How to Tell the Difference Between Beavers and Otters

Though they share similar habitats, distinguishing between beavers vs. otters is easy because they differ in appearance and behavior. For example, otters are longer and slimmer than heavier, stockier beavers and are known to be agile swimmers. Another noticeable difference is the tail. Beavers are well-known for their large, paddle-like tails that can be heard slapping the water from time to time. On the other hand, otters have long, round tails completely covered in fur.







Otters are carnivores and hunt whatever they can find in the water. Beavers, on the other hand, are strict vegetarians that primarily feast on tree bark, shrubs, and aquatic plants.


Otters can be found near rivers, marshes, and coastlines. They thrive in both freshwater and marine environments. An otter doesn’t dig its own den, preferring instead to use burrows abandoned by other wildlife.

Problems Caused by Each

The main difference between beavers and otters is the sort of destruction they are responsible for.

A beaver dam can be the source of flooding and undermine the integrity of embankments. Additionally, these pests can stunt the growth of ornamental plants and trees, as well as block pipes when building their dens.

On the other hand, the main problem with otters is their preferred food. Otters can be extremely problematic for fisheries, as they consume a large amount of fish and often stay around ponds and other breeding pools.

Successful Control and Removal

For the most part, the beaver vs. otter argument lies with properly identifying which pest is the problem. Since both have the potential to cause issues, homeowners are encouraged to try habitat modification to reduce the possibility of finding either on their property. If beavers or otters are spotted, contact the trained specialists at Trutech to deal with these invading pests.