The beaver is the largest rodent in North America with adults ranging from 35 to 46 inches long (including a flattened 12-18 inch tail) and weighing from 45 to 60 pounds. Beaver weighing over 100 pounds have been recorded. The hind feet are very large with 5 long webbed toes. Front feet are small and dexterous, which allows the beaver to carry dam construction material such as stones and sticks. Both sexes of beavers breed at 21 months of age from December through February. Females ovulate 2 to 4 times at 7 to 15 day intervals during each mid-winter breeding season.
Beavers have several physical characteristics that enable them to thrive in aquatic environments, such as webbed feet, nostrils and ears that close underwater membrane that cover the eyes underwater, and a broad, flat, scaly tail. They can remain submerged for up to 20 minutes by slowing their heart rates and using oxygen stored in their large livers. Beavers mark their territories by excreting a sweet, yet pungent, musk from paired glands around their anus called, castors. Their habitat is in small lakes, rivers, wetlands and other waterways. Beavers build dams using woody material to modify their habitat, and they feed on the bark and small branches of fast growing hardwood trees.
Beavers are equipped with powerful jaws that are capable of taking down (felling) large trees with ease. In some cases, beaver activity can threaten property, agricultural crops, or public health and safety. Beavers have been known to eat almost every tree and shrub species available. Beaver activity may cause damage to public and private property in the form of flooding or tree damage. Girdled, cut or felled trees may topple over, fall onto other trees, utility lines, or precariously hang over public pathways or roadways. In addition, they often gnaw on living trees just to grind down and sharpen their continuously growing incisor teeth.
Dams built by beavers may cause flooding, which in the most severe cases may weaken structures, wash out roads, and alter watercourses. Beaver dams also may negatively affect other natural resources. For example, dams can serve as barriers to migrating fish and cause inundation and siltation of rare plant and animal habitats.
Beavers have been known to be extremely aggressive in defending their territory against perceived encroachment. They may attack humans when suffering from rabies, and “can also become disoriented during the daytime and attack out of fear”. When beavers feel in trapped by others, they sometimes resort to truculent measures such as biting. The trademark sharp front teeth of both species pose a particular danger, as they are long enough to pass through limbs and cause significant bleeding.
Let us look at below news articles that show threats from beavers:
Animals threaten Hopkins County roads, crops, timber
By Mike Alexieff , Kentucky new era, Sep 4, 2017
They’ve cost the county nearly $100,000 since 2015. They damage cropland and timber. They cause flooding and threaten roads.
They are beavers, and they are a growing problem in Hopkins County. Now, a working group under the commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources that includes state and federal agencies as well as state and local elected officials is studying the problem.
“They stop culverts up. They stop drainage areas up with sticks and mud,” said Jeff Browning, Hopkins County public works director. “The water backs up and causes damage to roads, crops and woods.”
Browning has four employees who are pulled off their regular jobs every winter to spend time trapping beavers, really the only method of controlling the members of the rodent family that can grow as large as 90 pounds.
“We start trapping every day, for eight hours a day, in December,” he said.
And from January 2015 through April of this year the county spent $96,000 dealing with the beaver problem.
“We’re not gaining on it,” Browning said. “And I think it’s getting worse.”
Beavers causing damage in Bristol
By Jill Tatge-Rozell, Kenosha news, Sep 1 2017
Residents’ reaction to the problems that the large rodents’ work causes in the Dutch Gap Canal.
The dams, removed for decades by residents, were identified at the Bristol Village Board meeting this week as a factor contributing to flooding in the Lake George area.
“We’ve got to get someone out here to trap them,” resident Scott Shannon, said. “It’s a friggin’ nightmare. I’ve taken probably 100 dams out with my (backhoe).”
It is not only a problem in Bristol. Residents in Paddock Lake and Wheatland have also experienced the damage beavers can cause. Longtime residents in all three communities said the beaver population is on the rise.
Paddock Lake administrator Tim Popanda said beaver were causing problems in the canal that leads to the lake a couple of years ago.
Homeowners and industry struggling with beaver dam flooding
By Samantha Samson, CBC News, August 7, 2017
Sticks and branches pierce the silence of a quiet summer day in rural Greater Sudbury. They crack and crunch under the weight of Paul Van Zutpen’s shoes.
“With this dam here, they’re raising it up at least three feet of water,” Van Zutpen says.
“If it breaks accidentally, it could wash this whole culvert out.”
Van Zutpen is the director of the Ontario Fur Managers Federation for the Sudbury area. He’s examining a beaver dam that’s recently been torn out of a residential culvert.
The dam has caused flooding in the area, and Van Zutpen says it looks like the beavers have started a second dam down the creek in case this first one gives way.
The situation is getting so bad, that even people who are used to dealing with nearby beavers are frustrated.
Rhonda Hall has lived on her property for 25 years. She says beaver dams have flooded her property to the point where her septic field and well water are at risk.
That beaver dams flooded an area near a Sudbury transmission line, and they needed to lower the water levels to complete the work safely.
Rolly Coulombe, vice president of the council, says he’s received 100 calls this year alone. As someone who’s been trapping for 35 years, he’s seen a lot of different dam scenarios.
“They build up water to the point where it could go down the mine shaft,” says Coulombe.
“Plus, these mining companies have large tracts of land and they have roads everywhere. There’s culverts in the roads, so beavers plug those culverts and you have the same problems as you have at homes.”
To control beaver damage trapping is one option. Biologists classify beavers as ‘keystone species’. Beavers build dams in water and create wetlands upon which many species and endangered species depend. They purify and control water by filtering silt from water bodies in which they live. High water table, less erosion and cleaner water results from these beaver dams. They can also prevent forest fire from spreading in neighboring region. Beaver dams also protect downstream spawning areas from sedimentation and increase salmon and trout populations.
Hence to use conventional methods like electric fencing, exclusion fencing, frightening devices, toxicants, fumigants, toxic rodenticides would not be appropriate. As these methods directly harm beavers.
This is a serious issue which needs to be noticed and addressed immediately.
Application of conventional methods like rodenticides kills the target as well as non-target species. They have high release mechanism which can leach out and pose a serious effect on human health.
These factors haveled to the search of low-toxic, non-hazardous and non-carcinogenic and environmentally safe anti-rodent aversive.
CombirepelTM is low-toxic, non-hazardous aversive which does not kill the animal but repels them from the application. CombirepelTM is consumed globally for myriad applications. It is a product resulting from green chemistry.
The products are available in the form of solid masterbatch, liquid concentrate and lacquer form. Our products are in the form of a masterbatch that can be incorporated in pipes, agricultural film, mulches etc. while manufacturing. The CombirepelTM liquid concentrate and the CombirepelTM lacquer can be applied to fencing of trees, house, croplands etc.
Contact us, for any problems with insects, animals or both!!!!