How to manage wild porcupines?

Hello all:

I tried getting them in cages with baits but to no avail. They have done serious damages to 4 of my apple trees (broken branches and damages to trunks). As of today I still have 6 trees full of apples… and would like to get rid of this pest…

thanks!

Marc

They eat bark

I can assure you that they «love» apples too. I have twos Calville blanc d’hiver. Yesterday there were 6 apples in it. Today: 0 apple, none on the ground and one broken branch…
Marc

2 Likes

A friend of mine in Maine struggles with a porcupine eating the peaches and branches off of her tree. The solution she came up with, that seems to be working, was to put up a collar of metal duct pipe around the trunk. Porcupine can no longer climb the tree. It still tries sometimes and makes a ruckus.

3 Likes

Porkies move like sloths. Easy targets for a .22

1 Like

I can vouch for that. It works on all the rest of the animals as well. Waiting for my trees to mature a little more and I will be moving to that too.

Wolverines and fisher cats eat porcupines easily. Import.

As already mentioned the metal stove pipe sleeve works well. Or a spotlight and lead poisoning works if you can apply that method depending on your location.

1 Like

You might consider leg hold traps, if there are no dogs or kids which can get in them. I’d guess a number 2 leg hold would be about the right size.

Leg hold traps will trap coons, which are one of the smartest animals out there.

Here is the best way to prepare a coon set.

-Drive a T-post deep in the ground to the top of the foot plate on the T-post.

-Dig a shallow flat bottomed hole which is just about the right size for the trap you are using, when the trap is open and set. The hole should only be about a couple inches deep.

-Affix the trap to the T-post using the chain provided with the trap, or a strong piece of wire.

-Set the trap.

-Place the trap in the shallow hole you’ve dug. When set in the hole, the top portions of the trap should be about level with the ground.

-Place a sheet of wax paper over the trap.

-Take some finely ground dirt you removed from the hole and place it on the wax paper, so the trap set just looks like bare dirt. Do this carefully so as not to set off the trap. You can also scatter some pulled weeds and fine debris so the trap set looks more natural.

-Finally, carefully set your bait on top of the trap. It’s not a bad idea to use long pliers to set the bait on the trap, or a couple long sticks, in case the trap accidentally springs. Supposedly porcupines like salted apple slices.

-You’ll want to check your trap every morning if you are trapping a nocturnal creature.

-If you want to be certain to catch the creature, you can do two traps per set (close together) but it’s generally not necessary.

Minnesota Trapline has a full line of traps. Before setting a leghold trap, make sure you watch some youtube videos of experienced trappers demonstrating how to set the traps. You set the trap from reaching underneath the trap, so it won’t snap on your fingers accidentally.

https://www.minntrapprod.com/Traps/departments/416/

1 Like

They also eat brake lines around here. They like the taste of road salt and cause a lot of dangerous damage in the process.

I feel your pain Shabou, I lost my cherry tree to them chewing off branches. Then they started on my pears, apples and plums, ughhh! In my case, my wife loves the wild animals around here, so I needed to come up with a solution to porcupines that worked for both of us. Killing them was not an option. I tried stovepipes to no avail, I use welded wire rings to protect them from deer damage, and the hedgehogs would just climb on up the fencing and destroy branches.
This year I found a solution: hot wire fence set very low (6" or so) from the ground. No more damage! I think it may also dissuade pesky squirrels as a side bonus. Plus, it was a cheap solution, the charger, plastic fence supports, wire and ground rods only cost about $120. The downside is you need to keep the grass trimmed under the wire with a weed eater. But the payoff is worth the labor when you wait so many years after planting to finally harvest fruit. I wish you good luck in whatever method you choose in your porky battle.