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Beavers

If you are reading this page, chances are you are currently very angry with a beaver.  Maybe they are flooding your property, or felling your trees, but whatever it is, they have really ticked you off.  We understand.  We know that they can cause some trouble for private landowners.  Before you decide to hate them completely though, let us tell you a few redeeming facts about the beaver.  Beavers have earned the nickname “Nature’s Engineers” for their amazing ability to build a dam that is completely water tight in under 24 hours.  If only we could hire these guys to work for the highway department!  They dam an area, flood it, and in turn end up providing necessary habitat for shorebirds, waterfowl, drinking water for mammals, soil for aquatic plant life, expanded areas for fish to feed, and incredible rebirth in lands that can really use it.  Right now, in Chernobyl, after the nuclear plant accident, the beaver’s return to the area is having an amazing effect.  Their dam efforts have allows the woods surrounding the nuclear plant to begin new again, and recover rapidly from their radioactive state.  These dams now support all kind of wildlife like bison, moose, wolves, waterfowl, eagles, mink, and many others.  The time that researchers expected to have to pass before this land was inhabitable again has been cut in half because of the beaver’s hard work.  Now, we know, this doesn’t change that the beaver on your land is making a big mess, but hopefully it will help you make the humane choice in resolving your conflict.

Beavers Building Dams and Flooding Areas

Beavers are attracted to the sound of running water, and they attempt to dam the smallest possible crossway where there is running water.  This explains why they love your neighborhood culvert, or drain pipe.  Usually culverts are metal pipes that echo the sound of running water, making them even more attractive to our beaver friends.  Add to this the fact that a culvert’s width is minimal in comparison to the neck of a river and it makes for the perfect dam site – for the beavers, probably not for you or your neighborhood.  The first step to handling a beaver conflict is knowing to not attempt to tear down the damming materials yourself.  Dam sites are thick with brush and often contain water moccasins, and possibly other venomous snakes.  Also, you’ll never win the battle with these construction geniuses.  You can spend 12 hours removing a dam, and a beaver can rebuild it in 2 hours the next day.  The only successful, humane solution to a beaver problem is a dam deterrent.  There are many different plans and resources available online to assist you in building a dam deterrent.

We personally like ‘Beaver Solutions”
Or Use the Step by Step Guide listed at Wildlife.org
To see a ‘Beaver Deceiver’ dam deterrent at work, watch this video

*Due to the immeasurable service that beavers provide for our ecosystem, and the difficulty that many experience in removing beavers, the Bi-State Wildlife Hotline is happy to offer our services to residents who are experiencing a beaver related conflict.  If you are having trouble with local beavers, please give us a call at the hotline to discuss how we might be able to work together to do what is best for you and the animals.*

Why Pest Control Companies Don’t Work:

  • Beaver trapping does NOT work!  Where there is beaver habitat, there WILL be beavers.
  • Relocating beavers is extremely difficult and most pest control companies will not do so.
  • Pest Control companies DROWN beavers after them being trapped.  Beavers are physically incapable of drowning and actually slowly asphyxiate.
  • It can take up to THIRTY FIVE MINUTES for a beaver to “drown” before they asphyxiate and die.  This is NOT a humane death.

Beaver Tree Damage

Beavers do not stray far from their water source and home.  Because of this, you can focus your effort on the trees that surround the damming area instead of treating the whole neighborhood.  The simplest solution for tree damage is to install tree guard fencing at the base of the tree.  You can purchase metal wire, chicken wire, or even chain link and install around the trunk of trees,  Beavers do not climb, nor dig under the tree guard making this a very effective solution.
Another option is to mix exterior latex paint with Mason sand (30 or 70ml).  The recipe is 5 ounces of sand to 1 quart of paint.  Mix and ‘paint’ the trunks of trees that beavers are targeting.  This can be effective in deterring beavers from chewing on the trees that are treated.  However, it has to be applied often and liberally, and rain can wash it away fairly quickly.  The abrasive paint option is a much more temporary solution than fencing your trees’ trunks.
There is another product called Tree Guard that is available at Home & Garden stores as well.  It is a spray that you treat the bottom of the trees with, but it has to reapplied often.

I found a baby beaver!

We have created an entirely separate special page for baby beavers, also called kits.  If you have truly found a baby, please refer to this page, or call the hotline for assistance as soon as possible.

All About Beavers

Beavers give birth to their young in the Midwest early in the year – usually January and February.  Beavers are one of the few animals who truly are monogamous.  If Mom and Dad ever dies, the other mate will go for the rest of  their lives without mating again.  They mate for life, and don’t seem to believe in divorce.  In this same manner, beaver children grow up and move out of their parent’s den, but only move a bit downriver, never completely leaving their family behind.  They keep in touch with Mom & Dad.  Sometimes during particularly harsh weather, studies have shown that the older kids will actually come back to their parents den to help out during the hard winter.  They are very family oriented.  They are quite possibly the cutest little things you will ever lay eyes on.  With their perpetual upturned mouth in a smile, and fuzzy softball appearance, there aren’t many people who won’t fall in love immediately.  Baby beavers stay with Mom for the first 8-12 weeks, and Dad actually moves into a nearby den to leave Mom and kids alone.  When Mom is ready to wean them, she moves next door and Dad takes over.  Being that Dad doesn’t have milk for them, the kids have to learn to eat grasses, plants, and other aquatic plant life to fill their bellies.  Beaver children end up living with their parents for two years or more before moving out on their own.  Because of this extremely long ‘childhood’ beavers make for very difficult and expensive rehab patients.  Local wildlife rehab centers end up having to keep and feed baby beavers for a year or more.  Between the cost of food for they young, water and wood for creating habitat, and just plain time and space, they can drain a rehab center’s budget very quickly.  If you see a small baby beaver alone on shore, or in the water, for an extended period of time without Mom or Dad anywhere near, give us a call at the Hotline for instructions, or view our page specifically detailed for baby beavers, here.
If you do find a baby beaver that needs assistance, please try to keep in mind that no matter which rehab center takes in this precious baby, it will prove to be a serious strain on that center.  Please remember to donate to help with the costs associated, and try to get your neighbors involved too!  Who could say no to this face?
As always, if you are having trouble solving a conflict with beavers, please feel free to call us @ 636-492-1610 to discuss further.