Porcupines are slow-moving, nocturnal rodents that often hide in trees and thick undergrowth. Porcupine fur is black, white, and gray with a distinctive, spikey appearance due to the thousands of quills that cover their bodies.
Unique Coats of Fur
A porcupine has three types of hair:
- Underfur - This is the bottom layer, comprised of heavy, dark hair that keeps the animal warm. Their most vulnerable spot is the exposed underfur on their stomachs.
- Guard Hairs - These long, rough strands grow atop the underfur. They serve as a shield, protecting sensitive areas on the back and tail.
- Quills - Sharp, hollow, and durable, porcupine quills cover most of the animal's body and are a natural defense against attackers.
Can Porcupines Shoot their Quills?
A lot of mystery surrounds this strange defense mechanism, including whet her porcupines can launch their quills at enemies. While porcupines don't shoot quills, these spikes detach easily when predators attempt to bite or pounce.
When quills embed in the skin, they work their way deeper over time and could rupture internal organs if not removed. This makes them an excellent deterrent for coyotes, foxes, and owls.
Dealing with Porcupines
Conifer trees are a favorite hiding spot for porcupines. Nuts and berries can also bring the pests into yards, and they love chewing on car tires . While porcupines don't shoot quills, the ir spikes can puncture skin with the slightest touch. For this reason, it's safest to call Critter Control for efficient wildlife removal services at the first sign of a porcupine problem.