Porcupine Munching Our Steps

I finally discovered what’s been munching the stain and the actual wood on the face of the bottom step of our front porch: A PORCUPINE! When I went to turn off the lights on the front porch, there was a rather large creature who turned to look up at me and then slowly lumbered away!

Damnedest thing…


Hi RetiredVermonter,

Porcupine seem to be selective in what they eat.

I had 3 pistache trees in our yard. When they were about 4 inches in diameter, a porkie stripped a lot of bark off of 2 of their trunks. They survived.

FF about 10 years: A porkie climbed one of the pistache and stripped most of the bark off of 8 branches, 3 to 4 inches in diameter, about 10 feet off the ground.

Another time, on the north side of our mountain (hill), a porkie stripped a mesquite that was about 7 feet tall from the ground level to where the branches were under 1 inch in diameter. Every bit of bark! There were hundreds of others that were not touched at all.

On our front porch, we had two 10 foot long planter boxes about 21 inches tall, I made them with treated 2x10’s and used 1x4’s to trim the top and corners. A porkie occasionally would give them a nibble. DW squirted them with fresh jalapeno juice and the porkie left them alone for many months.

All holdings and some statistics on my Fool profile page



I’ve been wondering about maybe spraying or painting the surfaces with a strong mixture of cayenne or hot pepper. Don’t really want to kill 'em, just send them away!

I’ll ask a neighbor or two what they did in this situation.


Porcupines like salt. (That’s why they sometimes chew on tires.)

Do you salt the steps in the winter?

Cayenne pepper steeped in boiling water, and then applied to the step after it cools should do the trick. Or Tabasco sauce.


Porcupines like salt. (That’s why they sometimes chew on tires.)

And axe handles that absorb salty sweat.

I wonder if setting up a salt lick would redirect their attention.

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porcupine teeth, like squirrels never stop growing. These critters have to chew on stuff to grind their teeth down. I doubt a salt like is going to help much.


Wondered about cayenne. Thanks. I’ll try that.


If you want to discourage wildlife from chewing on your wood, mix a gram or two of Denatonium Benzoate (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denatonium ) into your paint/stain before putting it on the wood. It can be found at https://www.amazon.com/Denatonium-Benzoate-Power-Grown-3734-… .