Beavers are an important species in wildlife, but they can cause expensive damage if they begin encroaching on your personal space. If you’re wondering how to get rid of a beaver in your yard, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn more about the best way to remove beavers, as well as some alternate methods you could try.
What You'll Learn Today
How Do You Scare Away Beavers?
A lot of people have never seen a beaver before. This is partly because beavers tend to avoid humans.
But, if you’ve got beavers on your property, chances are pretty good they aren’t bothered by your presence. Yes, they may spook easily and will scurry away if they see you; the problem is, they won’t necessarily stay away.
Some people have attempted to use scare tactics such as chasing beavers out of the yard or disassembling the dam the beavers built on their pond. But these tactics have only been successful for short periods of time–a few days to a week.
Beavers are resilient animals. There is no good way to permanently scare them away, so you’ll need to find other methods of getting rid of them.
What Smells Do Beavers Hate?
There aren’t a lot of smells that are known for repelling beavers. The scent of a predator on your property may chase them away, so you could try using deterrents made of predator urine.
You could also try strong smelling things like garlic, hot pepper, clove or peppermint oil, or mothballs. Some scent repellents make use of spoiled egg solids as a general pest deterrent. There is little evidence that any of these things will work specifically against beavers.
The problem with these scent-based repellents is that they have to be reapplied every time it rains. Even if you don’t get a lot of rain in your area, you may find that you have to reapply the deterrents frequently because the smell simply wears off.
What’s more, there’s not much reason to believe these scent-based deterrents actually work against beavers. Even if you continuously reapply the scent, the beavers may grow used to it and stop trying to avoid the area.
What is the Best Way to Get Rid of Beavers?
The best way to remove beavers from your property is to capture them using live animal traps. This may seem like a very difficult and time-consuming process, but it is the most humane, environmentally friendly, and permanent solution.
Before trapping beavers, make sure it is legal to do so in your state or local jurisdiction. You’ll also want to find an appropriate place for relocating the beavers once you capture them.
Next, you will find it helpful to watch a tutorial video or two before starting. Check out either or both of the videos below:
Some things to keep in mind when setting traps for beavers:
- Use a humane cage trap like those shown in the videos above. You want something that captures the beavers without hurting them.
- Choose a location with obvious signs of beaver traffic. If there’s a tree in your yard that has the bark stripped, or a pond with a beaver dam under construction, set the trap in one of these areas.
- Bait your traps with aspen or poplar bark, leaves, or by using beaver oil in and around the trap. You can also use castor oil-based lures, or a combination of different bait types.
- Check the traps at least once a day, preferably in the morning. Beavers are most active at night, so they are most likely to find their way into a trap while you’re asleep.
- Reset the trap and continue trapping beavers until there are no more signs of them in your yard. Beavers typically live in families, but you will probably only be able to catch one or two at a time (depending on how many traps you set).
- Release all the beavers in the same area if possible, as this will allow the family to stay together. Choose a location at least a couple of miles from your property to keep them from wandering back.
How Do You Get Rid of Beavers Without Trapping?
Though trapping is the most effective way to get rid of beavers, it may be illegal in some locations. Even if it’s legal in your area, you may be wondering what other options you have.
There are a few other ways to get rid of beavers, including:
- Using a spray repellent: You can try using a spray repellent anywhere you see evidence of beavers, but keep in mind that these repellents are often ineffective. What’s more, chemical-based sprays may be harmful to the beavers and other wildlife in the area.
- Putting a fence up: You can use chain link or mesh netting around trees, ponds, and other areas frequented by beavers. If the areas they like are hard to get to, they may leave on their own.
- Installing a drain pipe: This is an expensive and time-consuming option, but putting a drain pipe underneath a beaver dam will cause your pond to drain, making the dam ineffective. If they are unable to dam up areas of standing water, they will most likely move on.
- Hiring professional help: If you have a large number of beavers or nothing you do is effective at removing them, you may want to call a professional wildlife removal service.
Can I Kill a Beaver on My Property?
On your own property it may be possible legally, however, you shouldn’t really kill a beaver unless it poses a threat to human health and safety.
In some places, it is illegal to shoot and trap beavers under any circumstances; in other places, you aren’t allowed to kill them during the night but you can during the day; and in still other places, there are very few regulations of any kind.
Check online for your local rules and regulations and, if you can’t find any information, check with state or local lawmakers and wetland officials. Here is an example of Beaver Damage Control document in Wisconsin.
Even if killing beavers is legal in your area, try to use good judgment and only kill them if they actually pose a threat to human health and safety. First ask yourself if there are better options for getting rid of it.
If, for example, the beaver is sick or injured or obviously suffering in some way, the best option may be to put it out of its misery. Otherwise, try to find a way to simply relocate it or compel it to go away on its own.
If you have beavers felling your trees, damming up your ponds, or causing other damage on your property, then it’s best to trap it and relocate it to another area.
Other ways to get rid of beavers (or otters) include fencing off their favorite areas, using repellents, and hiring a professional service to relocate them from your property.