Telling the Difference between Porcupines and Hedgehogs

Though they’re both known for their unique spines or quills, a porcupine and a hedgehog are actually quite different. Both are mammals, but porcupines are rodents and hedgehogs are closely related to shrews.

Hedgehogs:

Hedgehogs are not native to North America, mostly finding homes in the United States as exotic pets.

Porcupines:

Porcupines can be found throughout the northern and western portions of the country, usually in forested areas. They make their dens in hollowed out trees or rocky outcroppings and are adept climbers.

Porcupine vs. Hedgehog Problems

Hedgehogs:

Hedgehogs will feed on grass but eat mostly insects, roots, and sometimes even smaller mammals.

Porcupines:

One of the main differences between a porcupine and a hedgehog is that porcupines can actually cause conflict with humans. In addition to their prickly quills inflicting harm, the pests wreak havoc with their eating habits.

When porcupines feed on bark, they can stunt the growth of trees, affecting the plants’ value and health. Additionally, the pests have an unchecked desire for salt. This leads porcupines to chew on:

  • Houses
  • Cars
  • Anything with salt residue

Effective Control and Removal

Hedgehogs:

As they are not native to the U.S., hedgehogs are seldom a problem for homeowners. In the rare case that a pet is released into the wild, they may become pests over time.

Porcupines:

Wild porcupines often enter yards in search of food or shelter, leading to dangerous encounters with family pets. To avoid issues with porcupines, contact the professionals at Trutech.