A porcupine can be found in many parts of the world, especially in North America. They have sharp quills covering their body, and are known to be quite intelligent creatures that are able to digest information rapidly. Despite their smart ideas, porcupines can cause damage towards our plant life (specifically trees) as well as pose a danger towards our household pets.
To get rid of porcupines the proper and humane way, it’s important to consider a variety of different reasons why they may be attracted to your property. Taking a careful look around your yard for attractants and removing them immediately is the best and easiest method for getting rid of porcupines.
Although the may appear as a slow, cute and kind creature, they are more than capable of using their quills or worse biting you/any animals out of defense on their part. If this does happen, it can be extremely painful and sometimes lethal to animals. Continue reading to learn how to get rid of porcupines, once and for al!
7 Ways to Get Rid of Porcupines:
I’ve listed below 7 different methods you can use to get rid of porcupines from your property. In addition to these methods, you should consider using one or more to better your chances as well as alternating between them (and not solely relying on one method).
1: Figure Out Attractants & Remove Them
The best way for getting rid of porcupines is determining what they are attracted to that is bringing them back to your property. Maybe you have multiple apples lying around your lawn that they’re nibbling away at through the night or your rubbish bin isn’t locked up, therefore they’re scrummaging through it.
Find out what is attracting them to your home, observe their target/frequent areas and begin by removing any visible attractants. This way, the porcupines will realise they have no need to be constantly visiting your home and will eventually leave on their own (without the need for any extra steps).
2: Purchase a Repellent
These days you can purchase repellent for just about any animal that may be roaming your property, especially a porcupine. Spaying repellent on a frequent basis in the area where the porcupine is hanging out will be your best bet for ridding them away.
3: Make Your Own Repellent
In addition to purchasing a repellent, you can save money and make it yourself from home. Using ingredients that you most likely have in your kitchen such as hot sauce or peppers work great to repel porcupines away, and also save you money.
You can also soak cotton balls in ammonia (or bleach) and lay it around the target areas to rid them away. This works as a great cost effective method, however, you should be cautious of any animals or children that may have access to these substances. You should also change the cotton balls frequently especially after wet weather to ensure effectiveness.
4: Purchase Traps
Trapping porcupines may be another method you might consider using when getting rid of any that may be roaming your property.
Invest in a decent live capture cage trap, big enough to fit your desired porcupine. You can purchase traps from Amazon or from your local hardware store.
Please consider avoiding the use of kill traps, as live cage traps work just as effectively and only require you to release them afterwards. If you decide you do not want to release them, you can hire a professional or your local wildlife agency to rid them for you.
5: Electronic Devices/Scare Devices
Make use of electronic or scare devices to assist you in getting rid of porcupines and repelling away any other similar animals that may roam around in the night time.
Such devices such as an ultrasonic sound device is something you can install in target areas throughout your property. The high pitched frequency that emits from the device is so strong that such animals avoid from coming back to the target area and is also inaudible to humans (which will save you the headache of annoyed neighbors).
6: Invest in Fencing
Although this can be a costly option, the majority of the time building fences benefit well in repelling porcupines due to the stability and long term efficacy.
The best places to install fencing would be around trees, your garden as well as anywhere else that pests may be coming back to.
7: Hire a Professional
If all else fails, or if you’re looking for a method that doesn’t involve much work or time; The best option for you may be to hire a professional to rid these porcupines for you.
Costs may be higher or lower depending on where you live. The average price for hiring a wildlife professional and to release them for you can range from $450 onwards, however, is a great alternative compared to using kill methods such as kill traps or lethal devices.
Remember: You should always be careful when directly handling or releasing any porcupines you’ve captured. It’s more than likely that the captured animal is scared, anxious and angry so you should consider investing in protective gloves to avoid them shooting their quills into your hand.
You should also be mindful if you’re considering using lethal methods, as there’s multiple methods you can try beforehand such as the ones mentioned above. If you’re unable to carry out a certain method mentioned, you should consider hiring a professional to rid the porcupine prior to killing them.
How to Get Rid of Porcupines in Yard?
Porcupines are herbivore mammals and thoroughly enjoy eating plants or other vegetation. Unfortunately for us, that means they can cause immense damage to our yards, gardens, trees and vegetation we may be harvesting.Keep reading to learn how to get rid of porcupines that may be hanging out in your yard.
Install a Fence
Fencing is a fool proof method for keeping porcupines out and away from your yard. Head down to your local hardware store and explain to the rep that you’re having porcupine problems, by which they’ll direct you to a suitable fencing system that’ll help to repel them away. All you need to do is install the fence around the target area of the porcupine.
You can also install fences around your garden or similar structures to avoid them from eating away at your fruits or vegetables you’re growing.
In addition to using fences to repel porcupines, you may want to consider using an electric fence (which will work even better). Take some time to think if this method would benefit more rather than purchasing a standard fence.
Spray Repellents Around Your Yard
Another great way to keep porcupines away is through the use of repellents. Remember to spray them around your yard on a frequent basis to prolong effect and after rainfall. Save money on repellents by using ingredients you probably have in your kitchen such as hot sauce.
Using animal urine (like coyote urine) is also said to be an effective method for keeping porcupines away from entering your yard.
These devices are completely silent to human ears which means you can have it on all night without worrying about hearing static throughout your sleep.
Lay Out The Traps
Trapping is another successful method for getting rid of porcupines that may be in your yard. Purchase a live capture cage trap (as this is the most humane trap for capturing animals) and place it in the porcupines most frequent areas. If you have one or more traps, you can also place them around your trees and garden to increase your capture rate.
Once you’ve laid out the cage/s, use bait to entice the porcupine inside. SImply using fruits, vegetables or salted meat work perfectly and you’ll be sure to capture the animal within no time!
You should relocate the animal in conjunction with following your state laws, rules and regulations to ensure you do not do anything illegal. Make sure you do your own individual research around this prior.
Remember, a porcupine is most likely scavenging your yard because there is some sort of attractant directly in the area or near it. Your best bet before trying these methods is taking a thorough look around your yard for any cat food, rubbish or fruit lying around and removing them immediately.
If you’ve tried that, consider using one or more of these methods listed above to give you a better chance of removing the porcupine once and for all!
Note; It’s also good to note that if you’re having a hard time or difficulty capturing the animal and removing it from your yard, you always have the option of contacting a wildlife professional to do the job for you at an extra cost. Don’t put yourself or others in unnecessary danger if you’re not prepared for it.
Do Porcupines Dig Up Lawns?
Unfortunately for homeowners, porcupines are notorious for digging up lawns while on the hunt for food. What does this mean for you? Costly repair and a pain in the backside.
Porcupines enjoy digging up lawns to find any type of food source. They’re usually looking for insects, shrub, plants or vegetations to eat in the night. The best way to combat this problem (if you’re currently dealing with it) is through the use of fencing!
As previously mentioned throughout this article, fencing is a fool proof method for keeping out porcupines as well as similar animals. Considering you’ve purchased the appropriate size fencing, place them around trees, garden structures or anywhere that is facing damaging. You may even consider using electric fencing.
You could even go as far as covering any open holes with chicken wire to stop the porcupines from coming back to that same spot. In addition to using wire to cover holes, spraying repellent inside will also contribute to the repelling process.
Unfortunately, if you’ve been dealing with porcupine issues for an extended period of time and nothing seems to be working; Hiring a professional to rid them for you should be your final resort.
Are Porcupines Pests?
Oh yes, the common question “Are porcupines pests”. The answer is, it depends on your way of looking at them.
Porcupines are intelligent creatures, however, that does not take away the fact that they can be a huge nuisance for humans due to the amount of damage they can cause. In this instance, porcupines are considered to be pests to some.
Unless you’ve personally dealt with porcupine issues in your yard, garden or property; You may have a different perception on porcupines (which is ok), however, for the most part they are considered pests.
What States Do Porcupines Live in?
Porcupines (specifically the North American porcupine) can be found throughout many places in the northern and western United States. They usually live in mixed forest areas as well as shrublands.
The North American porcupine can also be found in the eastern United States, however, there is only a small population of them covering areas such as Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Winsconsin and New England. North American porcupines can be found throughout Mexico, Canada and Alaska also.
How Dangerous is a Porcupine?
Although a porcupine is not considered to be an aggressive creature, they can pose a danger towards humans and household pets if they’re provoked.
Just like most animals; If a porcupine feels threatened, anxious or frightened by the presence of a human or pet, they’ll happily use their quills out of self defense. Unfortunately for humans and animals, these quills can be pretty painful, puncturing the skin and causing infection if left untreated.
If a porcupine attacks your household dog (for example) and their quills have launched inside their skin, you should refrain from removing the quills yourself. This will end up being extremely painful for your pet and you may push the quills further in.
Removing quills from a dog should be treated under anesthesia by a professional!
Where Can you Find Porcupines?
There are two different families of porcupines. There is The Old World Porcupine which come from the family of Erethizontidae and The New World Porcupine which come from the family of Hystricidae. Both families come from the order Rodentia, however, are not closely related given their similarities.
You can find Old World porcupines living around the majority of Africa, within Western and Eastern Asia as well as Southern Europe.
New World porcupines are indeginous to North and South America, and can be found living within surroundings of multiple trees or wooded areas practically all throughout different states.
Do Porcupines Damage Trees?
Unfortunately, porcupines feed on plants (i.e; they’re herbivores) which means they will attack, damage and sometimes kill trees throughout their scavenge for food.
They mainly rely on tree bark, therefore the first indication that a porcupine (or similar animal) has created damage to a nearby tree is observing if there tree bark has been stripped especially near the crown of the tree.
Other ways to identify if a tree has been damaged by a porcupine is by observing for any bite marks. Porcupines have much wider incisors than a squirrel or raccoon, by which will be the main determinator to distinguish if the bite marks you observe are from a porcupine or not.
Are Porcupines Smart?
A porcupine can be regarded to be a somewhat smart mammal as they can obtain information quickly and are quite memorious creatures.
Aside from their amazing learning capabilities, porcupines aren’t too shabby physically either. They make as great climbers and have wonderful balance. They can also jump, swim and move quickly on land when the times call for it.
Do Porcupines Lay Eggs?
No, porcupines do not lay eggs instead like most mammals, they give birth to their young.
It’s fascinating to note that when porcupines do give birth, their young are born with quills, however, they are soft and it’ll take at least a few days after birth for the quills to remain hard.
How Do You Bait Porcupines?
Baiting a porcupine in the process of trapping them is an important step to take to better your chances of capture. Considering you’ve already laid out your traps, using the right bait in the appropriate position can also play a role in your capture. Continue reading to find out more.
Porcupines are huge plant lovers! Cutting up a variety of fruits such as apples, strawberries or even vegetables (like carrots or corn) and scattering it directly outside as well as around the cage is a fool proof method for enticing the porcupine inside.
Another bait alternative that works is through the use of meat (sprinkled with salt over it) and placing it inside the cage. Porcupines love salt and will absolutely work to entice the creature inside.
The 3 main points to remember are:
- Using foods that porcupines love like fruits, vegetables and anything with salt!
- Creating a trail around the trap using the bait you’ve decided to use.
- Placing an extra bait/food inside the cage for extra chances.
Do Porcupines Regrow Their Quills?
On average, they have about 30,000+ quills and thankfully once they begin to shed, it is isn’t gone long term. So yes, porcupines can regrow their quills. In fact, porcupine quills can regrow back within a few days after shedding or falling off, considering the earlier ones have come out first. (How amazing is that!)
What Do Porcupines Do For Humans?
As much of a pain they can be for us, porcupines do play a role in maintaining the rules of the ecosystem. Their destructive behaviour to some, is the ecosystems best friend. Their interference with soil allows plantlife to alter and creates a maintenance with biodiversity.
What are a Porcupines Predators?
Animals such as a Coyote, Fox, Bear, Wolf, Great Horned Owl and Cougars are just a few predators for porcupines. The predators kills porcupines by flipping their bodies over (where there are no quills) or biting it’s face.
Can you Eat a Porcupine?
Believe it or not, a porcupine can be eaten as a great survival food. If hungry, one porcupine can allow you to survive for 4 days given the amount of meat they have on them.
A porcupines liver is supposedly meant to be delicious, especially if it’s been chilled in snow. Because they’re herbivore animals (which means they primarily only eat plants and vegetation), a porcupine is safe to eat raw.
In addition to their meat, they also have a lot of fat surrounding their body (which helps to keep them warm) and is said to be more delicious than the meat itself.
All in all, a porcupine is a good source of survival food and can be eaten raw!