Texas 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 Texas offices offer Porcupine services in the following cities: Abbott, Addison, Alamo Heights, Alamo Heights, Aledo, Allen, Alma, Alvarado, Alvin, Amarillo, Angleton, Angus, Anna, Annetta, Annetta North, Annetta South, Aquilla, Arcola, Argyle, Arlington, Aubrey, Austin, Azle, Balch Springs, Balcones Heights, Bardwell, Barry, Bartlett, Bartonville, Bayou Vista, Baytown, Beasley, Bedford, Bee Cave, Bellaire, Bellmead, Bells, Belton, Benbrook, Beverly Hills, Blooming Grove, Blue Mound, Blue Ridge, Blum, Boerne, Bonney, Bovina, Brazoria, Brazos Bend, Bremond, Briarcliff, Briaroaks, Brookside Village, Bruceville-eddy, Bryan, Buckholts, Bulverde, Bunker Hill Village, Burleson, Bynum, Caddo Mills, Callisburg, Calvert, Cameron, Campbell, Canyon Lake, Carrollton, Castle Hills, Cedar Hill, Cedar Park, Celeste, Celina, Channelview, China Grove, Clear Lake Shores, Cleburne, Clute, Cockrell Hill, College Station, Colleyville, Collinsville, Combine, Commerce, Conroe, Converse, Cool, Coolidge, Coppell, Copper Canyon, Corinth, Corral City, Corsicana, Cottonwood, Covington, Crandall, Crawford, Creedmoor, Cresson, Cross Roads, Cross Timber, Crowley, Cut And Shoot, Cypress, Dallas, Dalworthington Gardens, Damon, Danbury, Davilla, Dawson, Decatur, Decordova, Deer Park, Del Valle, Denison, Denton, Denton, Desoto, Dickinson, Dish, Dominion, Dorchester, Double Oak, Duncanville, East Tawakoni, Eddy, Edgecliff Village, El Lago, Elmendorf, Emhouse, Emory, Ennis, Euless, Eureka, Everman, Fair Oaks Ranch, Fairchilds, Fairview, Farmers Branch, Farmersville, Farwell, Fate, Ferris, Fischer, Florence, Flower Mound, Forest Hill, Forney, Fort Worth, Franklin, Freeport, Friendswood, Friona, Frisco, Frost, Fulshear, Gainesville, Galena Park, Galveston, Garden Ridge, Garland, Garrett, Gause, Georgetown, Gholson, Glen Rose, Glenn Heights, Godley, Golinda, Granbury, Grand Prairie, Grandview, Granger, Grapevine, Grays Prairie, Greenville, Grey Forest, Groesbeck, Gunter, Hackberry, Hallsburg, Haltom City, Harker Heights, Haslet, Hawk Cove, Hearne, Heath, Hebron, Hedwig Village, Helotes, Hewitt, Hickory Creek, High Island, Highland Park, Highland Village, Hill Country Village, Hillcrest, Hillsboro, Hilshire Village, Hitchcock, Holiday Lakes, Holland, Hollywood Park, Houston, Howe, Hubbard, Hudson Oaks, Humble, Hunters Creek Village, Hurst, Hutchins, Hutto, Iowa Colony, Irene, Irving, Italy, Itasca, Jacinto City, Jamaica Beach, Jarrell, Jersey Village, Jones Creek, Jonestown, Josephine, Joshua, Justin, Katy, Kaufman, Keene, Keller, Kemah, Kemp, Kendleton, Kennedale, Kerens, Killeen, Kirby, Knollwood, Kosse, Krugerville, Krum, Kurten, La Marque, La Porte, Lackland, Lacy-lakeview, Lago Vista, Lake Dallas, Lake Jackson, Lake Worth, Lakeside, Lakeway, Lakewood Village, Lancaster, Lavon, League City, Leander, Leander, Leon Valley, Leroy, Lewisville, Liberty Hill, Lincoln Park, Lindsay, Lipan, Little Elm, Little River-academy, Live Oak, Liverpool, Lone Oak, Lorena, Lott, Lowry Crossing, Lucas, Mabank, Macdona, Magnolia, Malone, Manor, Mansfield, Manvel, Marlin, Mart, Maypearl, Mcgregor, Mckinney, Mclendon-chisholm, Meadows Place, Melissa, Mertens, Mesquite, Mexia, Midlothian, Midlothian, Milano, Mildred, Milford, Millican, Millsap, Missourri City, Mobile City, Montgomery, Moody, Mount Calm, Muenster, Murphy, Mustang, Mustang Ridge, Nassau Bay, Navarro, Navasota, Needville, Nevada, New Braunfels, New Hope, Neylandville, Nolanville, North Loop, North Richland Hills, Northlake, Oak Grove, Oak Hill, Oak Leaf, Oak Point, Oak Ridge, Oak Ridge North, Oak Valley, Old Ocean, Olmos Park, Orchard, Otto, Ovilla, Oyster Creek, Palmer, Panorama Village, Pantego, Parker, Pasadena, Patton Village, Pearland, Pecan Hill, Pelican Bay, Pendleton, Penelope, Pflugerville, Pflugerville, Pilot Point, Piney Point Village, Plano, Pleak, Point, Point Venture, Ponder, Post Oak Bend City, Pottsboro, Powell, Princeton, Prosper, Quinlan, Quintana, Reagan, Red Oak, Reno, Retreat, Rice, Richardson, Richland, Richland Hills, Richmond, Richwood, Riesel, Rio Vista, River Oaks, Roanoke, Robinson, Rockdale, Rockwall, Rogers, Rollingwood, Roman Forest, Rosebud, Rosenberg, Rosharon, Ross, Rosser, Round Rock, Rowlett, Royse City, Sachse, Sadler, Saginaw, Saint Hedwig, Saint Paul, Salado, San Antonio, San Leanna, Sanctuary, Sanger, Sansom Park, Santa Fe, Schertz, Scurry, Seabrook, Seagoville, Selma, Shady Shores, Shavano Park, Shenandoah, Sherman, Shoreacres, Simonton, Somerset, South Houston, Southlake, Southmayd, Southside Place, Spice Wood, Splendora, Spring, Spring Branch, Spring Valley, Springtown, Stafford, Stagecoach, Sugarland, Sunnyvale, Sunset Valley, Surfside Beach, Sweeny, Talty, Taylor, Taylor Lake Village, Tehuacana, Temple, Terrell, Terrell Hills, Texas City, The Colony, The Hills, The Woodlands, Thompsons, Thorndale, Thornton, Thrall, Tiki Island, Timberwood Park, Tioga, Tolar, Tom Bean, Tomball, Trophy Club, Troy, Union Valley, Universal City, University 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