Differences Between Muskrats and Beavers

Muskrats and beavers are large, aquatic rodents that can easily be mistaken for each other. In order to properly identify them, check for these characteristics:

  • Size – Beavers are large, weighing up to 60 pounds, while muskrats tend to reach around 4 pounds.
  • Tail Shape – Muskrats have skinny, rat-like tails. Beaver tails are wide and paddle-shaped.
  • Feet – Both pests have webbing between their toes, but these webs are thinner and less noticeable on muskrat paws.

Muskrat vs. Beaver Problems

These animals both present challenges and can cause far-reaching damage. For instance, muskrats build their burrows into the banks of streams and rivers, destabilizing shorelines. In addition, homeowners living near lakes, marshes, and creeks lose valuable crops and ornamental plants due to the pests’ eating habits.

While beavers also feed on plants near streams and ponds, the majority of their damage comes from dams. These structures change water flow, causing flooding on roadways and blocking pipes and ditches. Beavers fell trees and shrubs in yards to build their dams, which causes additional destruction.

Control and Removal

Exclusion methods like installing fences and wrapping trees in hardware cloth can be effective but time consuming and costly. Identifying the difference between muskrat and beaver damage is crucial to controlling these pests. To keep both animals off property, contact the trained professionals at Trutech.