Missouri 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 Missouri offices offer Porcupine services in the following cities: Afton, Airport Drive, Alba, Alhambra, Amherst, Archie, Argyle, Armington, Arnold, Asbury, Ash Grove, Ashland, Aurora, Avilla, Avondale, Baldwin Park, Ballwin, Battlefield, Bedford, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Belton, Billings, Birmingham, Blackwater, Blue Springs, Boonville, Bradleyville, Branson, Brentwood, Bridgeton, Brimfield, Brooklyn Heights, Buckner, Bull Creek, Camden Point, Candia, Carl Junction, Carterville, Carthage, Carytown, Caseyville, Chesterfield, Chillicothe, Claycomo, Clayton, Cleveland, Clever, Columbia, Cotterville, Countryside, Creighton, Crestwood, Creve Coeur, Danbury, De Soto, Dearborn, Deer Creek, Des Peres, Drexel, Duenweg, Duquesne, Earth City, Earth City, East Andover, East Candia, East Derry, East Hampstead, East Lynne, East Peoria, Edgerton, Eldon, Ellisville, Eugene, Eureka, Excelsior Estates, Excelsior Springs, Fair Grove, Fairview Heights, Farley, Fayette, Fenton, Ferguson, Ferrelview, Fidelity, Florissant, Forsyth, Francestown, Freeman, Freistatt, Fremont Hills, Frontenac, Fulton, Garden City, Gasconade, Gerald, Gladstone, Glasford, Glasgow, Glenaire, Goffstown, Grain Valley, Grandview, Green Valley, Greenwood, Groveland, Gunn City, Hallsville, Halltown, Hamel, Hampstead, Hanna City, Harrisburg, Harrisonville, Hazelwood, Highlandville, Hoberg, Hollister, Holt, Houston Lake, Iatan, Imperial, Independence, Jamestown, Jasper, Jefferson City, Joplin, Kansas City, Kearney, Kimberling City, Kimmswick, Kingdom City, Kingston Mines, Kirbyville, Kirkwood, La Russell, Labadie, Ladue, Lake Annette, Lake Lotawana, Lake St. Louis, Lake Tapawingo, Lake Waukomis, Lake Winnebago, Latham, Laura, Leawood, Lees Summit, Levasy, Liberty, Litchfield, Loch Lloyd, Lone Jack, Longview Lake, Mackinaw, Madison, Manchester, Maplewood, Marionville, Maryland Heights, Mc Girk, Merriam Woods, Mexico, Miller, Missouri City, Moberly, Mosby, Mount Vernon, National Stock Yards, Neck City, New Bloomfield, New Boston, New Castle, New Franklin, Nixa, North Kansas City, North Star Village, Northmoor, O Fallon, O'fallon, Oak Grove, Oaks, Oakview, Oakwood, Oakwood Park, Olivette, Oronogo, Otterville, Ozark, Pacific, Pacific, Parkville, Peculiar, Pelham, Peoria, Peoria Heights, Pierce City, Pilot Grove, Platte City, Platte Woods, Pleasant Hill, Pleasant Valley, Prathersville, Purcell, Randolph, Raymond, Raymore, Raytown, Reed Springs, Reeds, Republic, Richmond Heights, Ridgely, River Bend, Riverside, Riverview Estates, Robertsville, Rocheport, Rockaway Beach, Rogersville, Rome, Saddlebrooke, Saint Albans, Saint Thomas, Sarcoxie, Shell Knob, Shrewsbury, Sibley, Smithville, South Pekin, South Sutton, Sparta, Spring Hill, Springfield, St. Albans, St. Ann, St. Charles, St. John, St. Louis, St. Peters, Stotts City, Strafford, Strasburg, Sugar Creek, Sunset Hills, Taneyville, Tebbetts, Temple, Town And Country, Tracy, Tremont, Trivoli, Troy, Union, Unity Village, University City, Valley Park, Verona, Waco, Waldron, Walnut Grove, Warner, Washington, Weatherby Lake, Webb City, Webster Groves, West Alton, West Line, Weston, Westphalia, Westport, Westwood, Wildwood, Willard

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Missouri Wildlife Services

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