Beaver Control - The Humane Way
Beavers can be beneficial but they can be destructive too.
Proper beaver control can be a very important wildlife management tool if you live in areas where beavers can become a problem, this includes homes with neighboring creeks and ponds, farms where proper irrigation is key, even luxury vacation homes.
Getting rid of beavers is a common request. Traditional beaver control methods such as using beaver traps for beaver trapping won't solve your problem for long, trap one and other beavers will quickly move in to fill the void - you'll find yourself beaver trapping repeatedly again and again.
When discussing humane wildlife management methods it is important to remember that wildlife basically wants three things from their environment - food, water and shelter.
Take away their food and shelter, and they will move on to greener pastures. In the case of beavers, wood and trees are not only their shelter, but also their food. You can make your property less appealing to beavers by controlling the food source - by smarter tree management methods.
If you are concerned about current or potential beaver issues, one of the first things you can do is take a look at your property's tree scape. Beavers tend to prefer faster growing tree varieties such as poplar, willow, cottonwood and alder. They also tend to go after trees within five yards of their shoreline habitat.
While beavers prefer certain trees, they do not necessarily take them in order of preference. When planting trees along a shoreline, consider less palatable varieties, such as spruces in the eastern U.S. and cascara in the West, and plant them ten yards or more from the shore when possible. Cylindrical tree cages are the best way to protect valuable shoreline trees already in place that you do not want to remove. It is important to point out that you do not want to use chicken wire to construct your tree cage, instead use 19 gauge hardware cloth or sturdy 2 by 4 welded wire fencing. You can paint your hardware cloth with a flat brown spray paint to make it blend in with surroundings. When the time comes to install the cage, encircle the trunk, leaving a space of about six inches between the tree and the wire - this is very important to allow the tree room to grow. On one end of the cage, bend every other horizontal wire into hooks to connect with the other side.
Do beavers chew down pine trees?
Yes! We beaver-proofed all of the trees for this Broken Arrow HOA after they lost several trees, including 3 pine trees that were chewed down, leaving 1' stubs. Note how large these beaver wraps are.
They may appear over-sized, but when the wind blows they still sway and touch the sides. This allows room for growth. Generally, wrap up to 4' and leave enough room to place 2 fists in between the tree and the welded wire. Trapping companies could not catch the beaver, even if they did, the trees still need protection from the next beavers that come along. Call The Wildlife Whisperer to beaver wrap your trees - the cost to remove a large beaver chewed tree can easily cost over $1000. We can beaver wrap your trees and save you a lot of money in a short period of time.
Painting trees is one of the newer tree related beaver control methods practiced today, but wrapping a tree will always protect a tree much better and much longer for a lot less work.
When utilizing the painting method, mature tree trunks are coated with a mixture of sand and paint to help prevent gnawing.
For aesthetic purposes, the paint can be color-coded to match the trees. Your local paint store can color match exterior paint to the color of your trees if you bring them a 6″ piece of the bark.
Trees should only be painted about four feet high and young trees should not be painted at all. Instead, you can use the tree cages described above to protect trees too young to be painted. The paint used on your trees should be a specific mixture of sand to paint.
Paint Formula: Use 32 ounces (4 cups) of sand to one gallon of outdoor latex paint and stir often while painting. This is important because too much sand will cause the mixture to roll off the tree. Also, make only small batches at a time, only as much as you can apply on that one day. If you plan to use a gallon of paint, have one gallon custom mixed. Pour ½ of it into a spare, new gallon paint bucket from the store. Add 2 cups of sand to each gallon can, and have them mixed it in their shaker machines. Do not use your favorite expensive paint brush, because this sand formula is rough on brushes. Instead, buy a large, thick paint brush just for this special tree project and clean it well between jobs.
Beavers Damming Up Culverts And Flooding Roads
Trapezoidal culvert protection, if installed properly, will eliminate beaver damming of culverts of all sizes. Every culvert project will be different, but these devices will allow you to spend less money than repeatedly trapping beavers every year. The maintenance on a properly designed culvert protection fence is minimal - three to four times a year removing some sticks and leaves that have floated up against the fence is all it takes.
Beavers love clogging culverts at the inlet and wherever the sound of water is. If the beavers try to dam against the trapezoidal culvert protection at the culvert inlet, the angle of the fence directs them farther away from the culvert, frustrating them and discourages dam making.
Beavers Flooding Ponds, Streams And Creeks
Beavers enjoy flooding ponds, streams and creeks to make it easier for them to move around and collect food. When flooding from a beaver dam causes issues, a pond leveling pipe system is a great long term solution.
These beaver pipe systems create a permanent flow of water through the beaver dam that the beavers cannot stop. This system, combined with tree protection and sometimes also the culvert protection will eliminate the need for repeated expensive beaver trapping.
Every system is custom designed for each unique situation, but basically, it is designed so that beavers cannot detect the flow of water into the pipe, therefore they do not try to dam it up, allowing you to maintain the proper water level, and in some cases, be able to control the depth of the water when you want to. The water depth must be at least three feet in order to work in most cases. The height of the pipe in the dam or culvert determines the new water level.
Beaver Harassment And Eviction
We have never found a beaver issue that we could not take care of with long term results yet. The most labor intensive beaver family evictions are those that involve beavers tunneling and living in a mud bank or on the side of a man-made pond dam. Regardless, our non-traditional beaver removal methods do work and do provide long term solutions... beaver trappers do not call it the "never ending beaver battle" for nothing... The Wildlife Whisperer knows how to end the battle.
Beaver prevention is a must, even if you decide to trap the beavers. Let's pretend we have a magic wand we can waive and make all of the beaver go away. Others will eventually take their place. Overnight, they can take down trees you want to keep. In short, even if you have a pond leveling or culvert protection device installed or have them repelled or trapped, you still need to wrap or paint your trees. This does not need to be ugly, but it does need to be done. Use beaver to your advantage - let them clear out the brush and other scrub tress you do not want and protect all the others within 30 feet of the water.
Fencing And Electric Wire
Low fencing around groups of trees can sometimes prove helpful as a means of beaver control. For beaver management purposes, fencing does not normally need to surround the entire stand, because the beavers are mainly worried about being separated from the water, you can sometimes leave the fencing open on the end farthest from the shoreline. Just the same, you will want to have the fence fit tightly to the ground and trail each end toward the water creating a barrier between the water and the trees. Monitor your beaver fence often in the beginning for burrowing. If digging occurs, two concrete blocks tied together can be used to block the tunnel. An electrified wire strung 4-6″ off the ground can serve the same purpose as a low fence. Many farm and ranch stores carry solar powered energy sources and electric fencing supplies that can be very useful for beaver control in remote locations without electricity.
Other Humane Methods
Depending upon your unique situation and property layout, there are other humane beaver control methods that you may wish to try, ranging from the simple to the more complex. For instance, habitat modification can often make a big difference. Sometimes it is simply a matter of eliminating the sound of running water on your property. This is because beavers are attracted to the sound of running water. Eliminate the sound and beavers will not be as tempted to fulfill their natural, irresistible instinct to block the water flow with dams. Another habitat modification that might help is the application of simple pond leveling systems. These systems can be made out of common wire grids and inexpensive PVC. They work by draining water to the other side of the beaver lodge, which allows the beavers to do what they want – without having to remove dams which would otherwise flood properties, roads and homes. Another management method is the beaver deceiver, a kind of in-the-water setup designed to allow beavers to build dams in undesirable locations without flooding surrounding areas.
We have not seen a beaver issue we could not take care of with long term results. Quit paying a trapper to trap and kill your beaver every time you turn around. We can give you long term results.
The Wildlife Whisperer Knows What To Do
As with many wildlife issues, each situation and solution will be very unique. Consequently, there are countless methods that can be utilized and the advice of a knowledgeable, humane practices wildlife control professional is always preferential. The professionals at the Wildlife Whisperer can help solve your beaver control problems the humane way - without harming, killing or trapping the beaver. We offer consultation services, beaver prevention planning for homes, properties and developments, pond alterations, beaver deceivers, painting, tree cages and more.
The Beavers Wetlands And Wildlife Website
A sizable portion of the material in our beaver section is based on the insightful and interesting to read information found on the BWW website – www.beaversww.org. The BWW is dedicated to humane, non-lethal beaver control methods and is very interesting to browse. It is full of information including incredible facts about beavers and ways to control beaver & human conflicts in a humane manner. They accurately describe their site as “created to help people live in harmony with beavers and other wildlife”.
Beavers - Dams, Lodges, Facts And Family Life
Effective beaver management begins with understanding the behavior, skills, instincts and reproductive habits of beavers. We've also got important information for you on the benefits and hazards that can result from beaver activity and the dams and lodges they build.
1242 SW Pine Island Rd., Suite 310
Cape Coral, Florida 33991-2126