At nearly three feet in length and around 50 pounds, beavers are the largest rodents in the United States.
Well-known for their habit of chewing on trees, the pests often live on properties by streams or rivers. The ideal beaver habitat is also the perfect location for a dam, including of any area with flowing water surrounded by trees and vegetation.
Why Do Beavers Build Dams?
Beavers make dams for a variety of reasons. Some of the most critical include:
- Protection from the river – Often, beavers construct their dens, called lodges, on the banks of rivers. Fast-moving water would quickly wash these homes away without a dam to slow the stream’s progress.
- Safety from predators – Dams create small ponds covering the entrance to a beaver’s lodge. This allows the animal to enter and leave its home undetected by bears, wildcats, other predators.
- Access to food – Beavers build dams to submerge bushes and trees, which compose most of the pest’s diet. This makes vegetation easy for beavers to access but more difficult for competing for wildlife to reach.
How Do Beavers Build Dams?
Beavers make dams with mounds of sticks and logs held together with mud. Dams span a river or stream and feature an underwater entrance to the lodge, which is either on the riverbank or inside the dam. The animals build their lodges above the waterline to keep them warm and dry.
When Do Dams Become a Problem?
Beaver dams slow or alter the course of running water. Bodies of water created by dams can cause properties, septic tanks, and basements to flood. In addition, these pools attract other wildlife and water-breeding insects that may cause issues for property owners.
When a backyard stream or pond becomes a beaver habitat, the pests remove vegetation near the water’s edge. Beavers strip bark from trees and eat the branches and leaves of willows and ornamental foliage. The damage from a single family of beavers can be devastating to landscaping and shorelines on waterfront properties.
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Depending on the size of the body of water, trapping and removing beavers might not be the best decision. Removing a beaver will provide simply provide a favorable habitat for another beaver. Whatever attracted those beavers initially will continue to attract other beavers.
To prevent yards from becoming beaver habitats, wrap tree trunks with metal sheeting or chicken wire. This will force the animals to look elsewhere for food and building materials. When beavers cause problems on properties, a call to Trutech can help. Trained staff will ensure the safe and humane removal of these pests.