The Q&A Archives: Porcupines Eating Raspberry Canes

Question: We have a porcupine-eating-the-raspberry-canes problem. Do you have any information on how best to deal with this?

Answer: It's one thing if they eat a few fruit, but to eat the whole cane...that robs you of the whole crop! You can try to prevent further damage with a "woodchuck fence." Use chicken wire and metal posts fo build a fence that stands 3 feet tall, with the following modifications to increase its effectiveness: If possible, use a 6-foot wide mesh, and bend 12 to 18" outward slightly at the bottom, then bury this in the soil. Attach the above-ground portion to the stakes to a height of about 3", then let the remainder--1 1/2 - 2 feet--extend above the posts and bend it outward as well. When the porcupine attempts to climb over it, he'll find himself flopped upside down because he's so heavy! You may not have to plant the fence in the ground -- porcupines are more climbers than diggers.

I'm not sure if blood meal deters porcupines -- check with your county game warden for confirmation. If s/he confirms that it will work, just dust the canes and the ground around them with the substance. It's easier than building a fence, and adds nitrogen to the soil, too. Hope this helps!

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