How to Get Rid of Beaver
How to get rid of beaver (Castor canadensis), its the question that many frustrated land owners ask. Beaver are beneficial to the environment as they create wetland habitats for many other species. However they can be very destructive as well and then effective beaver control becomes necessary.
There are many solutions as to how to get rid of beaver but first, for those who are seeking more information and new to the beaver problem, lets back up a bit.
Beaver are large sized destructive rodents. Yes they are rodents and they commonly live in low lying wetlands. Weighing as much as 65 pounds they are the largest rodent in the United States. Some beaver have been reported over 75 pounds!
Beaver populations have increased vastly over the last few years due to the decline in the fur trade. This is what is leading to the increased damage problems nation wide.
You will find beaver around lakes, streams, ponds and marches and they are quite adaptable to the environment. They often venture into residential areas and that is where the trouble begins.
Beaver will cut down fruit trees, landscape shrubs and block drainage such as culverts and narrow bridge underpasses. If they are cutting close to your home then you are in danger of falling trees. Beaver will not always cut a tree entirely but leave it sitting on a dying stump that will eventually give way.
If you have beaver near your residence you will eventually incur damages. There is pretty much no way around it if you do not take preventive measures for beaver control.
If you are not sure if its a beave then finding out will be simple. Search the property well including nearby properties. Look for beaver chews (shown below). Dams are a sure sign and you cant miss those.
In the image (left if you are on PC, above if on mobile) is typical damage caused by beaver. This was in a homeowners yard and destroyed a valuable landscape resource. The loss of this tree would be devastating to a home owner who values the aesthetics of their yard.
The cost of replacing such trees is either years of regrowth or thousands of dollars to have mature trees replanted. This is why beaver control is critical to any home / land owner.
As you can see from the images above, beaver can cause life threatening dangers as well. When beaver dams break they can cause sudden rapid flash flooding that can be a risk to life and property.
If you live downstream from a beaver dam, it is just a matter of time before you will encounter this situation. Most locations below a beaver dam are already saturated by drain waters. When the dam breaks, the water can not be absorbed by the soil so it simply runs down stream in an even more rapid pace that normal.
Preventing Beaver Damage
When asked how to get rid of beaver, we often have a long lengthy discussion with a client because about beaver control measures. There really there is no simple answer. It will vary for every site. Preventing beaver damage can be simple or very very complicated.
One of the simple methods is to install protective wire mesh around your trees. If you catch the damage in time you can save the tree. This really the only preventive measure that is effective.
Some folks don’t like the look of the mesh but if you decorate it up with some affordable false greenery you can actually make it look quite pleasant.
The next option for beaver control is trapping. Large beaver cages are very costly often in the range of $300.00 so if you go this route expect to pay at least that much. Often beaver removal jobs are costly because of the difficulty. Beaver are very intelligent and therefore very hard at times to catch.
Cages require monitoring every 24 hours by ADCO’s and at least every 36 hours by land owners. This means time and time is money. The big question however is how much will it cost you if you donot to fix the problem?
The next option for beaver control is the use of foothold traps. Many homeowners and animal lovers do not like these however there is a myth associated with these traps. That myth being that these traps break bones. This is very untrue, in fact we have put our hands in these traps just to prove otherwise.
The truth is that these traps may be needed for effective beaver control. Some beaver simply will not enter a cage. The landowner has to come to a conclusion then, either use this method or find a way to co-exists with beaver.
Some land owners may wish to employ the use of snares for beaver control measures. This is often less expensive and allows for the beaver to be captured alive and relocated. Snares must be checked as often as traps, every 24-36 hours.
Beaver Control Repellents
There are several repellents you can use however its been shown that these are short term. Natures Defense is a good choice repellent consisting of Cinnamon and Garlic. 22 ounces will cover 3500 sqf.
It should be noted that this degrades over time and will require repeated applications. At $24.99 on average it will begin to add up adding it twice per week. It will also repel cats so for some home owners that is not an option.
The plus side of Natures Defense is that it is versatile as it can be used on gardens to repel rabbits, deer, moles, rats, mice, raccoon, woodchucks and so many more. Its not harmful to wildlife and safe to use on plants.
These are just a few suggestion for implementing beaver control on your property. The bottom line is really mitigation of damage or beaver removal. That means either finding a way to keep them off the trees or trapping them out.
I am sure you are wondering what the cost of beaver control might be. Well this is where most homeowners cringe. The price varies from $400 to $1000 with a national average of $500 for consultation, trap setup, trapping and relocation of two beaver. A single beaver may run about $300 to $350 for trap and remove. Bear in mind that distance adds cost. The ADCO will need to check traps every 24 hours.
Yes the price for beaver control is steep but consider that the cost of a landscaping tree ranges from $25 for a small 3-4 foot tree and over $120 for a large 5-6 foot tree. A single beaver can cut down 10 landscaping trees in the blink of an eye. Consider flooding, if a beaver causes your driveway to flood washing out a culvert, you are looking at over $1,000 to have this repaired.
You will also need to consider that this is a wild animal, there is never a guarantee that this animal will be caught and surely no definitive time frame. It may take one day and it may take four weeks. We have seen seasoned professional trappers chase a beaver for weeks. This is just the nature of the game. Beaver have not survived this long and become so prevalent because they lack intelligence, they did so because they are super smart and highly adaptive.
The bottom line is this, can you afford to NOT have them removed. If the damage cost is low, then maybe viewing the wildlife is a benefit, but if that cost of damage is high, it will only continue to compound until they are gone.
If you are located in East Tennessee and in need of beaver control services, please reach out to us. One of our technicians will give you a call. Below is a map of our service area. If you can not locate an ADCO in your area, give us a call, we may be able to venture outside our neck of the woods !