Beavers are energetic and industrious creatures. They know how to survive and thrive in wetland environments; however, their activities tend to be destructive. That being said, if you have beavers in your pond, you’ll need to create a plan to remove them quickly.
To help you get started, let’s break down methods and tips for how to get rid of beavers in a pond.
Identifying Signs of Beavers in a Pond
Beavers build dams that deepen watercourses – allowing them to create lodges where they live and store food. Beavers are primarily active at night when most human activity ceases. To look for signs of their work during the day, check for:
- Gnawed trees around your pond or teeth marks on teeth marks on trees and branches
- Burrows into the shoreline or bank
- Piles of sticks and debris along the shoreline
- Mud or sticks packed around or inside risers
What Problems Do Beavers Cause
Beaver dams can be detrimental to a pond area. They are highly skilled at sensing water movement and will try to clog up any such place. This can lead to the following issues:
- The clogging of risers, which will cause the pond to maintain an above-normal water level which will damage it
- The clogging of risers and pipes, which significantly increases the risk of flooding
- The burrowing into banks, which causes shoreline erosion and can lead to embankment collapse
- The destruction of trees, some of which may fall into the pond and cause further clogging issues
As an added issue, beaver dams can look unsightly and ruin the aesthetic of your pond. And keep in mind, beaver dams aren’t always contained to one small area of your pond. In some cases, beaver dams can be up to 10 feet tall and over 1600 feet wide.
How to Get Rid of Beavers in a Pond
If you have beavers in your pond, the question then becomes: how to get rid of beavers? Or, more to the point, how do you get rid of beavers naturally?
The best way to get rid of beavers in your pond is to prevent them from building dams. Beavers will not stay where it is impossible to build lodges.
Laws on killing beavers vary from state to state, and even so, it is almost always not necessary to remove the beavers by killing them. Instead, you can forcefully drive beavers away from your pond using the following methods:
1. Use sprays and repellents
Like other wild animals, beavers have a highly attuned sense of smell. They are attracted to and repelled by certain scents. Spraying the area around your pond with something that does not smell good may make them move on. However, make sure you purchase a spray specifically designed to ward off beavers to prevent unnecessary harm to the creatures.
Keep in mind, even if you do find a spray that successfully drives off the beavers without harming them, it will eventually wear off and you will need to re-spray or find a more permanent method.
2. Build a fence around the pond
Beavers are semi-aquatic animals. They cannot live permanently in water. They need to forage for supplies and food on dry land. The beavers will move on if you build a barrier between your pond and its shore.
You can do this by building a trapezoidal chain link fence. If the metal is strong enough, the beavers will be unable to chew through or scale it. The only downside to this solution is that the fence can rust in winter, so you will need to remove them when necessary.
If you have discovered a tunnel or pipe through which beavers travel, you can block it with a mesh protector. This is one of the best ways to stop beavers from building dams.
3. Use trunk guards
If you find it difficult to lay down fencing around your pond, you should consider fencing the tree trunks nearest your pond. If beavers can’t get the wood they need for their dams, they will move to another area.
The easiest way to do this is to create galvanized welded wire fences around three feet high. This will be high enough to prevent beavers from scaling it while allowing you access to the rest of the tree.
Preventing beavers from building dams is the best way to destroy a beaver lodge, and it is the best way to get rid of beavers. If you can get beavers to move, then you can resolve your beaver problem without requiring manual trapping and removal.
4. Live trapping
It is legal to trap a beaver and release them in another location. When selecting a trap, you should go for something that is exceptionally large and strong. A galvanized 12-gauge wire cage should do the trick.
Beaver trapping requires a great deal of patience and cunning. Here are some tips to help you out:
- Determine the beavers’ travel path and find a level spot for the trap along it
- Use polar twigs to bait the trap
- Set the trap before dusk and face it toward the pond
- Once you have captured the animal, put on rubber gloves to handle the cage
- Transport the beaver to another location (like a beaver sanctuary)
You should check your traps often to ensure that any beaver you capture is not made to suffer. Before using this method, you should also find out what the law in your area says about beaver trapping. This is one of the best ways to get rid of beavers without killing them.
5. Dismantle dams and lodges
The law varies from state to state on whether it is legal to remove a beaver dam.
If you can legally destroy a beaver dam, you should consider exercising this option, as it is another way to get rid of beavers naturally. Breaking down beaver dams and lodges will make it more difficult for them to return.
If you spot a beaver lodge or dam, you can easily destroy the creation with a heavy object (just make sure you don’t hurt any beavers in the process). If you spot the building materials used to make these structures, you can use a wood chipper to destroy them.
Keep in mind that beavers are persistent creatures who have been known to rebuild dams and lodges overnight. You may need to repeat this destructive sequence daily until they relocate permanently. Do not assume that beavers have left the property after you have taken this action. You will need to check daily for at least a month to determine whether they have left.
6. Call a professional
Another way to get rid of beavers in your pond is to call a beaver removal professional that specializes in pond and lake management. An expert will know the best way to get rid of beavers. They will have the tools, knowledge, and insight to complete this task and will be able to do so in conformity with local laws.
The best way to rid yourself of beavers is to deprive them of the water or trees they need to build their dams and lodges. If you’re unsure of how to do this yourself or have tried these methods with no success, reach out to a professional.
PondMedics is an engineered water solutions company that offers beaver control and removal services. If you need help reclaiming your pond from pesky beavers, reach out to PondMedics online.