California Porcupine

Identification

Porcupines (Erethizon dorsatum), sometimes called “porkies” or “quill pigs,” are heavy-bodied, short-legged, slow, and awkward rodents, with a waddling gait. Adults are typically 25 to 30 inches (64 to 76 cm) long and weigh 10 to 30 pounds (4.5 to 13.5 kg). They rely on their sharp, barbed quills (up to 30,000 per individual) for defense.

 

Range and Habitat

The porcupine is a common resident of the coniferous forests of western and northern North America. It wanders widely and is found from cottonwood stands along prairie river bottoms and deserts to alpine tundra. They favor caves, rock slides, and thick timber downfalls for shelter.

 

Fun Facts

Young porcupines are capable of eating vegetation within a week after birth, but they generally stay with the female through the summer. Juvenile survival rates are high.

Predators of porcupines include coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, black bears, fishers, martens, great horned owls, and others.

 

Damage Prevention and Control Methods

Exclusion
Fences (small areas). Tree trunk guards.

Cultural Methods
Encourage closed-canopy forest stands.

Repellants
None are registered. Some wood preservatives may incidentally repel porcupines.

Toxicants
None are registered.

Fumigants

None are registered.

Trapping
Steel leghold trap (No. 2 or 3). Body-gripping (Conibear®) trap (No. 220 or 330). Box trap.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The above information was adapted from PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF WILDLIFE DAMAGE with permission of the editors, Scott E. Hygnstrom, Robert M. Timm, and Gary E. Larson (Cooperative Extension Division, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources University of Nebraska-Lincoln, United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Animal Damage Control, Great Plains Agricultural Council Wildlife Committee).

Our local California offices offer Porcupine services in the following cities: Aguanga, Alameda, Albany, Aliso Viejo, Alpine, Alta, American Canyon, Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Antioch, Atherton, Auburn, Banning, Belmont, Belvedere, Berkeley, Bodega, Bonita, Brea, Brentwood, Buena Park, Burlingame, Cabazon, Calistoga, Cameron Park, Camino, Camp Pendleton, Campbell, Capistrano Beach, Cardiff-by-the-sea, Carlsbad, Carmichael, Carnelian Bay, Castro Valley, Chula Vista, Citrus Heights, Clayton, Cloverdale, Colfax, Concord, Corona Del Mar, Coronado, Corte Madera, Costa Mesa, Cotati, Coto De Caza, Cowan Heights, Cupertino, Cypress, Dana Point, Danville, Danville, Deer Park, Del Mar, Desert Center, Diamond Springs, Dublin, East Irvine, Echo Lake, El Cajon, El Cerrito, El Cerrito, El Toro, El Verano, Eldorado Hills, Elk Grove, Elkgrove, Emeryville, Encinitas, Escondido, Fair Oaks, Fairfax, Fairfax, Fallbrook, Fallen Leaf Lake, Folsom, Foothill Ranch, Foster City, Fountain Valley, Fremont, Fullerton, Galt, Garden Grove, Geyserville, Granite Bay, Guatay, Hawaiian Gardens, Hayward, Healdsburg, Hemet, Herald, Hercules, Hillsborough, Huntington Beach, Idyllwild, Imperial Beach, Inverness, Irvine, Isleton, Jacumba, Jamul, Jenner, Kentfield, Kings Beach, La Habra, La Jolla, La Mesa, La Palma, La Quinta, Lafayette, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lagunitas, Lake Forest, Lakeside, Larkspur, Lemon Grove, Lemon Heights, Leucadia, Lincoln, Livermore, Loomis, Los Alamitos, Los Altos, March Air Reserve Base, Marshall, Martinez, Martinez, Mather, Meeks Bay, Menlo Park, Meyers, Midway City, Mill Valley, Millbrae, Milpitas, Mission Viejo, Moraga, Mount Laguna, Mountain View, Napa, National City, Newark, Newcastle, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Newport Coast, Norco, North Palm Springs, Novato, Oakland, Oakley, Oakville, Ocean Beach, Oceanside, Olympic Valley, Orange, Orange Park, Orangevale, Orinda, Pacific Beach, Pala, Palm Springs, Palo Alto, Penngrove, Penryn, Petaluma, Piedmont, Pinole, Pittsburg, Placentia, Placerville, Pleasant Hill, Pleasanton, Point Loma, Portola Valley, Poway, Ramona, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Cordova, Rancho Santa Fe, Rancho Santa Margarita, Redwood City, Richmond, Rio Nido, Riverside, Rocklin, Rocklin, Rohnert Park, Roseville, Ross, Rossmoor, Sacramento, Saint Helena, San Anselmo, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Clemente, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jacinto, San Jose, San Juan Capistrano, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, San Marcos, San Mateo, San Pablo, San Rafael, San Ramon, Santa Ana, Santa Clara, Santa Rosa, Santee, Saratoga, Sausalito, Seal Beach, Sebastopol, Solana Beach, Sonoma, South Laguna, South Lake Tahoe, Spring Valley, Stanton, Sunnyvale, Sunol, Tahoe City, Tahoe Vista, Tahoma, Tecate, Temecula, The Sea Ranch, Tiburon, Torrey Pines, Trabuco Canyon, Truckee, Tustin, Tustin Hills, Union City, Valley Center, Valley Ford, Villa Park, Vista, Walnut Creek, Walnut Grove, Warner Springs, Westminster, White Water, Windsor, Woodside, Yorba Linda, Youtville.

Eco-Wise Pest Control



California Wildlife Services

Get them out. Keep them out. 877-950-2473. Free estimate
1-877-950-2473. Critter Control. Free estimate

For your local Wildlife Control Expert, call 1-800-CRITTER.