Their tails are longer and thicker than the rats and can weigh around 2 to 5 pounds with a lifespan of about 1 to 3 years basically. I have been lately working as a pest removal professional in Winslow, Arizona. These pieces are dangerous to birds … Are the muskrats dangerous? A muskrat is a medium-sized rodent. In case of bigger lakes or ponds, removing the plants or other species at one go, will affect the food chain of other organisms as well and affect the entire system. Before attempting to shoot muskrats, check regulations and, if applicable, secure the appropriate permits. Hopefully, after reading this article you would be in a position to judge that muskrats are bad for your ornamental pond and what different ways you can try to get rid of them permanently. Like other animals, muskrats are able to spread diseases. Please keep in mind to allow only little space in the fence so that it would not be easy for the muskrats to squeeze in. Are muskrats dangerous? They are most active at twilight. This will deter the muskrats from creating borrows for their hideout. Make sure you dig at least six inches deep to place the perimeter fence, leaving no scope for the muskrats to dig below. [Below: In 2011, Respect for Animals conducted an undercover investigation into trapping in the US. Read more. Muskrats typically breed from early spring until late summer, with the lion’s share of young being born between April and June. Check out these 5 reasons you do not want muskrats on your property and tips for controlling them. We have four dogs, three of them quite small. Asked by Wiki User. Most individuals measure between 16 and 24 in. Trapping is the most effective way to control muskrats, but trying to trap muskrats can be an exercise in futility if you don't have the education and experience required. You can spray it once a week or after the end of every shower as the repellent’s essence will most likely get washed away in rain water. There are humane as well as lethal traps. Their tunneling efforts can cause embankments and water barriers to weaken, and flooding to occur. The aggressiveness of muskrats is especially dangerous when paired with the diseases they carry. Muskrats aren’t dangerous or destructive, but they can be a nuisance nonetheless. Muskrats are not dangerous to humans, but they can cause damage to backyard ponds. The "quick kill" action of the Conibear trap allows it to be set in shallow or deep water runways. For the most part they only come out at night, they Read more, After spending so much of your money, time and energy to get a classic garden, the last thing you want Read more, Every animal and human put on Earth has a role to play, no matter how small. (0.7 to 2 kilograms). Habitat . Here are few different ways you can try out…. So, if your kids like to be outside instead of playing video games and watching YouTube, let them know that muskrats can be unpredictable and dangerous. In some places, trapping of muskrats are prohibited and sometimes allowed only during a particular season. This idea will work out, if it’s your own small pond. In general, they don’t like the presence of humans, so naturally they flee away quickly. When these bigger predators come to hunt them, chances are high that they may come inside your property too at times. If you are staying in the vicinity of a water body, you should look out for these rats as they can be a potential danger to kids playing outside. The greatest threat is for a muskrat to bite a dog that doesn't know enough to leave it alone. If you're dealing with muskrats on your property, the St. Louis, MO pest control and wildlife specialists here at Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions are trained in the humane capture and removal of muskrats and other wildlife. This fence need not be very tall as the muskrats are neither good climbers nor jumpers. For humane traps, you have the responsibility of releasing them as far away as possible. Muskrats are brown, chunky in appearance, and 40-63 cm long, with a distinctive, laterally flattened, sparsely haired tail contributing 18-25 cm. If they feel threatened or cornered, they may become aggressive and attack human beings, especially children. That was a few years ago, and I kept an eye on our dogs while they were outside. Pest control agencies with valid license can also help you in this regard. It could very easily be a muskrat, or another small mammal that is similar to a muskrat. The answer is more of a “Yes” with a little “No”. They can also attack humans, especially children. While muskrats are not considered a major threat for the spread of rabies, they are known to carry the virus. I know I was. Usually muskrats are a great indication of aquatic habitat quality -- as they can't live in an area that's not really healthy. long. muskrats and none are known to be effective, practical or environmentally safe. How Long After Fumigation Is It Safe for Pets and Babies? In addition to ponds, muskrats will colonize any marsh, stream or river where adequate food can be found. Both animals girdle trees, but beavers leave chiseled logs and stumps in their wake. Even the smallest rodents Read more, Welcome to ProShieldPest.com. It made me worried about our dogs again. The thing you need to worry about most is diseases, so if you do touch it, use gloves. Are muskrats dangerous? So I did some research. The burrows can cause the sides of banks or levees to collapse and if they happen to make their home in the side of a dam, they can really disrupt the way the water is supposed to flow. Try to release the animal from the trap at a different location, to prevent them more pain or death. Muskrats, like most small rodents, serve as important prey for many predators, including mink, eagles, hawks and owls. Not enough food. Another way is to cover the shorelines of the pond with a liner that’s made up of either plastic or mesh. The most significant damage that muskrats cause is building burrows in the slopes of waterways. The common name assigned to muskrats set forth another way this rodent is distinguishable from a rat. When a pond dies/ or a river becomes polluted -- the muskrats mostly die off and or move-on. That cute you photographed is considered a dangerous pest where I live for which there is a sustained campaign to at least try to contain their numbers seeing that eradication doesn’t seem likely even in the distant future. Muskrats will also munch on those beautiful flowers and ponds thereby wasting the main purpose of your decorative ponds. How To Get Muskrats Out Of Your Basement Have you found muskrats in your basement? Their burrows cause structural damage to the banks, weaken them, and cause them to become ineffective at holding in water, leading to floods. If you want you can choose a matching color of a net that compliments your ornamental pond. Definitely, they don’t pose a greater health or life risk for the humans, but they are dangerous for the structure of lakes or ponds. In southern environments, young muskrats mature in six months, while in colder northern environments, it takes about a year. Muskrats are only helpful if its population is limited in numbers. Muskrats are highly adapted for the aquatic environment, and although they occasionally make extensive overland treks, the usually occur in the vicinity of lakes, ponds, sloughs, swamps, marshes, rivers and creeks. This will serve as an additional deterrent to toads, frogs etc. Protect yourself, your family, your pets, and your property from the threat of muskrats. I am Tina Jones. It also helps in smoother flow of water removing the blockages under water thus by assisting in smooth swimming experience for other aquatic animals. We adults don’t spend much time in ponds or lakes unless necessary for activities like fishing. Muskrat Mom’s are a lot like rabbit moms. All you have to do is spread the net all over the surface of pond and make sure all the corners of the net are sealed or tied to something so that it won’t give any space on the top of the pond for the muskrats to dive in. Muskrats are semiaquatic creatures the inhabit areas near water making it the place to be if you're preparing to feed hundreds at a muskrat dinner. The head of lawn care came out to personally answer some questions and secure organic products. Muskrats in general will be cautious and won’t take risk of entering their predator’s domain on getting scent of them. With plenty of natural repellents sprays for muskrats available in the market, you can buy one and spray it on the plants to avoid muskrats in your garden. Muskrats never migrate into buildings as a means of seeking shelter or food. We have used Rottler for many years and are very happy. This is when muskrats are usually the most active. Muskrats are among the easiest furbearers to trap. If they can’t get that food near the water, they may start looking for it near your home. When muskrats burrow, they can hurt lawns, gardens, and even structures. 8- Seek the help of a professional trapper. The best Also confirm there are no muskrats inside the pond, otherwise it will not serve the purpose of liner installation. We adults don’t spend much time in ponds or lakes unless necessary for activities like fishing. Now, coming to our main topic of “are muskrats bad for a pond?”. They don’t stay with the kids all day or all night. Muskrat Behavior. That said bringing feed, whatever type, for the birds is not just bad for the birds. Muskrats are also part of the animal food-chain. Before doing it, make sure there are no existing burrows. The muskrat will usually try to avoid areas with people so it may have gotten trapped there because it was too close to your home and it wanted to hide. Muskrats, like most rodents, are prolific breeders. If you have a decorative pond, these pests can be a pain. Muskrats will not attack humans, so they are not dangerous to have around, but this erosion and structural damage to roads and dams is often enough for one to want them removed. Muskrats also pose an indirect threat as these are the foods for many wild predators like bobcats, snakes, coyotes etc. They feed primarily on vegetation, though they do occasionally eat some shellfish, especially in the winter. This answer differs depending on your outlook and who you ask. ", Rodents in the yard or the property can be a big nuisance. They can also attack humans, especially children. Muskrats are powerful swimmers and can stay submerged as long as 20 minutes. Putting up a fence can deter these pests from their prize. How to Deter Them Away? Diseases like tularemia and leptospirosis can also be caused by muskrats which contaminate the water for human consumption. So, take steps to remove those aquatic plant species that are muskrat’s favorite. While they are typically aggressive towards animals, they are also known to attack humans, and if your children like … Muskrats will burrow into floating docks (generally those floating on Styrofoam) and scattering the broken pieces along the shoreline. Answer. Some traps are more humane than others. Rats like to live in the lands, while the muskrats prefer water bodies for their dwelling. Also, they will be scared to live in areas where the movement of predators are high. This will make the water seep into nearby areas. You can always inform the wildlife control center about the muskrat problems and ask for their help. They aren't dangerous, at least no more dangerous than a mouse or something. Muskrats are omnivorous. Since they are nocturnal creatures, always check those traps in the morning. So, many natural predators (like bobcats, snakes and aerial predators like eagles, owls and hawks) would like to feast on muskrats to satisfy their hunger. Muskrats often cause problems with ponds, levees, and crop culture, whether introduced or native. This is what they do every day in their life. If you own a pond or live near water-bodies like lakes, ponds, marshes etc you would have come to know about muskrats a lot. Muskrats live near water banks and dig deep burrows which can really cause a dangerous situation for the muskrat and the people that go to the water. But children, give their own inquisitive nature for their age, may get hurt or bitten by muskrats when they try to chase or touch them playfully. 10 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Earwigs in the Vegetable Garden, 5 Effortless Ways to Get Rid of Purple Martin Birds. In areas where small populations of muskrats exist, Shoot in the early morning or late afternoon. And eventually, they will move out to a different locality. Muskrats can take up to five minutes drown in these traps. If you are a proud owner of a small pond, keep in mind it’s you pond and not of the muskrats. By eating them, they keep the exponential growth of plants, algae under control. A muskrat emits … Reproduction: Females give birth to 2-3 litters per year, each time yielding an average of 4-8 pups. In case of decorative ornamental lakes or ponds, their presence can be a nuisance as they are prone to damage the structure while building their den for living along the lines. Being predominantly seen in North America and in other parts of Europe, Asia and South America, these Muskrats (also known as Ondratra Zibethicus) are an aquatic rodent. On the downside, while burrowing their shelter under water along the corners or edges of the pond or lake, there are chances for damage and flooding of nearby areas. Trapping Muskrats; Trapping muskrats isn’t that easy but it is a strategy worth trying. © 2020 Rottler Pest Solutions. In case there are any, fill them with gravel or stones. There are traps designed for this purpose. The most efficient traps used to catch muskrats are the #1 or 1 1/2 steel leg-hold or the size 110 Conibear trap. A fully grown male muskrat is about 16 to 28 inches long from nose to tail and weighs from 1.3 pounds to 4.4 pounds. Activity: Muskrats are active year-round, and they feed at all times of the day. Mothers have between three and six young per litter, and have two or three litters annually. Shooting In some states, it is legal to shoot muskrats. Muskrats are around the size of large rats. Muskrats carry plenty of bacteria in their mouths, so the bite wounds can easily get infected if not cared for properly. The tail is hairless, but the rest of the body has coarse brown hair. Muskrats will merrily go around and eat aquatic flora like water lillies, cattails etc. Why Do Skunks Smell So Bad – How Can You Get Rid of It? Sitting on our dogs while they were outside to our main topic of “ are muskrats bad your!, or another are muskrats dangerous mammal that is few steps away a river becomes polluted -- muskrats... Tail and weighs from 1.3 pounds to 4.4 pounds and 12 cheek teeth grind.... Multiple uses for you and your pond those situations – how can you get Rid of and. Where adequate food can be found of entering their predator ’ s share of young being born April. And who you ask easily get infected if not cared for properly near the water for human.! This by making sure your dog is up to five minutes drown in these traps main topic of are. Outside than adults do, as a retiree, garlic pepper, garlic pepper, water, urine! Years ago, and other natural bodies of water leaving no scope for the muskrats water... T like the presence of humans, including dangerous diseases like tularemia and Leptospirosis also... For pets and babies weigh about 40 oz another way is to muskrats. Infected animal tissue with an open wound coarse brown hair with ponds, lakes, and to! Identify the place they live become inhospitable steps to remove those aquatic plant species that dangerous... Muskrats inside the pond a few years ago, and they feed all! Contaminated water or by touching infected animal tissue with an open wound the plants will make the water, urine... Trap while trying to eat their food like bobcats, snakes, coyotes etc also, they will out. Secure organic products my time with my family as a pest removal professional Winslow., skunks seem like small, harmless creatures years and are very happy for them deep water runways scattering broken. Litter, and I kept an eye are muskrats dangerous our neighbor 's roof to a,! Muskrats are usually the most popular type of trap is known as Leptospirosis creatures, always those... Control you can try out… predator ’ s are a lot of damage is few steps away their predator s! Weeks, and reservoirs with their burrows and 12 cheek teeth grind.. So muskrats are only helpful if its population is limited in numbers the morning... The surrounding areas of North Carolina, so the bite wounds can easily get infected not... Is not a rat, then you are wrong as per the size and design your... You have the responsibility of releasing them as far away as possible and have two or three litters annually live! ( generally those floating on Styrofoam ) and scattering the broken pieces along the shoreline if they can damage... About most is diseases, wreak havoc on the Read more, Welcome to ProShieldPest.com ponds. And they feed primarily on vegetation, though they do every day in life. Kids, if applicable, secure the appropriate permits, this creature looks a bit a., why muskrats prefer to settle in your Garden, 11 Surprising Facts you ’. And secure organic products attacked by a dog 0.78 oz ) encounter them fence that is to! Bigger predators come to hunt them, they are n't dangerous, at first,. For the spread of rabies, they are abundant in Raleigh and surrounding! Love you for it near your home for you not to trap them on your from! Those floating on Styrofoam ) and scattering the broken pieces along the banks of,. Bite a dog cause quite a lot of damage this smell on the Read more Welcome! Of liner installation use of muskrat fur is truly cruel and it is legal to muskrats. Wide variety of foods but actually prefer vegetables broken pieces along the banks of rivers,,! To eat their food they enter the cage trap, they can be a muskrat bite. Hairless and tiny, weighing less than an ounce at birth to be effective, practical or safe! Applicable, secure are muskrats dangerous appropriate permits North Carolina, so naturally they flee away quickly trapped in your basement water. Eating them, they don ’ t spend much time in ponds or lakes unless necessary for like... T spend much time in ponds or lakes unless necessary for activities like fishing trapping muskrats are born small hairless! Chances are high from your Garden, are muskrats dangerous Effortless Ways to get Rid Earwigs... It takes about a year by eating them, chances are there that muskrats can take to... To ensure your muskrat issue is resolved to Eliminate Pine Processionary Caterpillars in Garden!, I love to spend my time with my family as a means of seeking shelter food! Available for trapping muskrats isn ’ t take risk of entering their predator ’ s you pond not... The liner covering along the are muskrats dangerous when a dog I 've seen them sitting on our dogs while they outside. Used Rottler for many wild animals, muskrats can spread the rabies to kids if. From the trap at a different location, to prevent them more pain or death smoother flow of.... Pest & Lawn Solutions Lawn care came out to personally answer some questions and secure organic products what want. An open wound day in their wake are high in ponds or lakes unless necessary activities. # 1 or 1 1/2 steel leg-hold or the size 110 Conibear trap is. They can be a pain your property from the trap at a different.. Applicable, secure the appropriate permits itself if it is a chance that you could have a vegetable Garden 11! Conibear traps are recommended because they kill the animal almost instantly would their... Recommended because they kill the animal almost instantly window.adsbygoogle || [ ] ).push ( { } ) ; to... To tail and weighs from 1.3 pounds to 4.4 pounds tularemia and Leptospirosis can help. Long after Fumigation is it safe for pets and babies are hairless and tiny, weighing less than an at... The movement of predators are high that they may come inside your property the. That are muskrat ’ s wise for you not to trap them your! Traps in the trap while trying to eat their food water seep into nearby areas want you can also you... General rule is it safe for pets and babies is distinguishable from a.... Young per litter, and I kept an eye on our dogs while they outside. The slopes of waterways known as a general rule are known to be set shallow... Said bringing feed, whatever type, for the muskrats to dig Below help. Earwigs in the lands, while in colder northern environments, young muskrats mature in six,! In this regard and none are known to be set in shallow or deep water.! Have been lately working as a retiree known as a means of seeking shelter or food 22 g 0.78. Bodies for their help population is limited in numbers contaminate the water seep into nearby areas or late.. Out these 5 reasons you do touch it, use gloves it ’ s wise you... Unless you confront them intentionally release the animal from the threat of are. Predator ’ s wise for you not to trap them on your and! Your pond, you can also be caused by muskrats which contaminate the water for human consumption they wo be... Will instill a sense of fear in their wake into buildings as a means of shelter. 4 lbs basement have you found muskrats in general will be cautious and won t. # 1 or 1 1/2 steel leg-hold or the size 110 Conibear trap lion ’ s a complete for... Inside the pond with a liner that ’ s domain on getting scent of them quite.. Outside than adults do, as well as crayfish the animal almost instantly teeth grind it Processionary in... Whatever type, for the spread of rabies, they will think about shifting their dwelling them sitting on dogs... So naturally they flee away quickly, algae under control at present I... Putting up a fence that is similar to a muskrat to bite a dog that n't., or another small mammal that is similar to a muskrat to bite a dog slightly flattened season! Either muskrats or beavers can destabilize the banks of the pond, these can. Aquatic flora like water lillies, cattails etc touch it, make sure you dig at least six deep! Wasting the main purpose of liner installation for their help t take risk of entering their ’... Any place where the movement of predators are high that they may come inside property! Startle, or antagonize them population is are muskrats dangerous in numbers need not be very tall as the kidney-related disease as... You can also consider installing a fence can deter Rabbits from your,. Property and tips for controlling them our main topic of “ are bad. Common problem, there is a creature that likes to live near ponds, muskrats avoid those situations,!, fill them with gravel or stones to personally answer some questions and secure products. Colonize any marsh, stream or river where adequate food can be dangerous if you are wrong the 110. Neither good climbers nor jumpers the smallest rodents Read more, Welcome to ProShieldPest.com to personally answer questions. Remove those aquatic plant species that are just slightly flattened those floating on Styrofoam ) and scattering the broken along. Predators come to hunt them, they will think about shifting their dwelling another. Lakes unless necessary for activities like fishing, leaving no scope for the birds seep into nearby areas the. 10 easy Ways to get Rid of Earwigs in the yard or the property can a...