How to Get Rid of Porcupines: Complete Porcupine Control & Prevention Guide

porcupine leaving the cave
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If you’ve come across porcupines before, you already know how many problems they can cause. By themselves, these animals are small, but very few people will like the damage that they can inflict.

If you want to know how to get rid of porcupines, this article can interest you. In this article, I will talk about these animals in more detail and methods of dealing with their presence on your site.

Everything You Need to Know About Porcupines

Before you start getting rid of porcupines, you need to know a lot about them. Information about their diet, habits, and preferences will help choose a method to eliminate unwanted guests.

What are porcupines

Porcupine is a big rodent with a very recognizable feature: these animals have sharp needles on their bodies. The animal needs such a peculiar weapon for protection. In case of danger, these rodents shake their numerous needles, emitting a crackling sound, warning, and frightening the predator.

If this does not help, they can rush to attack their abuser. The quills on the porcupine’s body are weak and fragile, but it cannot throw them. When attacking, they get stuck in the enemy, causing severe pain. The needles of this rodent are equipped with a large number of small scales, making the process of removing them rather painful.

New ones replace the lost needles. A porcupine, on average, changes several thousand of the needles during its life. And the total number of needles in the North American porcupine is 30 thousand or more.

Porcupines are mostly active at night. Social flock life is not for this kind of animal. Unlike the other species, the North American porcupines may form flocks, including a mother with its offspring. In the wild, porcupines live for about ten years, in captivity, two times longer.

What do porcupines eat

Before you find out how to get rid of these animals, you have to know about porcupine eating habits. The porcupines` species are vegetarians. They eat exclusively plant foods, including grass, fruits, leaves, bulbs, shoots, and plant rhizomes. Sometimes they also can feast on the tree bark. However, sometimes they can eat bones to sharpen their teeth and to get some minerals.

Porcupine damage

Porcupines can damage many things in your yard or farm. For example, they love salt. Therefore, they are attracted by everything that contains this component. If roads in your area are treated with brine, the porcupine may even chew on the tires. Another addiction of this animal is wood.

damaged tree

Any wooden structure, as well as various elements of this material, are under threat. Besides, porcupines damage tree bark. Your flower garden and vegetable beds may also suffer, as this is an excellent meal for porcupines.

How to find a porcupine den

Porcupines can make nests, but they usually hide for cover. The shelter can become a hollow log, an abandoned rate of another rodent or larger animal, and holes between stones. In your home, they may also take refuge in a basement or shed where there are holes. So it is worth searching for any secluded places.

How to get rid of porcupines

There are many ways to get rid of porcupines in your area. You can choose the one that you find the most humane and convenient.

Live trap

The live trap is one of the most effective and humane solutions to how to catch a porcupine. Besides, this is a fairly standard product that you don’t have to look for for a long time. The door slams shut as soon as the porcupine is trapped. Therefore, the animal gets there and puts a treat in the trap.

Havahart 1045 Live Animal Two-Door

Do not forget about gloves during installation. It is unacceptable to leave the smell of a person in the trap. If it’s hot outside, leave a bowl of water for the animal. Once you have caught a porcupine, call the animal control department that deals with porcupine control.

The service will tell you where you can take it and possibly where to release it. The trap should not be too small as if there are needles sticking out of it, you will not be able to lift it. Keep pets and children away from the trap.

Sprays

The smell of a predator such as a fox or a coyote can scare away the rodent. However, it should be used often enough. You don’t require to make a spray by yourself and can purchase this item at the store. The spray should be used several times, especially if it rains.

You also can use hot sauce spray or capsaicin spray to deter porcupines. Spray the trees with the solution so that the porcupines are not tempted to chew on them. The solution should be prepared with a mask and gloves, but you can buy it at a garden store as well. If it rains, you should repeat the application. Also, remember to follow the instructions when applying.

Ultrasonic repellent

Ultrasonic repellents work great as a porcupine deterrent. They emit waves that do not affect humans, but animals do not like them, although these devices do not harm the pests.

This tool is very easy to use, you can literally stick it into the ground on the site and turn it on. For a large area, you may need several devices. One of the main advantages of this method is the fact that it works in any weather.

Fence

Fence

It will help prevent the animal from entering your area. The fence should be without openings so that the porcupine cannot squeeze through. The wire can help close openings. You can make a fence that is not too high since the porcupine cannot jump to a great height.

When it comes to materials, avoid wooden fences as porcupines love to gnaw wood and happily munch it on their way back to your home.

What are porcupines afraid of?

They are definitely afraid of predators. However, it’s not an easy task to have a fox or wolf in your house. A dog will also be an excellent live repellent for porcupines. Due to the frequent barking and smell, they are unlikely to approach your home, since the territory is already occupied.

How to prevent porcupines

If you want to know how to keep porcupines away, I’m glad to say that there are many methods. One of these methods is a simple fence. You can also prevent porcupines by having a larger animal in your house, it can be a dog, for example. Ultrasonic repellents also can help you to keep porcupines away from the site.

Also, do not forget that these animals are very fond of salt and wood. Of course, you do not need to get rid of trees, they can be treated with sprays, but anything that contains salt cannot be left in places accessible to porcupines.

Choose the Most Suitable Porcupine Treatment

Product
Best Live Trap for Porcupines
Havahart 1045 Live Animal...
Best Procupine Repellent Spray
Plantskydd Animal Repellent -...
Best Ultrasonic Porcupine Repellent
Ultrasonic Animal...
Prime
Pros
Simply transportable.
Eco-friendly.
Easy-to-use.
Best Live Trap for Porcupines
Product
Havahart 1045 Live Animal...
Price
Prime
Pros
Simply transportable.
My preview
Best Procupine Repellent Spray
Product
Plantskydd Animal Repellent -...
Price
Prime
Pros
Eco-friendly.
My preview
Best Ultrasonic Porcupine Repellent
Product
Ultrasonic Animal...
Price
Prime
Pros
Easy-to-use.
My preview

Here I have the list of the best products to deal with the needle problem. It will help you to find the method that suits your situation the most.

Havahart 1045 Live Animal Two-Door Cage Trap — The Best Live Trap for Porcupines

It is a smart trap with two doors. The trap has an excellent opening in which the porcupine can fit freely. The mesh is dense enough, so the animal will not be able to escape, nor will it be harmed. The triggers of the trap are quite sensitive, so as soon as the animal is inside, the trap will close. Most importantly, do not forget about the bait.

The size of the trap is excellent for porcupines and other animals like raccoons, groundhogs, and opossums. The animal will not be cramped, and you can easily pick it up without colliding with sharp needles. The trigger may need to be reassembled after several uses.

Pros:Cons:
  • large interior;
  • impossible break;
  • strong mesh;
  • simply transportable;
  • triggers of high sensitivity.
  • triggers need to be reassembled from time to time.

Plantskydd Animal Repellent — Best Porcupine Repellent Spray

This natural animal repellent spray is effective enough to control your area. You can spray the plants with it and the places where you can dig a tunnel. The product imitates the smell of a predator.

Porcupines are afraid of predators, which means they will try to stay away from your site. The spray is valid for six months, but it is better to repeat its application, you may not even repeat the application after rain. With Plantskydd Animal Repellent, you don’t have to worry about your plant health. The product will serve as an organic fertilizer.

Pros:Cons:
  • effective during 6 months;
  • easy-to-use;
  • eco-friendly;
  • acts as a plant fertilizer.
  • the scent is quite unpleasant for human.

Ultrasonic Animal Repeller — Best Ultrasonic Porcupine Repellent

Ultrasonic repellent is easy to use. You just need to place the device outside and turn it on. Before using it for the first time, you need to charge the device for 4-6 hours.

If you have a large area, you will need several tools to place them at different ends. The item has a backlight that tells you when you need to recharge it. No weather conditions will disrupt the repellent`s operation. It is also waterproof, which means the item will also be useful in the rain.

Pros:Cons:
  • waterproof;
  • durable;
  • easy-to-use.
  • you may need more than one tool for a large area.

FAQ

porcupine in the grass

In this section, you can find answers to the most popular questions about porcupines. This information can also be useful if you are faced with a pest on your site.

Do porcupines climb trees?

Porcupines can climb trees. To do this, they have strong short legs and long claws, which help them climb and get food. The tail helps to keep the body in balance and to grab objects.

Do porcupines come out during the day?

A porcupine is a nocturnal rodent. Accordingly, the animals are active at night. During the day, they rest in hollow logs, holes, or crevices between stones.

How tall is a porcupine?

Porcupines are not very large animals, but they are giants compared to many other rodents. Most individuals are 25-36 inches long, with a tail 8-10 inches.

What are natural porcupine repellents?

Natural repellents include a solution with chili peppers. You can cook it yourself, using even a hot sauce. Another effective repellent is a predator scent spray.

How long do porcupines live?

In the wild, porcupines live for about ten years. As for the captivity, these animals can live two times longer.

Related post: How to Trap Weasels

Say Goodbye to Porcupine

porcupine behind a log

Now that you know the information about the porcupines, you are aware of where they live and what attracts them. I have also presented the most effective methods of dealing with these animals and the products that can help. You can choose a trap as the most humane method and take a porcupine wherever the particular service tells you. Alternatively, you can use a homemade porcupine repellent, spray, or ultrasonic repellent from the store.

How do you fight porcupines? Share your experience and your porcupine stories in the comments.

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Nicholas Martin

About Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years.

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