Tag Archives: porcupine removal

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 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.

Porcupine Removal

My son called the incident many things, including porcupine removal, a science experiment, a learning experience, and doing me a favor.  I called it “being stupid.”  I love my son.  He’s fourteen, adventurous, intelligent (usually), outgoing, and . . . did I mention adventurous?

It started when my husband and I noticed some of our wooden-handled tools had been chewed, along with some other items we keep in our storage shed.  In fact, one of the walls of the shed had been chewed down.  We also found some shallow holes dug throughout our back yard, and one of our trees had claw marks on the trunk and some of the bark had been pulled away.  We didn’t know what to think, until my husband heard something in the middle of the night, and walked outside to find a large porcupine waddling around.  He told us about the culprit over breakfast the next morning.

My son was thrilled.  My husband was not.  My husband called a porcupine removal service, which promised to send out a technician later that afternoon.  I looked at my son’s face and realized he was sorely disappointed he wouldn’t get a chance to see this porcupine up close.

But, when he and his friend got home from school that day, they hunted around the backyard looking for any signs of the animal while I was still at work.  They not only found signs, they found the animal itself.  The porcupine was resting in a shallow hole underneath the wooden deck stairs, and it was not happy to be disturbed by a couple of overanxious teenage boys.

My son and his friend decided to “do me a favor” and do “porcupine removal” themselves.  In truth, they really wanted to watch the animal in action and see what it would do.  So, they scared it up out of its hiding place and followed its wobbly walk all over the yard, preventing its escape when it headed for the back fence.  Finally, the boys got to see what they really wanted to see.  The porcupine quills all stuck out, and the animal turned around so its hind quarters were facing its predators, almost daring them to attack.

My son reached out his tennis-shoe clad foot and prodded at the porcupine’s tail.  The tail twitched out of the way, but the animal stood its ground.  My son got a little braver, and his foot actually touched the porcupine’s rump.  Sure enough, a few quills stuck into the rubber sole, much to my son’s delight!  Now, he could study these quills up close.

The boys retreated slightly to look closer at the quills embedded in the shoe, and the porcupine turned its head around to check to see if they were still there.  Sure enough, my son and his friend were still there, but they were so intent on pulling the quills out of the shoe that they didn’t see the porcupine run towards the fence until it was too late.  It was gone.  Technically, porcupine removal and my son’s science experience had been successful, but I was just grateful there was no damage to the boys other than to the shoe.

Porcupine Problem

Ah, night, the perfect time for me to come out and cause all kinds of porcupine problems.  I’m really a very gentle creature, despite the quills, but for some reason, people don’t like me very much.  I think I’m pretty cute, with my little precious face and my tiny little paws, and my quills all laid back when I’m happy.  But, destroy a few trees, dig up a little yard, and all of a sudden you’re the bad guy.

Really, it’s not that big a deal.  It’s just your trees are so perfectly wonderful to eat.  I just can’t stop myself when they’re young and tender like that.  Sure, a few trees die because my gnawing leaves them prone to disease, but a porcupine’s gotta eat, right?  And, those tender vegetable plants in the garden.  That was so very kind of you to spend all that time and money planting those and taking care of them so that I could have a tasty treat when I emerged from the woods onto your property.  You assumed they were eaten by rabbits, and I was happy to let rabbits take the blame.  But, I guess at some point you figured out you had a porcupine problem.  I wonder what gave it away.

Oh, it might have been that wonderful plywood you’d stacked by your shed.  I couldn’t believe my eyes when I spotted that and waddled over.  You people create the most wonderful things to eat.  That laminate glue that holds each plywood layer together is just so delectable.  What a delicacy.  I just gnawed and gnawed on that all night long until most of it was gone.  I think that may have been when you realized the tree girdling and destroyed garden plants was my work instead of some other creature.

I did not enjoy your dog’s presence the night after the plywood incident.  I guess he was supposed to scare me off, but he just came right at me like he was going to attack and eat me, so I had to defend myself.  All I did was stick my quills up.  I didn’t throw them, I can’t throw them.  So, it was your dog’s fault, really, to end up with a mouth full of quills.  I feel bad for the guy, I really do, but I couldn’t just let myself become dog food over a little plywood incident.  He’ll live.  It’ll be painful for a while, but he’ll live.  And, lucky for me, so will I.

I gotta admit, the tool shed is looking really intriguing.  I might have to investigate it tonight.  I’m hoping to find some sweat-soaked wooden handles I can chew up.  Mmmm, salt!  I can’t get enough of it.  I’m sorry you think you have a porcupine problem, but your property is just so darned inviting.  I think I might dig up against the warm foundation of your home and set up a den.  It just seems too perfect a place to give up right now.

Porcupine Removal

As a vet, it was one of the worst cases I’d seen of porcupine quill removal gone wrong. The poor dog had abscesses all over its chest, muzzle and even his tongue.  The skin was more sensitive where the pus-filled cavities lay just under the surface, and warmer to the touch. His body was trying to fight off the little pockets of infection, but it was obvious the dog was in pain.

His owners had tried to remove all the quills with pliers at home after the boxer had chased the porcupine down and tried to catch it.  All he got was a face full of quills.  The family had calmed the dog down, and attempted to pull each quill out one by one, figuring the remaining barbs would work their way out.  Unfortunately, they didn’t know the barbs are shaped in such a way that they usually work their way inward, forming abscesses and sometimes working their way in so deeply they penetrate organs.  Yes, dogs are tough, but quills that keep working their way inward into the body are painful, no matter how tough you are.

The owners had thought they had a deer problem, and had no idea they needed porcupine removal.  They noticed the bark was pulled away from the bottom of the trunks of their trees, and many plants in their beautiful garden were eaten.  They had found portions of the wooden handles of their tools gnawed away, teeth marks in one of the support beams on their children’s playhouse, and holes in one of the tires of the four-wheeler.  It never occurred to them that these were all caused by the same animal, the porcupine.  Porcupines love to chew on wood, and anything salty.  The four-wheeler’s tires had salt from the roadways salted after a snow storm and attracted the spiny animal.  Once their dog came yelping to the back door, impaled with over 200 quills around his mouth and chest, though, they finally figured out they had a porcupine problem.

They’d held the dog down, gotten out a pair of pliers, and started tugging.  Not a pleasant experience for the poor pet.  Porcupine quills are like feather shafts, and can splinter if handled incorrectly.  And, when some of the quills broke, the barbs just started working their way in deeper, eventually causing a great deal more pain and infection.

I had to put the dog under anesthesia, just to get him to relax the muscles enough for me to pull each quill out.  We scheduled an ultrasound and later surgery to remove the quills that had moved in deeper.  Fortunately, the quills hadn’t gone in so deep as to touch any organs.

I recommended the family not attempt porcupine removal themselves, as it might end up as disastrous as removing the quills themselves.  The best way to ensure the job is done right is to call a professional.

Get Rid of Porcupines

get rid of porcupines
As winter approaches, I shudder and wonder if there is any way I can get rid of porcupines.  It seems hopeless for me.  I’ve watched them throughout the spring and summer, the large ugly rodents rooting around, eating whatever they can find.  They’ve eaten away most of the vegetation now, and there aren’t many choices left now that winter is coming. 

            Night is beginning to fall, stars are just starting to peep out, and life is quiet here.  The breeze washes over me.  It’s colder now and I shudder slightly.  I try to enjoy the solitude, the peace, the changing of the seasons.  I remember the summer:  children playing, picnics, tire swings, birds nesting, the warm sun and delicious rain.  But I can’t stop thinking about those monsters roaming around, free as they please, hungry, always hungry, gnawing, ever chewing.  They are a danger to dogs, cats, over-curious children, but so often they forget how dangerous they are to me.  Again, I try to forget about my fears and remember the beautiful times.

            I began to relax ever so slightly, when my nightmare with beady black eyes appears before me.  The breeze plays along its quills and it lifts its nose, snuffling a little in the evening air.  My mind races and I can’t move.  How can I possibly get rid of this porcupine?  In my terror, I cannot think, and I am helpless, frozen and rooted to the spot as it shuffles toward me.  It touches me, and I almost lose all consciousness.  But, I am just not that lucky.

            It circles me and then faces me, baring its teeth.  Each long tooth gleams in the first rays of moonlight.  Those awful teeth never stop growing, making the creature desperate to gnaw on my flesh.  I am horrified as it leans towards me and slides its teeth into my skin.  It chews and tears and rips it away, piece by piece.  I am powerless, and each minute is an eternity of terror.

            Strong claws grip into me, and it climbs even higher up onto me.  It reaches a tender limb and slices it cleanly off.  I desperately try not to think of slow death as disease enters into the stump of a limb.  Strip by strip, limb by limb, the porcupine chews, gnaws and slices pieces off of me.  Minutes are hours in my pain, but finally it climbs down off of me and waddles away in search of food.  It is satisfied and hungry.  I quake with what is left of me.  I have a long winter ahead of me, and I can only pray that some human will get rid of the porcupines and let me rest in peace.