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Wildlife Damage Control/Porcupines eating the cottage


Hello, I have a porcupine problem at my cottage in Ontario, Canada. I go outside when I hear them chewing on the cottage but they just keep coming back. What can I do to deter them from eating wood from my cottage? I have tried wasp killer spray because of the bad taste and wire mesh around the base but they just chew threw it.

Forget the wasp spray and any other pesticide or repellent that is not labelled for the control of the target species. Use of a pesticide/repellent in a manner inconsistent with the label is a violation of environmental law both in Canada and the U.S.

You didn't say what the gauge of screen you were using. Clearly, a heavier gauge is needed or switch to aluminum flashing.

Trapping can be accomplished and is effective. Details on trapping can be found at For control information visit
Animal Disposal If you decide to trap, donít assume that translocation is humane or necessarily legal in your state.  to learn why. To learn how to dispose of the carcass visit

DO NOT begin trapping unless you are ready and competent to handle a skunk. Details on handling a skunk can be found at  

Follow all provincial rules on trapping and killing of wildlife.

We are always looking for images (if you can safely take them) of wildlife damage to help us in our educational mission. We prefer high resolution, (3 mg or higher). Send to  

Please include permission to use the images and where and when the photos were taken. Month/year is fine as is county or city and state.

Disclaimer: As with any activity, remember that animal damage control comes with its own risks and problems which can include but are not limited to legalities, health threats, and personal liabilities. Be sure to follow all state laws governing wildlife and make sure you have a thorough understanding on how to resolve the animal damage complaint. My advice is only as good as your understanding of me and my understanding of your situation. If you have any questions be sure to write back.  

Wildlife Damage Control

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Stephen M. Vantassel


I can assist the public in responding to all kinds of wildlife related problems in the United States and Canada, including birds, mice, rats, skunks, raccoons, beavers, opossums, voles, moles, chipmunks, woodchucks, pocket gophers, and more. Please note that I specialize in vertebrates only, (animals with a backbone). While learning about insects, other experts should be consulted with insect questions. My passion is wildlife damage identification, for if you don't know what animal is causing the problem, you can't begin to resolve it responsibly. My latest book is the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook 3rd edition (2012). It is available at my site or by visiting my various vendors. (A simple internet search on the book's title will bring you to them).


I was a full time animal damage controller for over 5 years and a part-time animal damage controller for over 10. I have been a volunteer for for over 5 years under the Pest Control Category, when they graciously created a new category that better suited my experience (I don't answer bug questions). I was a licensed animal controller in both Massachusetts, Connecticut and Nebraska. I presently run the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and

National Wildlife Control Operators Association, Community Integrated Pest Management group at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

I have published multiple books, including The Wildlife Removal Handbook rev. ed. and the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook 3rd ed. Additionally, I have written dozens of articles which have appeared in Wildlife Control Technology Magazine, Fur-Fish & Game, The Trapper, The Fur Taker, The Probe, and others. I have co-authored wildlife related publications for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension program and was responsible for revising the handbook designed for the Pest Controllers looking to obtain their category 14 license.

I was a trapper education instructor for the state of Massachusetts, and have attended a variety of conferences and trainings, including but not limited to Vertebrate Pest Conference, Wildlife Damage Management Conference, National Wildlife Control Association national conference, Wildlife Control Technology Conference. I have not only attended these meetings but have also been privileged to have been a speaker. I have received the National Wildlife Control Operators Association Educator of the Year Award in 2008 and 2012.

Awards and Honors
Certified Wildlife Control Operator (2001), Academy Certified Professional (2008), Master NWCOA Instructor (2012)

Past/Present Clients
I have helped thousands of people around the U. S. through my work at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Wildlife Control Consultant. Specific tasks include: Ghost writing, Research, Expert Witness, Writing Training Manuals, Public speaking at Conferences, Workshops, and Trainings

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