Their tunneling efforts can cause embankments and water barriers to weaken, and flooding to occur. Reproduction: Females give birth to 2-3 litters per year, each time yielding an average of 4-8 pups. Kids spend more time running around outside than adults do, as a general rule. Muskrats will burrow into floating docks (generally those floating on Styrofoam) and scattering the broken pieces along the shoreline. 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. Sometimes you may also have the owls, cats or snakes as pets, which when released outside can hunt these down due to their inherent killing nature. 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. This is a creature that likes to live near ponds, lakes, and other natural bodies of water. The most efficient traps used to catch muskrats are the #1 or 1 1/2 steel leg-hold or the size 110 Conibear trap. How to Deter Them Away? You can always inform the wildlife control center about the muskrat problems and ask for their help. If they feel threatened or cornered, they may become aggressive and attack human beings, especially children. This smell on the plants will make muskrats go awry. Adults weigh anywhere from 23 to 63 oz., but they weigh about 40 oz. 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. long. Usually muskrats are a great indication of aquatic habitat quality -- as they can't live in an area that's not really healthy. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); How to Get Rid of Muskrats and Keep Them Away? They avoid humans and will generally flee from you if you encounter them. In addition to ponds, muskrats will colonize any marsh, stream or river where adequate food can be found. The thing you need to worry about most is diseases, so if you do touch it, use gloves. Answer. Muskrats are also part of the animal food-chain. Trapping Muskrats; Trapping muskrats isn’t that easy but it is a strategy worth trying. Muskrats are not dangerous to humans, but they can cause damage to backyard ponds. These pieces are dangerous to birds … Kids spend more time running around outside than adults do, as a general rule. Conibear traps are recommended because they kill the animal almost instantly. I hadn't seen them around since that year, but a few days ago, I saw six of them circling around our neighborhood, diving and swooping. Shooting In some states, it is legal to shoot muskrats. The most significant damage that muskrats cause is building burrows in the slopes of waterways. If threatened they may bite or scratch you. Muskrat Mom’s are a lot like rabbit moms. Muskrats often cause problems with ponds, levees, and crop culture, whether introduced or native. The babies are born small and hairless, and weigh only about 22 g (0.78 oz). They eat a wide variety of foods but actually prefer vegetables. Moreover, this will instill a sense of fear in their minds and would change their living burrows soon. Hopefully, the information you will find here useful that can help in safeguarding your home! 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. We offer a free inspection and continued monitoring throughout your service to ensure your muskrat issue is resolved. If you are afraid of it, best thing is to get rid of them in a humane way. So I did some research. It also helps in smoother flow of water removing the blockages under water thus by assisting in smooth swimming experience for other aquatic animals. Activity: Muskrats are active year-round, and they feed at all times of the day. They can spread diseases, wreak havoc on the Read more, At first glance, skunks seem like small, harmless creatures. The head of lawn care came out to personally answer some questions and secure organic products. Before doing it, make sure there are no existing burrows. Humans can get tularemia from drinking contaminated water or by touching infected animal tissue with an open wound. The answer is more of a “Yes” with a little “No”. This will serve as an additional deterrent to toads, frogs etc. Muskrats don't just attack animals. By eating them, they keep the exponential growth of plants, algae under control. So, it’s wise for you not to trap them on your own. 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. Either muskrats or beavers can destabilize the banks of rivers, ponds, and reservoirs with their burrows. Are muskrats dangerous? They can also attack humans, especially children. Most individuals measure between 16 and 24 in. In some places, trapping of muskrats are prohibited and sometimes allowed only during a particular season. 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. Be the first to answer! Muskrats never migrate into buildings as a means of seeking shelter or food. If threatened they may bite or scratch you. However, any animal will defend itself if it is attacked by a dog. 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. muskrats and none are known to be effective, practical or environmentally safe. At a glance, this creature looks a bit like a small beaver. How to Eliminate Pine Processionary Caterpillars in Your Garden? They can carry tularemia, as well as the kidney-related disease known as Leptospirosis. If you have a small pond, this can be an efficient method to deter muskrats away. When they find, their source of food is scarce they will think about shifting their dwelling to another pond or lake. At present, I love to spend my time with my family as a retiree. If you mistake them for a rat, then you are wrong. 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. They are abundant in Raleigh and the surrounding areas of North Carolina, so muskrats are not protected. Muskrats are powerful swimmers and can stay submerged as long as 20 minutes. That is, until you check its tail! Muskrats are not dangerous unless you confront them intentionally. on average. We have used Rottler for many years and are very happy. In your garden, they can cause quite a lot of damage. Not enough food. (0.7 to 2 kilograms). Shooting muskrats should be done during dusk or during the early morning after the first few hours of sunlight. 1 2 3. If you have a decorative pond, these pests can be a pain. If it’s a large natural pond or lake, then their existence will not be of much botheration as their presence keeps a check on the aquatic ecosystem and food chain. The size of the litters varies with the seasons, with larger litters being born in spring and summer, and small litters being born in winter. 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 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. Diseases like tularemia and leptospirosis can also be caused by muskrats which contaminate the water for human consumption. Muskrats are also capable of transmitting various diseases to humans, including dangerous diseases like rabies. If you ponder, why muskrats prefer to settle in your pond, most of the times its abundant food resources for them. 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. They aren't dangerous, at least no more dangerous than a mouse or something. This will deter the muskrats from creating borrows for their hideout. Protect yourself, your family, your pets, and your property from the threat of muskrats. Muskrats are brown, chunky in appearance, and 40-63 cm long, with a distinctive, laterally flattened, sparsely haired tail contributing 18-25 cm. Whilst rats are attracted to human populations, muskrats avoid those situations. Four incisors cut and hold plant food and 12 cheek teeth grind it. Muskrat vs. Beaver Problems. They feed primarily on vegetation, though they do occasionally eat some shellfish, especially in the winter. Muskrats will merrily go around and eat aquatic flora like water lillies, cattails etc. ", Rodents in the yard or the property can be a big nuisance. If you are a proud owner of a small pond, keep in mind it’s you pond and not of the muskrats. If there are number of muskrat present, you can trap them in groups using a large sized trap and release them again in a more natural habitat like bigger lakes or ponds. All rights reserved. Muskrat Behavior. Another way is to cover the shorelines of the pond with a liner that’s made up of either plastic or mesh. In general, they don’t like the presence of humans, so naturally they flee away quickly. Muskrats have long, narrow tails that are just slightly flattened. Asked by Wiki User. 8- Seek the help of a professional trapper. 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