Controlling Muskrat and Beaver Populations

Populations of Muskrats and Beaver have been rapidly increasing across the Midwest. These wetland-loving rodents have adapted to urban and suburban sites. They are particularly destructive to engineered stormwater solutions such as retention/detention ponds.

Muskrats are named after their tendency to leave scent markers to identify their territory. They become an issue when they burrow into shorelines, loosening soil and causing erosion. They have become particularly problematic in areas with once-stable shorelines. Muskrats will readily consume water plants, eating foliage and destroying roots. They can have several litters a year.

Beaver choose sites with shrubs and trees, consuming twigs and leaves and cutting trees for their homes. They build dams and block the water course to create ponds. This can lead to flooding, extensive tree damage, and erosion. We’ve found them living in basins, blocking drainage pipes and impacting the effectiveness of engineered stormwater structures and natural areas.


The best solution to these large rodents is initial trapping to reduce the population and then maintenance trapping if they return. For Muskrat, it is important to plant the native species that they do not eat. We have a selection of unpalatable plants we can include on your site. For Beaver, it is important to clear any brush and wrap the trees with chicken wire to deny the beaver food and building materials for their lodges and dams.

If you’ve got a Muskrat or Beaver problem, we’re here to help!


Written by Pizzo Group

The Pizzo Group is a family of four companies that restores ecosystems and provides sustainable landscape solutions that are both beautiful and functional. We do this at any job site, any size project and within any ecosystem. Our processes are collaborative and range from design through implementation.