As the old saying goes, looks can be deceiving. This is particularly true when it comes to muskrats. Despite their seemingly harmless appearance, these semi-aquatic creatures can make a wreck of your property.
While commonly found in marshy territories near bodies of water, muskrats are equally adept at making a comfortable home in your backyard if you live on a pond or lake. Their most striking and destructive feature? An unparalleled ability to burrow elaborate tunnel networks, resulting in significant damage to embankments, levees, and retention pond banks.
Muskrats are industrious creatures, but their burrowing habits can lead to extensive property damage. Structural instability can result when they burrow into banks and levees, leading to collapses and potentially flooding. Moreover, their dietary habits can pose a threat to the local flora and fauna, as well as agricultural crops, crayfish, mussels, and other aquaculture products.
Muskrats can also carry diseases that include tularemia – a bacterial disease transmitted through contaminated water, infected meat, or an open cut – and should not be handled or trapped by anyone other than professional wildlife management.
When cornered or caught, muskrats can become aggressive and attempt to bite or claw their way free. While they rarely attack unprovoked, it is best to give these wild creatures space until you have consulted with a muskrat management expert.
Spotting the Signs: Is it a Muskrat?
Before jumping to conclusions, it’s important to be sure that a muskrat is your culprit. Here are two signs that muskrats may be digging in on your property:
Muskrats primarily feed on aquatic plants, cattails, and farm and garden crops. Signs of damage include chew marks as well as partially eaten vegetation.
Burrows in the Banks
Muskrats typically dig dens in steep banks or construct dome-shaped lodges in open water. Signs can also include burrow entrances, erosions, and cave-ins near shorelines.
Effective Muskrat Management Strategies
Proper muskrat management is crucial to prevent extensive damage. Rusty’s Animal Control recommends the following methods:
- Habitat Modification: Alter the habitat to make it less attractive to muskrats. This may include reducing vegetation near water sources.
- Trapping: Trapping is a common and effective method for muskrat removal. Hire a professional to place live traps designed for humane capture, and ensure traps are checked regularly.
Calling in the Cavalry: Rusty’s Animal Control
While muskrats are an important part of native ecosystems, their presence on your property can become problematic, requiring intervention to prevent ongoing damage.
Attempting to manage a muskrat problem on your own can be challenging, time-consuming, and even dangerous. The good news is – you don’t have to do it alone. With decades of experience in wildlife management and removal, Rusty’s Animal Control is here to help.
Our trained and licensed professionals are experienced in safe and humane muskrat removal practices. We can identify signs of muskrat presence, remove these creatures in a manner that is safe for both the animals and your property, and then work with you to create an environment that deters future muskrat infestations.
Don’t wait for the muskrats to take over. Reclaim your property with Rusty’s Animal Control. Contact a member of our team to learn more about our services for muskrat management.