Tag Archives: porcupine damage

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.