Category Archives: Porcupines

A Berry Unpleasant Situation

We have a porcupine in our yard, and I’m just about at the end of my rope when it comes to accompanying the little thing.  I think he’s cute as can be, but he’s pushing the boundaries of our relationship.  He’s been around every summer for about three years now, and at first as long as I kept my little dog inside when he was out, he would just visit and wander through the yard.  It was great, my daughter could see a really cool creature in its natural habitat, and he never bothered us.  When he came back the next year, I was reasonably excited but also a little nervous.  I really didn’t want him to make my small yard into a home, and luckily he didn’t decide to live there, but he did decide to eat there.

Last year, he started stomping through my small gardens and ripping up my plants.  He ate through most of leafy stuff which was alright I guess, I don’t use much of my garden lettuce anyway, but then he found my berry bushes.  When I was little, my grandmother taught me to prune and grow raspberries and blackberries to produce delicious berries; as they ripened up we would make jams and pies and I have treasured those memories, and my berries, ever since.  My daughter is 5 this year, so I was ready to start teaching her the lessons my nana passed on to me; that was until the porcupine returned to wreak havoc on my berry bushes yet again.

We tried to deal with the little guy ourselves and my husband built a short fence around our garden, but porcupines are better climbers (and more invasive) than I thought.  I know that since now he has a safe place that supplies food, it’s not likely he’s going to just go away on his own, so I need help.  I’d prefer if he was relocated because let’s be honest, even if he can be a pesky porcupine, I still like the guy.  I just want protection for my plants so I can carry on the family tradition with my daughter, so any help and advice is appreciated.

Well, I’ll be Dammed

We definitely have a wildlife problem, and it’s affecting our business tremendously. My family comes from a long line of farmers; we raise cattle, chickens, horses, ducks, and a few goats and pigs; and we also grow many vegetables, hay, and alfalfa; all of these things, animals and plants alike, are sustained for the most part by the river that runs through our property.  We have sprinkler lines that run through the plants, and while we do have a well, we mostly draw water from there.  The problem is that a beaver(s) has started to dam up the river about a mile up from the farmhouse.

I’ve had problems like this before, but this year has been especially dreadful.  As a farmer, I’m all about living off of the natural land and sharing with the wildlife that comes with it, but this is becoming a serious issue.  We do have a well, but it wouldn’t be enough to for everything to run off of alone.  I’m hoping that there’s someone that can trap and relocate the beavers to another area.  Another problem I’m having is with porcupines.  While they usually avoid the main house and barn areas, recently I’ve had two instances where I found myself pulling quills out of both horses and my dogs.

I’m really just looking for someone that can help us with these issues so that we don’t have to do it ourselves.  We don’t mind the wildlife, and if we did there’s not much we could do about it.  We just need someone to help with the damming from the beavers and also see if there’s somewhere the porcupine could be living on the main property and if there is, move him further up into the hills where he won’t bother us and we won’t bother him! Really, anything is better than nothing, we’re just looking for some help, and at the least some advice.

Tree Hugger

It was about a week and a half ago when I first saw the porcupine in my tree.  I wasn’t really sure what it was at first; I always pictured porcupines as spiky and aggressive but this animal looked almost fuzzy and was fast asleep.  Knowing that quills were hard to remove, I left the animal to do its own thing and figured it would leave after its cat nap.  It wasn’t until I saw the bark being eaten off the top of my pine trees that I realized the animal hadn’t actually left.  Or at least that was my first clue; my second clue (and the one that really stuck) was when I came home from work to find both of my dogs with long spikes sticking out of their noses; that was when I really got the hint.

After I spent the money (and it was a lot of money) to have the spines removed from my dog’s faces, I called in a professional trapper to catch and remove the porcupine from the tree.  The only problem was that when they came out, the porcupine had apparently vanished.  He was no longer sleeping in the pine trees like he was the first time I saw him and I had no idea where else he would be! While I talked to the main technician and explained to him what had happened, the second tech walked around the property searching for the missing animal.  Right as I reached the end of my story, she called out to us from our spot under the pine trees and ushered us to where she was.  As we moved towards the backyard, we too saw the sleeping animal.  Instead of the pine trees, this porcupine had made itself comfortable in the willow tree that sat at the edge of my property.

They then set and baited traps, hoping to catch the animal in the next couple of days, but apparently this porcupine was smarter than that.  He casually avoided all three of the traps and my sight for the next week.  Just as I was about to resign to living with a porcupine, I spotted him resting once again in the branches of the willow tree.  Within seconds I was on the phone with the trappers, I told them where he was and they hurried down, ready to catch the porcupine on the spot.  They pulled up and stepped out of their truck like the Ghost Busters; okay, maybe it wasn’t that dramatic but it sure seemed like a scene from a movie to me.  They moved quickly and quietly towards the porcupine in the tree.  In an instant, they had the animal on the ground and in a trap.  I couldn’t believe it! After two weeks of little success, they had solved the problem in the blink of an eye.  Even though it was their job to help me, it sure felt like they were superheroes that had just saved the day to me.

Porcupines Eating Trees

As if being a tree wasn’t hard enough, now my forest is infested with tree-eating porcupines! Now, you have to understand that I don’t live in a rundown, ugly forest; my forest is full of green, beautiful life, but these monsters have ravaged us! They came for the first time a year ago, it was a travesty to see my friends grow sick and weary because of their bark and roots being stripped from their bodies, even my neighbor was attacked, I was scared for my life but luckily I have long, deep roots that are mostly underground so the prickly pests can’t get to them easily. The man that lives beneath the shade of our tall, needle-lined branches was horrified at the damage they had caused and called for animal control to come ASAP, but by the time they got here the porcupines had taken a break from eating us trees and had wandered off. The technician told him that they were gone and wouldn’t come back, this was a huge relief to us all.
Until now, the beasts are back and hungrier than ever, they’ve even chewed on my trunk once or twice, I might even be getting weaker because of it, I may be 206 years old but I am NOT invincible. My friend Arbor, who lives just down the row from me, has had almost all of his roots eaten, even his bark is gone from the ground up about two feet these menaces never stop. The man is setting out traps now, baiting them with foods such as peanut butter and sunflower seeds, its tedious work and isn’t a quick solution for sure. He’s even gone so far as to rub something called ‘Capsaicin’ on our bark to try and keep the creatures away, but for now all I can do is watch my friends get sick and rot, it’s an awful life. Can nothing save us from the porcupines eating the trees?

Porcupine in Playhouse

Porcupine        Our new neighbors are moving in today, finally!  The old neighbors were nice enough, but they moved away over a month ago, and it took a while to get their house under contract.  The new family looks nice enough, two daughters probably between 9 and 11 years old and their parents look a bit frazzled from moving but also a little relieved.  They have movers helping them, so I’m chilling some cold drinks for them all and making cookies.  Nice to have a bit of a warm welcome, right?

I see the girls are exploring around the back yard, and are especially drawn to the playhouse the previous owners included in the sale of the home.  That’s nice.  It makes me happy to know someone will enjoy that home and breathe some new life into this part of the street.

After a couple of hours of work, Mom’s going out back to check on the girls.  She seems like an excellent mother.  I bet they’re a happy family.

What’s that screaming?!  I can’t hardly see much from my back window, but I hope no one’s hurt!  Maybe if I put down this plate of cookies, and go to the upstairs window, I could see better.

A porcupine?!  They have a porcupine in the playhouse!  I see the girls aren’t hurt.  How long were they in the playhouse with the porcupine?  I hope they didn’t get too close to it.  I know that porcupines can’t throw their quills, but they can release them into whatever or whoever is trying to hold them.  I guess the girls weren’t too scared by the porcupine in the playhouse, but their mother is sure upset.  No, it doesn’t look like she was hurt, either.

A porcupine in that wooden playhouse would explain the hole in the door that looks like it’s been chewed up a bit.  I know porcupines like to chew on wood and other things.  I wonder if it destroyed anything inside.  Probably so.  The porcupine probably soiled the playhouse, too.  I’m certainly glad I don’t have to clean that up.

I can see Dad trying to get the movers to help him get the porcupine out of the playhouse, but they don’t look too eager to help out.  I even think they’re moving boxes and furniture in faster than before.  Maybe they want to finish up and get out of here quickly.

Well, the first batch of cookies are cooled.  Maybe I’ll take them over and bring the phone number for Allstate Animal Control.  That company helped me out when I had a raccoon problem, so they’ll be good to get that porcupine out of the playhouse.  Poor dears.  What a terrible shock to move in and find a wild animal problem right away.

Porcupine Problem


My grandpa tells the best stories, and I’ve loved listening to him ever since I was tiny.  I thought I’d heard them all, but I overheard him telling my four year-old daughter a story about a porcupine problem the other day.  She’d learned about porcupines in preschool and I’d shown her videos online, but I’m sure she’ll always remember my grandfather telling her all about the porcupine problem.

My grandfather’s a good ol’ boy from Georgia.  He ends most sentences with “Dontcha Know” or “Dontcha See.”  He says it as if it’s all one word, and sometimes says both of them one right after the other.  It’s frustrating to some, annoying to others, but it’s endearing to me.

“Oh, why we had a problem with a porcupine once when I was a little ‘un, Dontcha Know Dontcha See.”  My daughter was tucked up on his knee, listening with sparkling eyes, just as I used to when I was a child.  “It just come right outta the woods n’ wandered all over the place, mostly at night, and every once in a while, we’d see it shufflin’ around out there, Dontcha See.  I threw a few rocks at it, hopin’ to scare it off, but it never did pay me no mind, it just always come back, Dontcha Know.”

I smiled, thrilled to be hearing a new story.

“Well, this porcupine, he chewed a hole right into Daddy’s work shed, clean through the wood walls, Dontcha See.  And, I take it that’s where it lived for a while, especially since my Daddy didn’t do a whole lotta work out in that shed during the cold months, as it didn’t have no heat in there, Dontcha See.   But, that porcupine didn’t pay no heed to heat or no, it just up and moved right on in and started chewing on my Daddy’s tools, Dontcha Know.  Well, my brother and I, we never did think about telling Daddy about the porcupine problem, we just liked to watch it when we could and we thought it was something fun, knowing we had a porcupine in the shed, Dontcha See.  So, spring come, and Mommy had some project or other for my Daddy to do, and out he goes to the shed, fixin’ to get the job done, Dontcha Know.  ‘Fore we know it, he comes a hollerin’ outta that shed, mad as heck, yellin’ for us boys to come on out, Dontcha Know.  We ran out, fast as we could, and he started hollerin’ as how we oughtn’t to touch his tools and break the handles off, and didn’t we know it’d cost good money to replace all the wood that we’d broken, Dontcha See.  Well, he didn’t calm down for a long time, but once he did, we convinced him as how we had a porcupine problem and that porcupine done chewed up all the wood handles on his favorite tools, Dontcha See.  It took some quick explainin’ but he finally saw as how we was probably right, we had a porcupine problem, and we didn’t get skinned that day for getting’ into his tools, since it was the porcupine, Dontcha Know.”

Admittedly, a story about a porcupine problem wasn’t his best story ever, but it was the last one he got to tell my daughter before he passed, and I’ll always cherish it.  Dontcha Know.

Porcupine in Garage

Porcupine eating wooden post in garage.
A porcupine eating a wooden stair rail in a garage.
(Artwork by Sharon Davis. Please contact us for her contact info.)

My wife gave me the greatest gift this year.  She converted the garage into a man-cave.  I’m pretty sure she didn’t intend the porcupine in the garage to be part of the gift, but it made for a pretty eventful Christmas.

I’m not a big gift-guy, but Christmas morning, I was kind of surprised that I didn’t have a package from my wife under the tree.  She usually goes a little overboard and gets me a big, nice gift.  I did get the typical random gifts from my children:  a tie tack, cheap sunglasses, a matchbox car and a handmade card.  After the presents were all open, though, my wife wouldn’t let anyone break into the doughnuts and hot chocolate.  Instead, she announced we were going to the garage.

The older two children got grins on their faces, and the younger two whined about having to wait a few extra minutes for their doughnuts.  I shrugged and dutifully followed her.  Then, she opened the door to what was once a mess of boxes and random tools.

It was straight out of a magazine.  Tools were nicely organized in a corner with a work bench.  My wife had obviously gone through the contents of the boxes, gotten rid of a lot of things, and carefully stored the rest of our boxed belongings away.  In their place was a comfortable couch, a fake bearskin rug, a couple of side tables, and the television set from my wife’s office.  I could not believe it.

I was so blow away by what my wife had done for me that I didn’t even notice the porcupine in the garage.  But, my wife gasped and pointed.  A chunky, lumbering, spiny animal had been happily munching at the handle of my grandfather’s hammer.  It had probably gotten in there while my wife as putting the finishing touches in my new man cave, and who knows how long that porcupine had been stuck in the garage.  Days, maybe?  The leather couch had a gaping hole where it had been eaten through, and while the well-worn wood of my grandfather’s hammer handle was still mostly there, it had suffered some damage.

The kids were shooed inside, happy to finally attack the doughnuts and my wife and I tried to chase the porcupine out of the garage.  It was happy in there, though, and we retreated quickly when it puffed its quills out.  Fortunately, over the course of the next couple of hours, we were able to lure it out of the garage, but I was afraid it would quickly find its way back into my amazing new hangout.  I wasn’t going to go out to watch a game and share the space with a porcupine in the garage.  So, we called an animal removal service to come out and remove the porcupine as quickly as possible.  And, I went back to wondering what I’d done right in my life to deserve my wonderful wife.

Get Rid of Porcupines

When you’re sitting in a barn, pulling quills out of a very angry horse, you come to one conclusion:  Get rid of porcupines.

Now, it’s true that porcupines aren’t vicious animals.  They don’t carry a lot of diseases, they don’t go on the offensive and chase after you with sharp teeth, they try to stay out of your way.  But, they are a nuisance and a pest, and I want to get rid of porcupines from off my property.

I’ve seen evidence of porcupine damage around the place.  The side of the barn got chewed up a little, and a couple of my apricot saplings died because a porcupine chewed up the trunk pretty good.  The only time I saw one in person is when I accidentally clipped one with my truck.  It scuttled off into the trees, so it seemed unhurt, but I was pulling quills out of my tire that night.

One of my dogs got some quills in the face, and has avoided going back outside at night ever since.  She’s a pretty small and mischievous dog, who just likes to chase anything that moves.  We find it endearing.  The porcupine did not.  Once the quills get inside a body, they’re not easy to pull out.  One buddy of mine suggested I cut the ends off the quills to get rid of a suction-effect.  I didn’t feel any difference.  The barbs on the quills make them all hard to pull out, suction or no suction, and very painful to the dog.  But the dog is small and trusting, and was easy enough to hold down while my sons and I pulled out each quill, one by one.  A horse is another matter.

I’d taken this horse out for a long ride just the day before, so I was giving her a rest, just letting her graze in our meadow.  She loves to just run as fast as she can from one fence to the other.  She’s also a curious horse.  I’m sure her curiosity got the better of her, and she got too close to a porcupine.  She must’ve cornered it, or made it nervous, because she got quills in both of her front legs.

Yep, time to get rid of porcupines.

I had to call the vet to come out and help me calm the horse down long enough to pull out all the quills.  Now, we’re worried about infection.  Not that a porcupine is poisonous or anything, but the tiny wounds could get infected if we’re not careful.

I’m tired of pulling out porcupine quills from my animals or tires.  I’m tired of finding holes chewed through my outbuildings.  It’s time to call Allstate Animal Control and get rid of the porcupines.

Porcupine Damage

I’m an intern with an oil and gas company, which means I expected a certain level of engineering glamour associated with this opportunity, not being stuck with managing porcupine destruction.  But, here I am, stuck in a tiny, windowless office (more of a closet, really), working under the communications officer, and traveling occasionally out to remote outposts to assist in inspecting damages or weaknesses in our communications structure.


Now, don’t get me wrong.  Even as a near-graduate, I’m well aware of how important communications is to the infrastructure of our business.  People stationed in our remote locations rely on our communications systems to keep in touch with the office and family, coordinate operations, and get emergency services out there in case, God Forbid, something goes terribly wrong.  We need to be able to evacuate or shut sites down if the worst happens, or get a helicopter out there to air-lift an injured employee to the nearest hospital, or just keep our employees happy because they’re able to keep in touch with their loved ones.


But, I was shocked when I found out this would be the focus of my internship, and I despaired that it wouldn’t help me get a better job once I actually graduated.  By then, it was too late, and I was stuck.  I was stuck with getting an earful from an angry employee who was mad that communications went down at his outpost just when his wife was having a baby.  I was stuck researching ways to protect our radio communication sites more efficiently and with a lot less funding.  I was stuck dealing with porcupine destruction.


Apparently, those quiet and shy, but ungodly looking animals wreak havoc in and around our communication stations, especially the stations in the more forested areas of the country.  Before my internship, I thought they generally kept to themselves, eating the bark off trees in some far-off region of the country.  Turns out, they’re rodents.  That means they have teeth that grow all the time, so they have to gnaw on stuff just to keep their teeth down to the right size.  So, not only are they munching on the treated lumber we used to construct the communication station, they’re chewing on wires and aluminum, too.


Add porcupine damage to the regular damage of weather, vandals, and other animals, and it’s no wonder the communications director requires an intern at his disposal.  He needs someone just to field phone calls, research, and help him figure out ways to keep those stations up and running, for the safety of our employees and the success of the company.  So, I figure, if I can work out a way to keep the porcupine destruction down to a minimum, it might earn me a nicer internship upstairs, with a  cushy office and maybe even my own secretary.  One can dream.



Porcupine Control

I think the porcupine believes that if we can’t see it, we won’t suspect we need porcupine control.  We have a porcupine that loves our yard, our trees, our shed, even our car.  And, for some reason, it believes it has a better chance of getting to stay on our property if it plays hide and seek with us.

At first, this tactic worked very well.  We didn’t suspect we had a porcupine control problem.  We had other explanations for some of the damage we found.  Our makeshift plywood door on our shed had a large hole chewed right through the bottom right-hand corner.  We thought it was raccoons.  We found holes scratched into our sod, and assumed we had opossums or maybe rabbits.  The undercarriage of my husband’s truck had scratch marks and a tire had been chewed on.  Again, we blamed raccoons.  For over a month, we were on the lookout for a couple of raccoons.  We were certain they lived in the nearby woods and had probably found a hollow log or other nice place for a den.  We even picked out names for them, in case we ever saw them.

So, the porcupine’s ploy worked.  We weren’t on the lookout for a porcupine.  It had found some perfect little hiding spots throughout our yard, and stayed well out of sight.  For a while, all we ever saw was the damage, and we blamed other animals.

One Saturday morning, we must have startled the porcupine, though.  It was going to be a warm day, and we had a lot of yard work to do, so we had decided we’d get up early, get it done, and then enjoy the hotter hours of the day at a cool movie theater, followed by an air conditioned restaurant.  We went out into the yard, pulled out our tools from the shed, and started working.  I was digging up some weeds when something bounced off my head.  It was a piece of bark from the tree I was working under.  I looked up, and couldn’t believe what I saw.  A porcupine clung to tiny branches far above my head.  As far as hiding spots go, that was genius, I have to admit.  Who looks for a porcupine up in the tree?  But, there it was – a fat little cumbersome body, its quills laying flat, little paws clutching the tree, and a mouthful of bark that it had obviously stripped off the tree on the way up, as a snack.

I called my husband over from where he was working on the opposite side of the yard, and he didn’t believe me, until he saw it for himself.  It explained all the damage in our yard – the shallow holes in the grass, the chewed up door to the shed, the trees with pieces of bark stripped from them, and even the chewed truck tires.  That’s a lot of damage for one porcupine, assuming, of course, there weren’t more porcupines playing hide and seek with us.  We called porcupine control and went back to our work, letting the porcupine enjoy his last moments far up in the treetop.