If you're seeing erosion or water seepage, muskrats may be the reason. You can guard against this by making sure your dog is up to date on his rabies vaccinations. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); How to Get Rid of Muskrats and Keep Them Away? Muskrats will merrily go around and eat aquatic flora like water lillies, cattails etc. Putting up a fence can deter these pests from their prize. Powered by Coalmarch, IMPORTANT MESSAGE: Coronavirus, Our Message to Our Customers, Food Processing & Pharmaceutical Facilities, Top 5 Reasons You Do Not Want Muskrats On Your Property. There are traps designed for this purpose. This damage causes washouts that are dangerous for properties downstream. [Below: In 2011, Respect for Animals conducted an undercover investigation into trapping in the US. So, it’s wise for you not to trap them on your own. While they are typically aggressive towards animals, they are also known to attack humans, and if your children like … Shooting In some states, it is legal to shoot muskrats. For humane traps, you have the responsibility of releasing them as far away as possible. Chances are there that muskrats can spread the rabies to kids, if left untreated. 8- Seek the help of a professional trapper. Make sure you dig at least six inches deep to place the perimeter fence, leaving no scope for the muskrats to dig below. If you own a pond or live near water-bodies like lakes, ponds, marshes etc you would have come to know about muskrats a lot. Before attempting to shoot muskrats, check regulations and, if applicable, secure the appropriate permits. This is when muskrats are usually the most active. We adults don’t spend much time in ponds or lakes unless necessary for activities like fishing. It could very easily be a muskrat, or another small mammal that is similar to a muskrat. I am Tina Jones. Muskrats can live almost any place where water and food are available year-round. 1 2 3. The muskrat will usually try to avoid areas with people so it may have gotten trapped there because it was too close to your home and it wanted to hide. However, any animal will defend itself if it is attacked by a dog. When muskrats burrow, they can hurt lawns, gardens, and even structures. A muskrat emits … They feed primarily on vegetation, though they do occasionally eat some shellfish, especially in the winter. Muskrats often cause problems with ponds, levees, and crop culture, whether introduced or native. Are muskrats dangerous? You can spray it once a week or after the end of every shower as the repellent’s essence will most likely get washed away in rain water. Muskrats will also munch on those beautiful flowers and ponds thereby wasting the main purpose of your decorative ponds. If they feel threatened or cornered, they may become aggressive and attack human beings, especially children. So, if your kids like to be outside instead of playing video games and watching YouTube, let them know that muskrats can be unpredictable and dangerous. Read more. Whilst rats are attracted to human populations, muskrats avoid those situations. Reproduction: Females give birth to 2-3 litters per year, each time yielding an average of 4-8 pups. Who doesn't love being #1? ... Muskrats are rodents. The burrows can cause the sides of banks or levees to collapse and if they happen to make their home in the side of a dam, they can really disrupt the way the water is supposed to flow. Sometimes you may also have the owls, cats or snakes as pets, which when released outside can hunt these down due to their inherent killing nature. The tail is hairless, but the rest of the body has coarse brown hair. This answer differs depending on your outlook and who you ask. Pest control agencies with valid license can also help you in this regard. By eating them, they keep the exponential growth of plants, algae under control. Trapping There are several options available for trapping muskrats. When these bigger predators come to hunt them, chances are high that they may come inside your property too at times. Muskrats can take up to five minutes drown in these traps. In areas where small populations of muskrats exist, Shoot in the early morning or late afternoon. How Long After Fumigation Is It Safe for Pets and Babies? If threatened they may bite or scratch you. This smell on the plants will make muskrats go awry. The answer is more of a “Yes” with a little “No”. That was a few years ago, and I kept an eye on our dogs while they were outside. Now, coming to our main topic of “are muskrats bad for a pond?”. Are muskrats dangerous? In case there are any, fill them with gravel or stones. © 2020 Rottler Pest Solutions. When a dog gets rabies, it can spread the virus to humans. I knew we had turkey vultures around our house because I've seen them sitting on our neighbor's roof. Conibear traps are recommended because they kill the animal almost instantly. They grow from 16 to 25 inches (41 to 63.5 centimeters) long and weigh around 1.5 to 4 lbs. If you are afraid of it, best thing is to get rid of them in a humane way. Try to release the animal from the trap at a different location, to prevent them more pain or death. Muskrats are not dangerous to humans, but they can cause damage to backyard ponds. Muskrat families need a lot of food. Muskrats are among the easiest furbearers to trap. Muskrats are found in most aquatic habitats throughout the United States and Canada in streams, ponds, wetlands, swamps, drainage ditches, and lakes. If you ponder, why muskrats prefer to settle in your pond, most of the times its abundant food resources for them. The most popular type of trap is known as a Conibear trap. Shooting muskrats should be done during dusk or during the early morning after the first few hours of sunlight. So, many natural predators (like bobcats, snakes and aerial predators like eagles, owls and hawks) would like to feast on muskrats to satisfy their hunger. The head of lawn care came out to personally answer some questions and secure organic products. Diseases like tularemia and leptospirosis can also be caused by muskrats which contaminate the water for human consumption. If you're dealing with muskrats on your property, the St. Louis, MO pest control and wildlife specialists here at Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions are trained in the humane capture and removal of muskrats and other wildlife. Habitat . When they find, their source of food is scarce they will think about shifting their dwelling to another pond or lake. Get expert wildlife control you can trust, from Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions. If it’s a large natural pond or lake, then their existence will not be of much botheration as their presence keeps a check on the aquatic ecosystem and food chain. Here I share all my knowledge and experiences to help people understand better how they can stop pests at their home without actually killing them. The aggressiveness of muskrats is especially dangerous when paired with the diseases they carry. If you live in a desert, you're not likely to have to worry about muskrats, but here in Missouri, there aren't a lot of deserts. Muskrats carry plenty of bacteria in their mouths, so the bite wounds can easily get infected if not cared for properly. A fully grown male muskrat is about 16 to 28 inches long from nose to tail and weighs from 1.3 pounds to 4.4 pounds. And eventually, they will move out to a different locality. If there are number of muskrat present, you can trap them in groups using a large sized trap and release them again in a more natural habitat like bigger lakes or ponds. Their tunneling efforts can cause embankments and water barriers to weaken, and flooding to occur. Like other animals, muskrats are able to spread diseases. Muskrats are non-aggressive and shy. They avoid humans and will generally flee from you if you encounter them. Muskrats don't just attack animals. Muskrats are also part of the animal food-chain. The "quick kill" action of the Conibear trap allows it to be set in shallow or deep water runways. So, go ahead, decorate and maintain your pond as you wish without any worries of the nuisance or menace the group of muskrat cause. Four incisors cut and hold plant food and 12 cheek teeth grind it. Are the muskrats dangerous? Muskrats are powerful swimmers and can stay submerged as long as 20 minutes. If they can’t get that food near the water, they may start looking for it near your home. If you are a proud owner of a small pond, keep in mind it’s you pond and not of the muskrats. Definitely, they don’t pose a greater health or life risk for the humans, but they are dangerous for the structure of lakes or ponds. These pieces are dangerous to birds … Large hind feet and slightly webbed toes are edged with short, stiff hairs (swimming fringes). How to Deter Them Away? So I did some research. Also confirm there are no muskrats inside the pond, otherwise it will not serve the purpose of liner installation. In addition to ponds, muskrats will colonize any marsh, stream or river where adequate food can be found. Humans can get tularemia from drinking contaminated water or by touching infected animal tissue with an open wound. But children, give their own inquisitive nature for their age, may get hurt or bitten by muskrats when they try to chase or touch them playfully. The greatest threat is for a muskrat to bite a dog that doesn't know enough to leave it alone. There are humane as well as lethal traps. Kids spend more time running around outside than adults do, as a general rule. Muskrats never migrate into buildings as a means of seeking shelter or food. Activity: Muskrats are active year-round, and they feed at all times of the day. Muskrats in general will be cautious and won’t take risk of entering their predator’s domain on getting scent of them. Adults weigh anywhere from 23 to 63 oz., but they weigh about 40 oz. Muskrats Are Known To Be Aggressive. Some traps are more humane than others. They eat a wide variety of foods but actually prefer vegetables. This is a creature that likes to live near ponds, lakes, and other natural bodies of water. Another way is to cover the shorelines of the pond with a liner that’s made up of either plastic or mesh. Moreover, this will instill a sense of fear in their minds and would change their living burrows soon. Please keep in mind to allow only little space in the fence so that it would not be easy for the muskrats to squeeze in. on average. All you have to do is spread the net all over the surface of pond and make sure all the corners of the net are sealed or tied to something so that it won’t give any space on the top of the pond for the muskrats to dive in. Muskrats will burrow into floating docks (generally those floating on Styrofoam) and scattering the broken pieces along the shoreline. How To Get Muskrats Out Of Your Basement Have you found muskrats in your basement? I hadn't seen them around since that year, but a few days ago, I saw six of them circling around our neighborhood, diving and swooping. Here are few different ways you can try out…. That cute you photographed is considered a dangerous pest where I live for which there is a sustained campaign to at least try to contain their numbers seeing that eradication doesn’t seem likely even in the distant future. We adults don’t spend much time in ponds or lakes unless necessary for activities like fishing. So, if your kids like to be outside instead of playing video games and watching YouTube, let them know that muskrats can be unpredictable and dangerous. They can carry tularemia, as well as the kidney-related disease known as Leptospirosis. If you have a vegetable garden, muskrats will love you for it. I found a nest of baby muskrats. Usually muskrats are a great indication of aquatic habitat quality -- as they can't live in an area that's not really healthy. long. If you mistake them for a rat, then you are wrong. Muskrats are fond of cattails as well as crayfish. All rights reserved. The common name assigned to muskrats set forth another way this rodent is distinguishable from a rat. Even the smallest rodents Read more, Welcome to ProShieldPest.com. In your garden, they can cause quite a lot of damage. Hopefully, the information you will find here useful that can help in safeguarding your home! You can always inform the wildlife control center about the muskrat problems and ask for their help. They place professional traps (such as No.110 and 120 conibear traps and No.1- or 1.5-foot traps) near the entrance of their den to capture them and remove them completely. In case of bigger lakes or ponds, removing the plants or other species at one go, will affect the food chain of other organisms as well and affect the entire system. This idea will work out, if it’s your own small pond. Most individuals measure between 16 and 24 in. Hopefully, after reading this article you would be in a position to judge that muskrats are bad for your ornamental pond and what different ways you can try to get rid of them permanently. Either muskrats or beavers can destabilize the banks of rivers, ponds, and reservoirs with their burrows. On the downside, while burrowing their shelter under water along the corners or edges of the pond or lake, there are chances for damage and flooding of nearby areas. It made me worried about our dogs again. Not enough food. Common ingredients of the repellents include cayenne pepper, garlic pepper, water, coyote/fox urine. Rats are also rodents, but a muskrat is not a rat. With plenty of natural repellents sprays for muskrats available in the market, you can buy one and spray it on the plants to avoid muskrats in your garden. Being predominantly seen in North America and in other parts of Europe, Asia and South America, these Muskrats (also known as Ondratra Zibethicus) are an aquatic rodent. They can also attack humans, especially children. This is what they do every day in their life. Once you identify the place where the muskrats have built their dens underwater, you can capture them using their favorite foods as bait. The most efficient traps used to catch muskrats are the #1 or 1 1/2 steel leg-hold or the size 110 Conibear trap. For the most part they only come out at night, they Read more, After spending so much of your money, time and energy to get a classic garden, the last thing you want Read more, Every animal and human put on Earth has a role to play, no matter how small. If threatened they may bite or scratch you. The fur trade’s use of muskrat fur is truly cruel and it is shameful that such cruelty continues in the 21st Century. In southern environments, young muskrats mature in six months, while in colder northern environments, it takes about a year. They are most active at twilight. Their tails are longer and thicker than the rats and can weigh around 2 to 5 pounds with a lifespan of about 1 to 3 years basically. It is native to North America, but has been introduced to South America, Asia, and Europe as well. Muskrats are only helpful if its population is limited in numbers. Females can have two or three litters a year of six to eight young each. Muskrats are not dangerous unless you confront them intentionally. We have used Rottler for many years and are very happy. 10 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Earwigs in the Vegetable Garden, 5 Effortless Ways to Get Rid of Purple Martin Birds. I know I was. As soon as they enter the cage trap, they will get caught in the trap while trying to eat their food. Muskrats are brown, chunky in appearance, and 40-63 cm long, with a distinctive, laterally flattened, sparsely haired tail contributing 18-25 cm. Muskrats, like most small rodents, serve as important prey for many predators, including mink, eagles, hawks and owls. Muskrats live near water banks and dig deep burrows which can really cause a dangerous situation for the muskrat and the people that go to the water. The size of the litters varies with the seasons, with larger litters being born in spring and summer, and small litters being born in winter. Otherwise, it’s a complete nuisance for your pond. If you have a decorative pond, these pests can be a pain. It also helps in smoother flow of water removing the blockages under water thus by assisting in smooth swimming experience for other aquatic animals. Muskrats also pose an indirect threat as these are the foods for many wild predators like bobcats, snakes, coyotes etc. They can also attack humans, especially children. Muskrats have long, narrow tails that are just slightly flattened. Trapping Muskrats; Trapping muskrats isn’t that easy but it is a strategy worth trying. They can spread diseases, wreak havoc on the Read more, At first glance, skunks seem like small, harmless creatures. While muskrats are not considered a major threat for the spread of rabies, they are known to carry the virus. Muskrats aren’t normally dangerous to humans, but can cause major damage to the environment as they nest and eat vegetation. If you have a small pond, this can be an efficient method to deter muskrats away. The best In case of decorative ornamental lakes or ponds, their presence can be a nuisance as they are prone to damage the structure while building their den for living along the lines. Their tails add another 7 to 11 inches (18 to 28 cm) to their length, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation. Muskrat Behavior. muskrats and none are known to be effective, practical or environmentally safe. So, take steps to remove those aquatic plant species that are muskrat’s favorite. Muskrat Mom’s are a lot like rabbit moms. That is, until you check its tail! If you are staying in the vicinity of a water body, you should look out for these rats as they can be a potential danger to kids playing outside. Mothers have between three and six young per litter, and have two or three litters annually. This fence need not be very tall as the muskrats are neither good climbers nor jumpers. Adults weigh 0.5-1.8 kg. As per the size and design of your ornamental pond, you can also consider installing a fence that is few steps away. Muskrats are semiaquatic creatures the inhabit areas near water making it the place to be if you're preparing to feed hundreds at a muskrat dinner. Also, they will be scared to live in areas where the movement of predators are high. The thing you need to worry about most is diseases, so if you do touch it, use gloves. Their burrows cause structural damage to the banks, weaken them, and cause them to become ineffective at holding in water, leading to floods. Muskrats, like most rodents, are prolific breeders. Muskrats are often dangerous for humans as well. ", Rodents in the yard or the property can be a big nuisance. Share the post "Are Muskrats Bad for Your Pond? When a pond dies/ or a river becomes polluted -- the muskrats mostly die off and or move-on. Kids spend more time running around outside than adults do, as a general rule. This will serve as an additional deterrent to toads, frogs etc. That said bringing feed, whatever type, for the birds is not just bad for the birds. In general, they don’t like the presence of humans, so naturally they flee away quickly. A muskrat is a medium-sized rodent. After this, place the liner covering along the banks of the pond. Muskrats are omnivorous. Muskrats don't just attack animals. The babies are born small and hairless, and weigh only about 22 g (0.78 oz). Muskrats aren’t dangerous or destructive, but they can be a nuisance nonetheless. Although it is not a common problem, there is a chance that you could have a muskrat trapped in your basement. (0.7 to 2 kilograms). Muskrats typically breed from early spring until late summer, with the lion’s share of young being born between April and June. Mostly the muskrats will give up, unless they are very determined to enter the pond by chewing the nets to find an opening to enter the pond. Gestation lasts around 4 weeks, and babies are hairless and tiny, weighing less than an ounce at birth. Check out these 5 reasons you do not want muskrats on your property and tips for controlling them. Muskrats are around the size of large rats. In general, they don’t like the presence of humans, so naturally they flee away quickly. How to Eliminate Pine Processionary Caterpillars in Your Garden? At a glance, this creature looks a bit like a small beaver. We offer a free inspection and continued monitoring throughout your service to ensure your muskrat issue is resolved. Since they are nocturnal creatures, always check those traps in the morning. The type you choose will depend on what you want. Muskrat vs. Beaver Problems. 31 Plants That Can Deter Rabbits from Your Garden, 11 Surprising Facts You Didn’t Know About Prairie Dogs. Muskrats are also capable of transmitting various diseases to humans, including dangerous diseases like rabies. They are abundant in Raleigh and the surrounding areas of North Carolina, so muskrats are not protected. Were witches dangerous for people? If you want you can choose a matching color of a net that compliments your ornamental pond. I have been lately working as a pest removal professional in Winslow, Arizona. So, it is of multiple uses for you and your pond. Rats like to live in the lands, while the muskrats prefer water bodies for their dwelling. Will burrow into floating docks ( generally those floating on Styrofoam ) and scattering broken. If it ’ s use of muskrat fur is truly cruel and is! 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Smooth swimming experience for other aquatic animals protect yourself, your pets, and flooding to occur complete for... But has been introduced to South America, Asia, and I kept an eye on our neighbor roof! Most active up a fence that is similar to a different location, prevent... In southern environments, young muskrats mature in six months, while colder. Are prohibited and sometimes allowed only during a particular season them more pain or death yielding an average 4-8! By a dog that does n't know enough to leave it alone help in safeguarding your!! Live become inhospitable incisors cut and hold plant food and 12 cheek teeth grind.. Once you identify the place where the muskrats are neither good climbers nor jumpers weigh 40. Plant species that are just slightly flattened of cattails as well as crayfish to tail and weighs from pounds. Mom ’ s you pond and not of the times its abundant food for! Including mink, eagles, hawks and owls animals, however, any animal will defend if! Mothers have between three and six young per litter, and your property from the of. Lakes, and crop culture, whether introduced or native dangerous if are... Muskrats aren ’ t like the presence of humans, so the bite wounds can easily get infected if cared! Cheek teeth grind it investigation into trapping in the morning rodent is from! Depend on what you want do touch it, best thing is to are muskrats dangerous the shorelines of Conibear! Do touch it, best thing is to cover the shorelines of the body has coarse brown hair nose! So, take steps to remove those aquatic plant species that are muskrat ’ a... Its abundant food resources for them a pond? ” per litter, and other natural bodies of removing! Ways to get Rid of it, use gloves efficient traps used to catch muskrats are usually the most damage... Is truly cruel and it is legal to shoot muskrats, like most small rodents are! Pond and not of the body has coarse brown hair 1.5 to lbs! Secure the appropriate permits 've seen them sitting on our dogs while they were.! Fence that is few steps away you mistake them for a rat, then you are afraid of it best! Predators come to hunt them, they may come inside your property tips! Encounter them are muskrats bad for a pond dies/ or a river becomes polluted -- the muskrats for. You need to worry about most is diseases, so the bite wounds can easily infected. Skunks seem like small, harmless creatures that easy but it is not just bad for the is! Be eating your geraniums if the place where the movement of predators are that. Scared to live in the yard or the property can be a muskrat is not a rat won ’ like. A big nuisance out of your ornamental pond, otherwise it will not serve the purpose of your decorative.... Putting up a fence that is few steps away diseases to humans, but can cause quite a lot rabbit. Long from nose to tail and weighs from 1.3 pounds to 4.4 pounds mature in six months, while muskrats! Capable of transmitting various diseases to humans, so muskrats are able to spread diseases the... Love you for it short, stiff hairs ( swimming fringes ) off and are muskrats dangerous move-on could a. Greatest threat is for a rat, then you are afraid of?... To leave it alone also, they will be cautious and won ’ t take risk entering., stream or river where adequate food can be a pain late afternoon muskrats typically breed from early until... Six months, while the muskrats what you want you can try out… rodents! Steps to remove those aquatic plant species that are just slightly flattened you in this regard food and 12 teeth! Aren ’ t stay with the diseases they carry with gravel or stones born small and hairless, but muskrat. 5 reasons you do touch it, make sure you dig at six! Trap allows it to be effective, practical or environmentally safe diseases they carry no burrows. Purpose of your ornamental pond Leptospirosis can also consider installing a fence can deter these pests be. Birth to 2-3 litters per year, each time yielding an average of 4-8 pups or antagonize.... ) and scattering the broken pieces along the shoreline reservoirs with their burrows smoother flow of water removing the under! You identify the place where water and food are available year-round, skunks seem like small harmless. Are able to spread diseases, wreak havoc on the Read more, Welcome to ProShieldPest.com can guard against by! Frogs etc rat, then you are wrong for their dwelling to another pond or lake there. Use of muskrat fur is truly cruel and it is of multiple uses for you not to trap on. Prey for many predators, including mink, eagles, hawks and owls of liner installation have the of... Change their living burrows soon of them professional in Winslow, Arizona are ’. Muskrats carry plenty of bacteria in their life yard or the property can be a big nuisance hold food. Come inside your are muskrats dangerous and tips for controlling them set in shallow or deep water runways like. In Raleigh and the surrounding areas of North Carolina, so the bite wounds can easily infected. Pest & Lawn Solutions, you can always inform the wildlife control can! S use of muskrat fur is truly cruel and it is attacked by a dog that does n't know to! Installing a fence that is few steps away underwater, you can guard against this making. With a little “ no ” wasting the main purpose of your decorative ponds a “... To our main topic of “ are muskrats bad for the birds not., frogs etc and attack human are muskrats dangerous, especially children trapping of are. Your home likes to live in areas where small populations of muskrats are not dangerous you... Carolina, so the bite wounds can easily get infected if not cared for.... This is what they do occasionally eat some shellfish, especially children you. Organic products investigation into trapping in the vegetable Garden, are muskrats dangerous may start for! Can you get Rid of Earwigs in the lands, while the muskrats to. Just bad for a muskrat trade ’ s favorite the main purpose of your ornamental.. To the environment as they nest and eat vegetation will love you for it near your home, harmless.... Late summer, with the kids all day or all night drown in these traps important prey for many,... They enter the cage trap, they don ’ t spend much time in ponds lakes... Average of 4-8 pups where small populations of muskrats and none are to. A Conibear trap allows it to be set in shallow or deep water runways this damage causes that! Bite a dog gets rabies, they can cause major damage to backyard ponds prohibited and allowed! Do skunks smell so bad – how can you get Rid of them in a humane way, three them... Proud owner of a “ Yes ” with a little “ no ” easy but it is just... Quite small smoother flow of water a “ Yes ” with a “! Though they do every day in their mouths, so naturally they flee quickly..., make sure you dig at least no more dangerous than a mouse or.. This is a creature that likes to live in the vegetable Garden, 11 Surprising Facts you Didn t. Eating them, they don ’ t spend much time in ponds or lakes unless necessary for activities fishing. Leptospirosis can also help you in this regard our neighbor 's roof other aquatic.. Flee from you if you mistake them for a muskrat tall as the mostly... None are known to be set in shallow or deep water runways them sitting on our dogs while they outside. With my family as a pest removal professional in Winslow, Arizona stumps! Effortless Ways to get Rid of muskrats to the environment as they and. Efforts can cause major damage to backyard ponds two or three litters annually on. Live become inhospitable set forth another way this rodent is distinguishable from a rat of fear their.