Mountain Beaver Control

Controlling Mountain Beavers: Trapping, Removal, and Prevention

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The mountain beaver’s name does not make much sense. This animal is not really a beaver in any way, and it doesn’t usually live in high-mountain areas, either. Mountain beavers are rodents and are probably more closely related to squirrels than anything. Mountain beavers, or aplodontidae, are known by other nicknames such as boomer, whistler, chehalis and sewellel. They usually weigh between two and four pounds and are about one foot in length. Mountain beavers resemble a muskrat without a tail. They also have large, digging claws.

Like all rodents, mountain beavers’ teeth grow constantly; therefore, they have a great need to gnaw in order to keep their teeth ground to a short enough length. They have very small eyes and ears, with long silver whiskers on their cheeks. They will often balance on their hind feet while eating.

Mountain beaver fur is usually grayish or reddish brown. Younger animals are usually darker colored than the older. Mountain beaver feet are bare on the soles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q-1. Where do mountain beaver live?
Q-2. When are mountain beaver most active?
Q-3. How many mountain beaver are in a colony?
Q-4. What foods will a mountain beaver eat?
Q-5. Why should I learn how to get rid of a mountain beaver in my yard or golf course?
Q-6. I heard that mountain beaver can carry diseases and insects.  Is that true?
Q-7. I want to trap or kill a mountain beaver myself.  Is that OK?
Q-8. How can United Wildlife's animal pest control help me solve my mountain beaver problem?
Q-9. What are United Wildlife's payment options for mountain beaver removal or to get rid of a mountain beaver?
Q-10. What should I do after United Wildlife animal control exterminates or relocates a mountain beaver?

Q-1. WHERE DO MOUNTAIN BEAVERS LIVE?
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A. The Pacific coastal states of the U.S. have a very high mountain beaver population. They can also live further south and east in the U.S., but the numbers in those areas are more scattered.

Mountain beavers usually choose to make their homes in or near wooded lands with large masses of tangled vegetation, such as ferns and blackberries. Douglas fir and western hemlock are two forest areas where mountain beavers seem to thrive. Within these areas, moist ravines and small streams serve the mountain beaver well.

Mountain beavers will make their homes in a series of intricate burrow systems which they dig themselves. These burrows are generally one-half to six feet deep, with 10 to 30 entry holes, which are usually left open and exposed. Burrows can often be found under old logs. A quarter-acre or more of land can be affected by one mountain beaver’s burrowing activity. If a mountain beaver dies or leaves its burrow, another mountain beaver will quickly take its place.

Inside these burrows, the mountain beaver will build a nest out of vegetation where it can sleep and seek shelter. This nest will usually be about three feet below ground level. Smaller chambers exist just off this bedroom, and in those, the mountain beaver stores food and fecal pellets.

Mountain beavers will cut vegetation which they plan to eat, and stack it at the opening of their burrows. Scientists believe this is done to dry out the vegetation before they take it down to their humid habitats underground.

Q-2. WHEN IS A MOUNTAIN BEAVER MOST ACTIVE?
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A. Most mountain beaver activity is at night, and if the animals are seen above ground it will usually be very close to their burrows. In the spring and summer, the mountain beaver will stay busy removing uneaten food from its burrow. This is its version of spring cleaning. They usually cut vegetation year-round, though they become quite inactive in freezing temperatures.

Breeding activity goes on usually between January and March, and mountain beaver pregnancies only last about a month. Babies look pretty helpless, born both blind and hairless, but they will be weaned from their mother after only two months.

Q-3. HOW MANY MOUNTAIN BEAVERS ARE IN A COLONY?
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A. Mountain beavers are very territorial rodents. Only about four of them will inhabit one acre, and in winter that number will drop down to as low as two.

Q-4. WHAT FOODS WILL A MOUNTAIN BEAVER EAT?
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A. The majority of the mountain beaver diet is made up of vegetation, and any animal matter they do eat is thought to be an unintended side effect of the manner in which they find their food.

Mountain beavers will eat a lot of what surrounds them in their habitat. Sword and bracken fern are preferred, if those are available. Mountain beavers will feed on trees, including Douglas fir, hemlock and western red cedar. They will generally stay within 50 feet of their burrows in their search for food, and they do climb trees at feeding time. Here they will cut off tree branches and girdle the base of trees, which means they chew a ring around the bottom, like a ring on a finger. They will also eat the root systems of very large trees.

Mountain beavers also practice coprophagy, which is the act of eating their own fecal matter. They don’t require free water for drinking; they get all the moisture they need from the vegetation they eat.

Q-5. WHY SHOULD I LEARN HOW TO GET RID OF A MOUNTAIN BEAVER IN MY YARD OR GOLF COURSE?
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A. Mountain beavers are tree destroyers. In Washington and Oregon they have damaged an estimated 300,000 acres of commercial tree forests. Mountain beavers will not hesitate to cut from brand new baby trees, which are even less likely to make it through damage than an older plant. Stem girdling and root damage can cause the tree to be exposed to diseases, and it may die. Some mountain beavers have been known to eat so much of a tree’s roots that it will topple over without any support. If you see a large pile of wood and other debris in a body of water near your home or business, and perhaps several mounds of mud surrounding it, you most likely have a beaver colony on your property setting up a lodge. Mountain beavers will not generally leave pieces of bark scattered on the ground as they chew on trees. This can help you distinguish mountain beaver damage from that of bears or porcupines. When a mountain beaver girdles a tree, it is not just that one tree that is affected. The girdled tree can develop a pathogen which can spread to other trees in your yard or golf course.

All in all, mountain beavers in your yard or golf course can do a lot of expensive damage to your landscape. Mountain beavers can destroy entire trees with their feeding and nest-building efforts, which will affect your landscape and possibly damage your home, garage or other structure if a tree falls on it. They also destroy foliage in yards as they forage for food, cutting down plants and flowers to two-inch stumps. Even if a mountain beaver doesn’t chop down a tree, it can girdle all the trees in a yard which will expose them to disease and death.

If mountain beavers should choose to die near your home or business, the dead animal odor may emanate into the living quarters, causing headaches and nausea. Mountain beavers could also fall down into window wells or mechanical boxes and die in their search for food and den materials.

All these mountain beaver pest problems will affect the value of your property. It is difficult to sell a yard that has a mountain beaver infestation and actually, it’s required by law that you fix the mountain beaver problem before you sell your home. Property value can decrease between five percent and ten percent due to animal problems.

If mountain beavers are in your yard or golf course, a plethora of other harmful animals will also be attracted to your property. Coyotes, minks, weasels and bobcats all prey on beavers and will enter your yard and cause their own pest problems and dangers while in search of mountain beavers.

Q-6. I HEARD A MOUNTAIN BEAVER CAN CARRY DISEASES AND INSECTS. IS THAT TRUE?
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A. Mountain beavers seem to be relatively free of diseases and parasites. There is a large flea, though, that lives specifically on mountain beavers. They are also carriers of mites.

Several cases of mites biting humans indoors have been reported.

If a mountain beaver brings fleas near your home, most likely the biting bug will hop onto your house pet’s back. Once inside, large flea populations can build up quickly. Fleas live on the outside of their hosts’ bodies and need to feed on blood in order to produce eggs.

A bug living on a mountain beaver on your property can become an infestation in your pantry or carpet in no time. One or two mites may stray from the mountain beaver nest and crawl along your kitchen table. But if the mountain beaver abandons its home for any reason, the whole caboodle of bugs will enter your home, looking for a new host. This is why it’s especially important to have our animal control experts remove mountain beaver nests after all the animals have been removed.

Mountain beavers are a liability for businesses and restaurants. Their bugs may infect your employees, guests or food. There are documented cases of illnesses occurring in these situations, and the plaintiff successfully sues the owner of the business. Also, if you are an employer and your workers’ environment is being contaminated by mountain beavers, you will see a drop in productivity due to illness. Remember, United Wildlife’s animal pest control experts can eradicate and manage a pest infestation brought on by a mountain beaver.

Q-7. I WANT TO TRAP OR KILL A MOUNTAIN BEAVER MYSELF. IS THAT OK?
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A. We understand the desire to take care of a mountain beaver problem yourself. It may be tempting to take matters into your own hands, but in the long run you could put yourself, your family and your home at risk of damage, distress and disease. You must have special licensing to use mountain beaver poisons or repellents.

Because of the unique behaviors of mountain beavers, it is very difficult for an amateur animal trapper to know how to get rid of mountain beavers. Shooting is not a good option to get rid of mountain beavers. If you don’t know what you’re doing when you trap a beaver, it is likely the animal will become trap-shy and never come near your bait again. A license is required to trap mountain beavers, and doing so without one could result in large fines. The beaver removal experts at United Wildlife will humanely trap any existing mountain beavers, and then offer animal prevention ideas and techniques. 

Q-8. HOW CAN UNITED WILDLIFE’S ANIMAL PEST CONTROL HELP ME GET RID OF MY MOUNTAIN BEAVER PROBLEM?
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A. United Wildlife’s specialty is the removal of mountain beavers from yards and golf courses through special trapping techniques. Depending on city, county, federal and state law, the mountain beaver will either be relocated or euthanized once it is taken away. No matter the course of action, the mountain beaver will be treated in a humane manner.

It’s important to trap or kill mountain beavers immediately. Beavers can be controlled and United Wildlife’s mountain beaver exterminators have huge success in trapping beaver colonies. United Wildlife’s beaver trappers use a variety of live traps, kill traps, body-gripping traps and snaring, depending on the kind of mountain beaver infestation.

If a mountain beaver has already died in your yard or golf course, our professional mountain beaver trappers offer dead beaver removal services and can also help clear odors caused by dead mountain beavers.

We’re professional mountain beaver trappers who will travel to any location to get the beavers out.  We can do professional phone and Internet coaching with the use of digital pictures for those who live in remote areas and who want to perform pest control for mountain beavers. We can also ship traps and equipment to help you trap mountain beavers yourself the right way. Either way, we will work with you to solve your beaver invasion. There is not a mountain beaver problem that can’t be solved with United Wildlife’s professional animal trapping service.

Q-9. WHAT ARE UNITED WILDLIFE’S PAYMENT OPTIONS FOR MOUNTAIN BEAVER REMOVAL OR TO GET RID OF A MOUNTAIN BEAVER?
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A. Call United Wildlife’s beaver extermination specialists and we’ll give you our rates. We charge incrementally per mountain beaver, number of service calls and time spent on project. Prices will vary depending on severity of the mountain beaver problem. Depending on the amount of beavers and where they are living, you may be able to assist us with the beaver problem as we are dealing with it. There is no free government service that takes care of beaver control. The good news is, insurance companies will often pay for some, if not all, of the costs incurred to get rid of mountain beavers.

United Wildlife animal experts accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express. We also take purchase orders and cash.

Q-10. WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER UNITED WILDLIFE ANIMAL CONTROL EXTERMINATES OR RELOCATES A MOUNTAIN BEAVER?
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A. Don’t entice other mountain beavers to return. We will help you make sure your yard and golf course are in proper order to deter any future beavers from entering. United Wildlife’s beaver trappers know how to keep the mountain beavers out by using special beaver fencing.

United Wildlife’s beaver blockers can install special products which block mountain beavers from burrowing in your yard or golf course.

Do remember that mountain beavers are wild and unpredictable. Though we have years of experience in the beaver extermination field, a particular mountain beaver situation may require that we return more than once to get the job done right and to prevent beavers in your yard or golf course in the future. Incremental pricing will apply for our professional beaver removal and all mountain beaver solutions are custom made and custom priced.

Our mission at United Wildlife is to help identify your mountain beaver pest damage. We will remove the existing beaver pest and develop a custom wildlife solution to stop or control the mountain beaver problem from occurring again.

In the end, if you’re happy with our experienced, professional mountain beaver trappers, any referrals are always appreciated.


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