What Kind Of Damage Can Beavers Cause?

Beavers are the largest rodent to be found in North America, and even around the world the only other rodent larger is the Capybara which is found in South America. They are also a species that will try to significantly alter their surroundings to suit their own personal preferences, and the main way in which they do this is to build a dam on an area of moving water that will allow them to have a deep pool of water behind their dam. This is used to give them access to food, and also to protect them from potential predators that would be able to attack them should they be found in areas of shallower water.

Flooding Caused By Beaver Dams

One of the biggest issues that can be caused by beaver is the flooding caused by these dams, and if they do this in a stream near a domestic property or agricultural area, then this flooding can be quite extensive. In the right location, a beaver could flood a part of a domestic garden, or it could even flood a part of a field, especially if there are a small line of trees between the field and the stream, as beavers tend to be attracted to areas with trees. This flooding can make footing tricky for animals and people that have to cross these areas, while the water can also undermine the banks of the stream and send water over a greater area.

Culverts Blocked By Beavers

In urban and suburban areas, beavers can become more of a nuisance as they will not only limit their habit of building dams to natural areas of streams and rivers. One of the biggest issues is that they will sometimes find a culvert or waste water pipe that is uncovered, and this will mean that their work of building a dam will be quite easy, as these areas naturally funnel the water into a confined area. If these culverts are close to buildings, then the flooding can stretch to these buildings, or it can lead to a buildup of water that has a significant impact on the surrounding area, and can undermine the banks of these water channels.

Damage To Trees

Another way in which beavers can cause damage is in terms of their diet, and also their preference of using small trees when they are building their dams. Smaller trees can often be felled by the beavers, and they can gnaw through the trunk of a small tree to bring it down, and then drag it from the banks down into the water where they will place it as part of their structure. Because a beaver’s diet is also largely made up of wood and bark, larger trees that can’t be felled by the beaver may also be damaged, as they will gnaw at the wood and the bark around ground level, and lead to distinct rings where the wood is exposed around the base of these trees.

Dealing With A Beaver Problem

There are several different methods that people can use to deal with a beaver, and in many situations prevention methods such as a metal grate to protect culverts and water pipes can be an effective deterrent. Once the beaver is present in an area, trapping is one potential method of dealing with the animal, and there are both live traps and lethal traps that can be used to catch the animal. If the beavers are located in rural areas, then it may well be possible to shoot the beaver, and there are many hunters that do shoot beavers annually in different parts of the country.