food source. If it's cat or dog food, simply take it in the house and you likely won't see the spiny creature again. If it's garden plants or young trees, the situation is more difficult.

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

  • If you've had it up to there with porcupines rooting about in your precious garden, fencing is a good place to begin to fight back. But remember that porcupines have curved claws and thick foot pads that make them agile climbers. You'll have to build an outward-angled fence to stop them from coming into your yard, and sink it several feet below ground to prevent burrowing. Don't resort to electric fences since they hurt or even kill porcupines, and they can also pose problems for household pets and children.

Passing Through

  • If fencing doesn't work or seems too expensive, you can trap a porcupine and encourage it to move along. Live traps baited with fresh veggies generally prove successful, although the more courageous can simply tip over a garbage can, set it in front of a porcupine, and sweep the critter into the can with a shovel. Ask your state Fish and Game agency whether it will relocate the rodent for you, or where you should release it. Remember to be gentle; your nuisance porcupine might have a baby somewhere, known as a porcupette.

Related Searches

References

  • Photo Credit Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

  • How to Remove Porcupine Quills

    A porcupine has about 30,000 quills. If your dog or cat has an unfortunate encounter with a porcupine, you will have a...

  • How to Get Quills Out of a Dog's Nose

    While porcupines aren't deadly animals, they can injure curious pets and people alike. If your dog has an unpleasant run-in with a...

  • How to Remove Porcupine Needles in a Dog's Face

    The word "porcupine" means "quill pig" in Latin. It's an apt name for an animal that can have up to 30,000 quills,...

  • How to Get Rid of Muscovy Ducks

    While many want to attract certain birds to their property, others may be viewed as nuisance animals soiling your lawn, small ponds...

  • How to Repel Porcupines

    Porcupines are the world's largest rodents. They have around 30,000 sharp quills along their back to defend themselves from predators, and they...

  • Do Porcupines Shoot Their Quills Out?

    Porcupines are rodents most famous for the full coat of quills which cover the majority of their body. Although porcupines are not...

  • Natural Ways to Get Rid of Woodchucks

    Woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, are large, burrowing rodents. Adult woodchucks can weigh up to 10 pounds. They are prolific diggers, creating...

  • Types of Porcupines

    Porcupines are separated between two families: Hystricidae, or old world porcupines, and Erethizontidae, or new world porcupines. In the two families, seven...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Make a Vertical Clay Pot Garden

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!