Beavers are determined, methodical workers, and an area near your home that was fine can be flooded a day later from the dams created by these large rodents. Most people don’t know they have a beaver problem until it’s too late. One family ground of beavers can strip and removed trees overnight, build a lodge and a dam, and create a pond out of what used to be a free-flowing stream. Though beavers are an incredible help to nature—creating wetlands and habitats for other animals—they are often a nuisance to people due to flooding issues. Tree damage is often a secondary concern for property owners. A family of beavers will eat the bark of trees and drag small saplings into the lodge for storage. Removal of trees around embankments can cause erosion and can add to flooding concerns. In rare instances, beavers have been known to spread a protozoan called giardia though water supplies. No matter what the reason for removal, a nuisance beaver should be handled by someone with knowledge and experience in the field.
To get rid of a beaver, you need to know if you are dealing with a solitary creature or if there is a family of beavers living in the lodge. This shouldn’t be too difficult to ascertain. All members of the beaver group will be active and put to a task, so if one is out, chances are you will see the others as well. Once you know how many beavers you are dealing with, your only option is to trap them. There are no repellents or poisons available for beavers. Poisons are especially cautioned against (there are no approved brands) because beavers live in and near the water. Poisoning a beaver may result in the inadvertent poisoning of other wild and domestic animals or people. Beavers must be trapped and removed.
Trapping beavers is not for the faint of heart, nor for the inexperienced. Beavers are among the nuisance animals known to be very intelligent. If a trap is set inappropriately, the beaver will forever avoid it. Setting beaver traps is also difficult and takes a good amount of precision and diligence.
The first step is to select the type of trap you want to use. The most common traps are connibear body-gripping traps and clamshell traps, though some people still use leg holds and drowning snares. Regardless of the type of trap you select, you will need to settle on a good location. Beaver runs are not hard to find. There are usually a number of patted down passages near the lodge that can be used. Some traps are best set in the water or near the urine-marked puddles beavers use to define territories. This is when experience is helpful. Once you have selected your spot, bait the trap with castor scent from another beaver. Beavers recognize one another by scent, and a familiar or foreign smell will attract attention. Castor scent is used primarily in live traps. Lethal traps are not usually baited and are set along trails and waterways.
No matter what you do, do not destroy the beaver dam until you have captured all the beavers. The dam and lodge are the main structures of the beaver habitat and the animals are constantly aware of them. If you remove a beaver dam and not the beaver, the dam will be rebuilt in less than a day, resulting in more tree damage and an ultimate waste of your time. No reconstruction of the property can take place until all the nuisance rodents have been removed.
Keep in mind that beaver ponds do serve a purpose in nature, and if possible should be left alone. Birds, fish, turtles and a host of other swamp lovers depend on the habitat created by the industrious beaver. Only if flooding issues or severe tree and property damage occur should a beaver population be removed.
I wrote this website to provide beaver information in the case that you have
a beaver problem and need to make an informed decision about what to do. If you
have any additional questions you may email me, but I do know from experience
that beaver removal is not simple. If you need professional help solving your
wildlife conflict, I recommend that you talk to a professional beaver
control expert in your town by clicking on my National Wildlife Control
directory, which lists experts who I recommend in every USA city and town who can
help you with your beaver issue.