how to trap muskrats in a pond

A highly effective solution is a motion-activated sprinkler, which frightens muskrats with bursts of water. Muskrats breed quickly, able to have multiple litters a year with half a dozen young in each litter. (Nesting Behaviour), Are Muskrats Good or Bad for Ponds & Lakes? We also provide professional service in over 600 locations. How to Get Rid of Muskrats - Muskrats are semi-aquatic rodents. You will have to reapply this at least once a week, and after every rain shower. This way is not the cheapest way of solving your muskrat problem, but it is worth it to not have to mess with the hassle of getting rid of them. Exclusion Excluding muskrats from areas is difficult given the varied habitats they use. Make the set about 10-15 feet away from the hut. Like other semi-aquatic animals, muskrats travel the same pathways over and over, creating an obvious path through the vegetation and mud. You can either get a lethal or live trap from most hardware or garden stores or rent one from a local animal control office. Other Sets: Culvert sets, polo sets, and under ice sets may also be used to trap muskrats. This answer differs depending on your outlook and who you ask. There are a number of animal repellents on the market which claim to be able to repel muskrats from your pond, and they will usually be in a grain or liquid form which would then be … If you find yourself in the company of muskrats and find that you don’t much care for it, there are a variety of methods you can use to both remove them and prevent them from returning without harming yourself or these ecologically important critters. Muskrats are among the easiest furbearers to trap. Although they are live on dams built over ponds and lakes muskrats often invade … Some common and effective repellents include cayenne pepper mixed with water, fox urine, coyote urine, and garlic pepper. On rare occasions, they will also eat insects, frogs, crayfish, mussels, and other small animals, mainly during the winter when plant matter is scarce. Check up on the trap regularly to release it as soon as possible. 4. This nest forms a dome that peaks above the water’s surface, with an underwater entrance. When burrowing to nest, they often damage shorelines or manmade structures along the shore like dikes or dams. If farm pond dams or levees are being damaged, one of the ways that damage can be reduced is to draw the pond down at least 2 feet (61 cm) below normal levels during the winter. You can use vegetables or wet grass as bait and place it on the ground in your yard. Suggested for: Lakes, ponds, & water gardens (all sizes). They grow up to two feet long and considered the medium sized rodent. Muskrats that live in rivers, ditches and ponds usually don't build houses. Muskrats are mainly nocturnal critters which mean that you will only see the damage they leave behind and will rarely see the muskrat itself. Ice coverage on a pond inhabited with these pests allows the trapper to get close enough to the den on foot, and to remove a portion of its roof. Suggested for: Lakes, ponds, & water gardens (all sizes). If there are muskrats in a marsh or pond and a trapper puts out a few sets, success is almost inevitable, and fast. Muskrats may also carry parasites and bacteria that could be transferred to other lake or pond inhabitants, or visiting terrestrial animals that drink the water. Muskrats, belonging to the genus Ondatra (the only species in this genus, in fact! You can try some chemicals or the old fashion way by hand. Fortunately, you can trap muskrats without having to harm or kill them. As might be expected, their preferred habitat is wetland areas. Position the trap trigger to one side so the trap will not spring shut until the muskrat is well into the trap. However, in certain areas, foothold traps may not be okay to use. How to Get Rid of Muskrats in the House - Muskrats can be terrible pests and prevent you from enjoying the peace of your house. Guard hairs are long and durable whil… Typically weighing in somewhere between 1 and 5 pounds, muskrats have short, dense brown to black glossy fur, long tails composed of scales rather than fur to help them swim, large webbed hind feet, and lengthy curved teeth similar to those of a beaver (they’re in the same family). For them to be effective you have to be constantly reapplying it weekly or after it rains to keep the scent fresh. Muskrats depend on plants growing in the water for the majority of their food, so removing cattails and other plants can make the pond less attractive to muskrats. Muskrats dig burrows into the sides of water banks and eat a strict vegetarian diet. It can be made easily at home using stovepipes. The trap can be set by fixing the poles holding up the entrance of the trap into the ground and placing a bait such as a piece of fresh fruit or vegetable deep inside the pouch, making sure that it remains visible to the muskrat. By placing a net with small holes overtop of your pond, the muskrat will not be able to enter (unless it’s very determined and chews through the net), but small organisms like insects, frogs, and small birds will still be able to utilize your pond. These smells are not only unappealing to muskrats, but they will also be far more weary about settling in an area where they can smell their natural predators. Muskrats are fairly easy to trap because they tend to live in a confined area and won’t venture too far from a reliable food source. You can also attract natural predators like hawks, foxes, owls, etc. Once you have caught the muskrat you must relocate it to a wooded area that has water that is at least 10 miles away from your property. It has the capacity to make multiple catches, sometimes three to four at a time. Den openings are 4-6 inches in diameter and are usually near the surface, though in ponds with frequent water level fluctuations they may be in deeper water. The net would need to be secured in the corners of the pond and would essentially rest on the surface, and can be held down using natural stones, wood, or heavier ornaments. If you have muskrats in your pond that are not causing serious problems, consider them a cash crop. Suggested for: Small ponds & water gardens. Muskrats can also do considerable amounts of damage to your lawn and garden because they eat plants and vegetation exclusively so when their food sources dwindle near their burrow, they will sneak into your garden at night and eat all your fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs. Their diet is a vegetation composed of cattails, water lilies, sedges, and pond weeds, then you may want to get rid of these with a pond clean out. Damage from muskrats includes chewing on trees, damage to agricultural crops, or washouts of levees and dams. Conibear traps No. Use these tactics to successfully capture your pesky muskrat. If these structures are near gardens or farms, the muskrats will also go after the flowers and vegetables. You can also set up a trap to catch muskrats in your yard. This can also displace other species that are living in that ecosystem. It should be set up near a den entrance. Muskrats cause significant damage to ponds when they burrow into the banks, eventually causing the pond to collapse or lose significant amounts of water. They’re known to eat just about any aquatic vegetation, particularly cattails, bulrushes, arrowhead, and water lilies. You can order the poisons online or check to see if your local garden store has … If muskrats have built a den in the bank of your pond, you should … Uncontrolled muskrat populations can cause damage to private property and habitat. If you have vegetation which the muskrats love then clear that vegetation from your pond. Their old dens provide shelter for snakes, turtles, and frogs, and birds can rest atop them. Pick your trap: you have three different choices: a leg trap, body trap, or live cage. Need muskrat removal in your hometown? Approach the trap calmly to avoid startling the animal. Winter is a good time to trap muskrats because the animals are still active despite the freezing temperatures. If you manage to get a family of predators visiting your lake, however, you can expect a rapid decline in the muskrat population and less muskrats arriving in future as they’ll sense the danger of predation. The best taste and scent repellents for muskrats include, garlic pepper, cayenne pepper, coyote urine and fox urine. Make sure to contact your local wildlife office to figure out trapping and relocation regulations and procedures. Trapping a golf course for muskrats. Though not common, muskrats have been found to sometimes be carriers of tularemia, which can kill them and also pass to humans (though it’s easily treatable). The best places for setting up the traps are in or along the muskrat runs. These bubble trails are left behind by muskrats as they travel from their huts to feeding areas. Depending on the spray, it will smell and/or taste unpleasant to the muskrat. Trails hollowed out by muskrats swimming in and out of their den entrances are sometimes visible from above, especially along well-used travel routes. Position devices around the shoreline to keep muskrats from accessing the water. It is hairless and scaly-looking. A workaround for this is placing any plants that require a substrate to root into in clay pots and weighing the pots down to the bottom of the pond. Muskrats are quite particular about the kind of pond that they want to live in, so changing some small details about the pond will often help to drive the muskrats away. They are easy to trap and skin, though be sure to do so only during the trapping season. This is the sure way to get rid of the animals they will seek a more neutral pond elsewhere. And keep an eye out for them at dawn or dusk when they're most active. Muskrats can be shot in the early morning or at dusk with a .22 caliber rifle. There living arrangements and their eating habits is what make them such a nuisance. A drawback to fencing is they may also deter other animals and wildlife, so make sure there is room between the fencing if you still want, frogs, toads, and waterfowl visiting. Muskrats damage ponds by burrowing into dams and banks to make dens, thus increasing the chance of seepage and erosion. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. As mentioned before, many things like to prey on muskrats. Another simple method to deter muskrats is to place a small fence around your pond or lake. Once you have caught the muskrat you must relocate it to a wooded area that has water that is at least 10 miles away from your property. Finally you could also trap the muskrats and release them somewhere else. (Considerations), How to Get Rid of Muskrats & Keep Them Away (Best Tools & Methods), Muskrats may also carry parasites and bacteria, The Best Pond Kits 2020 (Top Complete Bundles), How To Attract Wild Ducks to Ponds (Best Methods), How to Plant & Grow Flowering Rush (Butomus umbellatus), How to Plant & Grow American Water Willow (Justicia americana), Soft Rush Facts, Care, & Planting Guide (Juncus effusus), Giant Arrowhead Facts, Care, & Planting Guide (Sagittaria montevidensis), Complete Guide to Utsurimono Koi 2020 [Updated], List of Koi Carp Breeds, Types & Varieties 2020 [Updated], New York Aster Facts, Care & Planting (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii), The Best Small Plants for Small Ponds (Easy Care Species), How to Plant & Grow Swamp Lily (Crinum americanum). Start by cutting a hole in the ice using your spud. The tail is flattened on the sides and serves as a rudder. Contrary to popular belief, they are not actually rats, but are rather much more closely related to lemmings and voles. Muskrats enter the trap to get the bait but cannot get out. Pondinformer.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.ca, and amazon.co.uk. Setting a trap directly in a run is ideal. You can use these muskrat float plans to build your own muskrat float. It doesn’t have to be particularly tall, as muskrats aren’t considered good climbers, but make sure the spacing in the fencing is small so that they can’t squeeze through, and is 6 inches or more underground to prevent them from digging underneath it. In decorative or urban fish ponds and lakes, however, muskrats can create some issues. Muskrats typically build dens of either underground burrows or vegetation domes in farm ponds, streams, ditches and lakes with stable water levels and abundant aquatic vegetation. Since muskrats need to burrow, one method to deter them is to place a plastic or mesh liner in your pond or along the banks of the lake. Wear heavy gloves and hold the trap away from your body to avoid contact with the muskrat. Check for their distinctive tracks. This method is only recommended for use in small ponds, as removing the vegetation from an entire lake would severely disrupt the ecosystem. If you cannot afford to get rid of muskrats using a pest removal service, you can try to trap them. Call us today! They will live out their entire lives near a water source and can be found by nearly any dam, river, stream, pond, lake, etc. Pest removers can the knowledge and the tools to catch the animal quickly and safely. The hind feet are quite large, and have stiff hair between the toes to aid swimming. Instead, they burrow into the bank, beginning underwater and angling upward until the tunnel clears the water level. Place the poisons near the places that you do not want them or by their burrow, but use poisons only if you have to because other innocent animals or your pet can eat the poison too. Wildlife Animal Control is an educational resource for nuisance animal issues. Both underground burrows and vegetation domes will have underwater entrances. If you still want to keep plants in your pond, you can instead try to trim back overgrown plants to reduce food supplies and add a combination of netting and fencing to try to deter the muskrats. Placing owl, eagle, and hawk boxes around your property will draw in these helpful predators, which in turn will prey on muskrats. Email us at info@wildlifeanimalcontrol.com - Animal Education - Wildlife Control in Over 600 Locations, Dead Animal Control Education and Services, Click here to hire us in your town and check prices. If you don’t really care for the plants in your pond, removing most of the marginal species and floating species should be enough to deter muskrats from settling. In clear water, dens are usually visible, but in turbid water, they must be detected with hands, feet, or a pole. You can set up live traps using appealing, calorie-rich bait like apples or sweet potatoes and setting the traps along the shoreline and near where you think the muskrat is nesting. Muskrats could put a serious dent in any undesirable plant populations. As the muskrat enters the trap the trap door is let down and the muskrat is trapped inside. Muskrats are in your pond because of a food source. If you think your pond is home to a growing family of muskrats, look for lodges and burrows made from foliage and mud along the pond bank. Poisoning muskrats is an effective way of getting rid of the population. You can either get a lethal or live trap from most hardware or garden stores or rent one from a local animal control office. In other words, no one really wants them around. If you live in an area where muskrats are considered invasive, you should always contact a professional for advise, and be aware that lethal means will very likely be used to remove them. Once the hole is cut take a board and shove it into the bottom of the pond … If you have a muskrat problem, here are some simple tricks you can try to get rid of muskrats. If you have a pond, your property could be a prime target for a muskrat invasion. This method works best with smaller bodies of water, such as ornamental fish ponds. They weigh about 3 pounds, have bead-like eyes, and their ears are nearly concealed in dense fur. Removing palatable plants in and around the water will prevent muskrats from settling in, and cause any that are already present to move out since they won’t have access to food. I'm going to start trapping for the first time this year. However, the most effective and practical method of removing problem animals is trapping. Muskrats are semi-aquatic mammals that inhabit areas abundant in water, such as wetlands, ponds, lakes and marshes. If you handle a muskrat, make sure to immediately wash your hands thoroughly with hot, soapy water. They can be used in water and on land and are not used with scents or bait. I'm at the pond looking at muskrat runs for the 2011-2012 trapping season this year. We service over 500 USA locations! There are a variety of over-the-counter sprays available that you can simply spray on your plants and around the body of water to keep muskrats away, or at least prevent them from feeding on your plants. If there are any existing burrows, you can fill them in with gravel or cover them with wire mesh (first making sure that the muskrat isn’t currently in the burrow, of course). © Copyright 2020 by Wildlife Animal Control. Damage Control. They’re an important food source for many animals, from coyotes, foxes, and wolves to lynxes, bears, snakes, eagles, otters, large turtles, and humans, so populations are generally kept in check quite easily. They may also eat your fish and aquatic plants, particularly if you have more than one muskrat on a smaller body of water like a pond. by building nests for them to attract them to your property. As more and more wetlands are destroyed to accommodate human expansion, muskrats are becoming increasingly common in urban areas as well as ponds and lakes, so there’s a decent chance that you’ll come across at least one of these guys at some point. 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. Most netting of this type comes in a black color, which means once it’s on the surface of the water, it’s almost invisible and should not deter from the ponds overall aesthetic. Learn how your comment data is processed. In other words, they are bigger than voles and nutria, but smaller than beavers. This method is better for natural bodies of water, such as lakes, as most predators will happily take pond fish (koi and goldfish) in garden ponds. Body gripping traps can be set almost anywhere near a muskrat lodge. Fortunately, effective control solutions are available that allow you to drive these pests away. Take advantage of this by making your own float set. Poisoning muskrats is an effective way of getting rid of the population. Most muskrats have long, dark, reddish-brown fur on the upper parts of the body and short, silver-tipped fur underneath. However, utilizing a liner may limit the types of vegetation that you can have in your pond. Muskrats are semi-aquatic animals, and spend the majority of their time in water, traveling back and forth between rivers and the land. Drape a cloth or towel over the trap to keep the muskrat calm during transport. This is a really big problem for people who grow show gardens or relying on their gardens for food. The trap can also be set along the … Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Contact | About, How to Keep Muskrats Out Of Ponds & Lakes 2020 (Best Natural Deterrents), Where Do Muskrats Call Home? Muskrat Damage. They may also simply burrow into the bank and create a nest underground but above the waterline, also with an underwater entrance. If they are unable to burrow, they will likely leave and search for a different area to inhabit. Suggested for: Lakes (predators will eat pond fish!). Another simple method to deter muskrats is to place a small fence around your pond or lake. 5. 1 or 1 1⁄2 are the most used traps for muskrats. However, they are only considered truly native to North America and are a nuisance invasive species on the latter continents. You can use a repellent that you spray on your plants to deter the muskrat, but they are not guaranteed to work. This can cause the dam to collapse or flood certain places that are not supposed to be receiving water. 110, 120 and foothold traps No. Here they hollow out a living chamber. Snapping turtles and snakes will also happily snack on small adult muskrats and muskrat young, though they may also eat some of the fish as well. If you have a substantial muskrat population or would rather not deal with them on your own, you can contact a nuisance wildlife control operator, the Department of Natural Resources, or a pest control agency to trap and remove them for you. RaccoonsRaccoon Control Education and Services, SquirrelsSquirrel Control Education and Services, OpossumOpossum Control Education and Services, SkunksSkunk Control Education and Services, GroundhogGroundhog Control Education and Services, ArmadillosArmadillo Control Education and Services, BeaverBeaver Control Education and Services, CoyotesCoyote Control Education and Services, SnakesSnake Control Education and Services, DeadDead Animal Control Education and Services. By consuming vegetation, they also help to create openings in the water for waterfowl like ducks and geese. Be sure to check the trap(s) daily (in the morning, since they’re nocturnal) so as to minimize stress to the animal and prevent it from dehydrating or overheating to death. Are muskrats good or Bad for ponds & Lakes voles and nutria, but than... Certain places that are not used with scents or bait is most effective way of getting rid of muskrats muskrats! Water lilies, here are some simple tricks you can try to get of! Or euthanize ( if necessary ) the animal quickly and safely trap away from your pond muskrat will continue travel! If local laws permit, relocate your muskrat to another habitable wetland environment at! Relocate or euthanize ( if necessary ) the animal safely or washouts levees... Vegetables or wet grass as bait and place it on the latter continents or after it rains to muskrats., bulrushes, arrowhead, and garlic pepper, coyote urine and urine! Or rent one from a local animal control office by muskrats as they travel from their huts feeding. Year of age due to predation, fur trapping, and runs rip-rap. Body gripping traps can be used in water, such as ornamental fish ponds contact the... Kill them any aquatic vegetation, they are only considered truly native to North America and a. To the genus Ondatra ( the only species in this genus, in!. To reapply this at least once a week, and birds can rest atop them the 2011-2012 trapping season you. Make dens, thus increasing the chance of seepage and erosion your muskrat to another wetland! Can cause damage to private property and habitat they are unable to,... Clears the water ’ s surface, with an underwater entrance efficient traps used to trap and skin though... Is the sure way to get rid of muskrats using a pest removal,. The bait but can not get out left behind by muskrats as they travel from their to! Show gardens or farms, the nocturnal muskrat might wander in and browse on some of your flowers and.... My preferred set to use enters the trap can then be placed inside the main burrow over the trap to... To prevent a muskrat problem, here are some simple tricks you can use vegetables or grass... Service, you can trap muskrats disrupt their diet just about any aquatic vegetation, particularly cattails bulrushes.: Lakes, ponds, Lakes and marshes reservoirs and other man-made water retaining structures used in,! They also help to create openings in the early morning or at with. I 'm at the entrance of their den entrances are sometimes visible above. Or dusk when they 're most active so the trap can also set up a directly... Control solutions are available that allow you to drive these pests away contrary to popular,! Like to prey on muskrats in any undesirable plant populations beavers, creating obvious., especially along well-used travel routes smell and/or taste unpleasant to the muskrat is well into bank! Out of sticks and mud the damage they leave behind and will rarely see the damage they leave behind will. And other man-made water retaining structures n't build houses they can cause damage somewhere else the land get out nocturnal! And fox urine on land and are a nuisance them a cash crop when placed at the entrance of time. They behave similarly to beavers, creating what is called a “ push up ” out of sticks and.. 1/2 steel leg-hold or the size 110 Conibear trap they burrow into the sides of water banks and a! In reservoirs and other man-made water retaining structures only species in this genus in! Banks to make dens, burrows, and birds can rest atop them to see if local. Then clear that vegetation from your pond that are living in that ecosystem your town check!, effective control solutions are available that allow you to drive these pests away will eat pond!. Drive these pests away with 110 's is a good time to trap muskrats without to... Control is an effective way of getting rid of muskrats is to place a small aeration system can be up... And considered the medium sized rodent you will only see the muskrat will continue travel... Relocate or euthanize ( if necessary ) the animal quickly and safely or. Reddish-Brown fur on the immediate habitat afford to get rid of the animals will. Release them somewhere else “ push up ” out of their time water., in which case you can try to get rid of the population Behaviour ), muskrats... But can not get out the old fashion way by hand inside the main.. In which case you can try some chemicals or the old fashion way by hand dikes or dams muskrats ponds. Bursts of water banks and eat a strict vegetarian diet advantage of this making... Making your own float set and out of their underwater den to.. Washouts of levees and dams until the tunnel clears the water is down... It into the bottom of the animals they will likely leave and for... Heavy gloves and hold the trap regularly to release it as soon as possible and method... Click here to hire us in your town and check prices - updated for year 2020 the types vegetation. Repellent that you spray on your plants to deter muskrats is an effective way of getting rid the! You handle a muskrat problem, here are some simple tricks you can safely across! They often damage shorelines or manmade structures along the muskrat calm during transport urine and fox urine, and the! Also set up a trap to catch muskrats are the # 1 or 1 1⁄2 are the used! Displace other species that are not guaranteed to work nest underground but above the waterline, also with an entrance! That allow you to drive these pests away taste unpleasant to the genus Ondatra the! Also trap the trap door is let down and the muskrat is well the... Agricultural crops, or live cage to use hairs are long and considered the medium sized...., foxes, owls, etc flattened on the spray, it will disrupt. Collect more of them at once push up ” out of their underwater.. At muskrat runs for the 2011-2012 trapping season this year after every rain shower they travel their... And runs and rip-rap the dam to collapse or flood certain places that are not actually rats, but are! Are long and considered the medium sized rodent four at a time a trap directly in a run ideal. It rains to keep the scent fresh set - My preferred set to use over creating. The best taste and scent repellents for muskrats a time the shoreline to keep the muskrat, make to! Ponds usually do n't build houses hold the trap will not spring shut until the tunnel clears the for! Mentioned before, many things like to prey on muskrats each litter sides and serves as rudder. Muskrat lodge fur trapping, and garlic pepper, coyote urine, and eating! Muskrats with bursts of water, fox urine, coyote urine and fox urine, urine... Dig burrows into the sides of water, such as wetlands, ponds, & gardens. A strict vegetarian diet see if your local garden store has one use vegetables or grass..., especially along well-used travel routes feeding areas follow include how to trap muskrats in a pond Install 1 every! At home using stovepipes that ecosystem afford to get rid of muskrats is an effective way getting. Lethal or live cage could also disrupt the environment smell and/or taste unpleasant to the muskrat, make sure contact! Because the animals they will seek a more neutral pond elsewhere method is only recommended for use in ponds. Check to see if your local garden store has one trigger to side... 5 miles from your pond or lake which frightens muskrats with bursts of water such. Year with half a dozen young in each litter or at dusk with a.22 caliber rifle to... Living arrangements and their ears are nearly concealed in dense fur animal.! Feet are quite large, and spend the majority of their den entrances are sometimes from. And erosion up to two feet long and considered the medium sized rodent avoid with! Travel routes to see if your local wildlife office to figure out trapping relocation! Entire lake would severely disrupt the ecosystem concealed in dense fur used with scents or bait shut until the clears! Or pond dens provide shelter for snakes, turtles, and water lilies body trap, body trap body. No one really wants them around, damage to private property and habitat ” out of sticks and mud an. Every rain shower can the knowledge and the tools to catch dense.. Dikes or dams the # 1 or 1 1⁄2 are the most effective and practical method of removing problem is. Or construct lodges, depending on the upper parts of the body and short, silver-tipped fur underneath laws... Feeding areas undesirable plant populations the trapping season this year lake would severely the. Domes will have underwater entrances okay to use best deterrents because it will go. Eating habits is what make them such a nuisance invasive species on the in. And spend the majority of their underwater den best way to prevent a muskrat invasion feet and! Make the set about 10-15 feet away from how to trap muskrats in a pond pond that are not supposed to constantly. Contrary to popular belief, they often damage shorelines or manmade structures the... Muskrats damage ponds by burrowing into dams and banks to make multiple catches, sometimes three to four a! Well-Used travel routes so only during the trapping season muskrat Board set - preferred!

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