Are Beavers Pests? How Do I Repel Them From My Yard and Property?

Beavers are an important part of the ecosystem. Yet, they can also cause a lot of problems with the land because they destroy trees and can cause areas of land to wash out. For this reason, a lot of people are under the impression that beavers are pests. 

While beavers aren’t considered pests, they can cause damage to a person’s property. This is why many property owners want to find a solution to repel beavers from their land that works.

On this page, we’re going to further discuss if beavers are actually pests. We will also share some of our top tips for keeping beavers away from your property so they can’t cause damage. Keep reading to learn more.

Are Beavers Considered A Pest?

If a beaver has been on your property, you may consider it a pest. While it’s true that beavers can cause a lot of damage, it’s not as bad as you may be thinking. Sure, a beaver may have chopped down your favorite tree, flooded an area of your land, or even ruined the shrubs you overpaid for. However, beavers always have a purpose with these acts.

Beavers are known as engineers of the environment, which is why they are important for keeping the ecosystem healthy. While beavers aren’t pests, they have been labeled as such by property owners that aren’t happy with the beaver’s engineering process since it interfered with their land.

What Problems Do Beavers Cause?

Property owners usually aren’t happy when they find out a beaver has been living on their land. One of the main reasons why is because they chop down trees. They are known to chop down small trees, while just felling larger trees. However, if a beaver is persistent, it can gnaw through a tree with a 50 cm diameter overnight.

The beaver’s sharp teeth can harm the trees around the pond and cause unexpected tree falling; this can be harmful to other animals, people, buildings, cars, etc. 

One of the peskiest things that beavers can do with trees is only chomping around the edge. It’s very common for beavers to do this and then let mother nature take care of the rest. Typically the tree will fall over on its own or the next time it gets windy. 

A beaver’s main priority is to build a dam to protect its young. They are very good at this and can build strong dams. These dams are so strong that they can slow down (or even fully stop) a flowing river or stream.

While dams can have an important and beneficial effect on the local ecosystem, they can also become a barrier for fish that are migrating and cause an overwhelming abundance of animal and plant habitats. It can threaten property, agricultural crops, and even public safety. 

Why Beavers Are Good To Have Around

Believe it or not, beavers are actually very good to have around, even if they did ruin your favorite tree. When a beaver creates a dam, it also creates a wetland that other animals benefit from. By doing this, it makes a new habitat for fish, insects, amphibians, and other animals.

Beavers can also help prevent flooding since they slow down the flow of water. This can be good for areas where there is a downward stream. Along with that, beavers also construct a landscape that’s more resistant to forest fires. This is because the beavers store water, which prevents drought in the land around them.

Another reason that beavers are good to have around is that they will take care of excess trees in the area. This is good news for people that have a lot of overgrown trees on their property. 

How Do You Humanely Get Rid Of Beavers?

Even if you want to get rid of those beavers on your property, you likely don’t want to hurt them. If beavers are making a mess on your land, there’s only one solution to get rid of beavers humanely.

Firstly, before you take any steps to get rid of the beavers that are bothering you, it is important to check whether you have the right to do so. Getting rid of a beaver is not that easy, and sometimes it takes hard work to successfully do so, and this is why you want to make sure that you are allowed to do this. 

You could install a drain pipe at the dam; this will make the area not liveable for the beaver, or not up to its standards, and the beaver will eventually leave as the dam will fail. 

You can use a live trap, but since beavers are quite large you are limited to the number of traps you can use. A clamshell trap could work. 

Can You Trap And Relocate A Beaver?

The safest and most effective way to get rid of a beaver on your property is to trap it and then relocate it. This should be done in the evening because beavers are nocturnal.

You will need to place the trap along where the beavers are living. Make sure you line the beaver trap with something that the beaver enjoys the smell of, like poplar or a beaver castor.

Where Should You Release A Beaver?

You need to find a good spot to relocate the beaver. These animals have predictable travel patterns, so you will need to place them somewhere where they can create new living quarters and not travel back to your land. Make sure you release the beaver in a wetland area, such as a:

  • Pond
  • River
  • Marsh
  • Lake
  • Stream

Is It OK To Destroy A Beaver Dam?

Always check the bylaws in your municipality for whether or not you’re allowed to destroy a beaver dam once the beavers have been relocated. Some municipalities have laws that prevent property owners from touching the dam, while others allow it if the dam is causing damage to your property.

Destroying the beaver dam makes it difficult for beavers to return to your property. If you’re allowed to dismantle the dam, you will need to be 100 % sure that all the beavers are out of the area first. When you do destroy the beaver dam, it’s recommended to use a wood chipper so the materials used to build the dam are no longer useable if beavers return to the area.

How Do You Keep Beavers Away From Your Property?

One thing to know about beavers is that they are persistent. It’s very likely that they will return to the scene and attempt to rebuild their dam. If you don’t do anything to protect your property from the beavers, they could rebuild a dam overnight. Luckily, keeping beavers away from your property isn’t complicated.

The main thing you need to consider is fencing. Beavers aren’t good climbers, and fences are difficult for beavers to chew through.

If the beavers on your land have a tendency to chew at trees, the best solution is to wrap the trees. This can be done with a wire mesh, but it must be at least 2-3 feet high. Wrap it around the base of the tree so the beavers can’t chew at the trunk, but leave enough room in the wrap (roughly 6 inches) so the tree can continue to grow.

However, if the beavers have built a dam on your land, you will need to take more precautions. This will require you to install fencing around your property, or at least in the area where beavers are making a habitat. Make sure the fencing you install is at least 4 feet high to keep those beavers away.

The best types of fencing for keeping beavers out are wire mesh, chain link, or electric fence. Don’t install a wood fence because beavers will be able to chew on it. Always choose a strong material that they won’t be able to chomp on. 

How Can You Repel Beavers?

If you live near wetlands, there is the possibility of beavers making a mess in your yard. One of the first steps you can take to make sure beavers aren’t attracted to your property is limiting the number of food sources like plants, shrubs, and trees near the water. It’s a good idea to clear any that are growing on your land.

However, once you clear the area, you may be wondering what further steps you can take to repel beavers from your property.

Repel Beavers Using Smells

If you’re looking for beaver repellent on the market, you’re out of luck. Unfortunately, smells aren’t linked to repelling beavers from certain areas. However, along with other tactics, using certain scents can help to keep beavers from wanting to come onto your property.

Beavers have a really good sense of smell. If you use the urine from one of their predators, the beavers could be afraid to come back to your property. This can be the urine of coyotes or foxes. If you are unable to get urine, using ammonia or mothballs could also be effective.

Using Sounds and Lighting To Repel Beavers

You can use sound and lighting to scare beavers away. This can be done with motion lights and a loud sound, such as an alarm. Not only is this effective for scaring the beaver away, but it will also give the impression that there is already someone or something there.

If you don’t want to startle any nearby neighbors with a loud sound, you don’t have to. In some cases, light is effective enough. Beavers are nocturnal, which is why they do most of their engineering when it’s dark out. They won’t want to live in a land that is brightly lit.

Can You Repel Beavers With Dogs?

Your dog may be excellent at keeping intruders and unwanted guests away. However, it won’t have the same effect with beavers.

It’s not recommended to bring your dog near a beaver, even if you think it could be aggressive enough to scare the beaver off. This is because beavers are known to put up a fight against other animals to protect their habitat. Your dog could get injured by the beaver during an attack.