beaver contemplating

How to stop

a chain saw with legs

On the way to lunch with other beaver


Beaver move in quietly and during the night, build dam your stream flooding your cropland, lawn, or road. Beavers cut your trees down, eat the branches but only if the tree falls toward the water. If it did not, the beavers cut another tree, and another one and another one.

The dam appears

Then, the beaver dam gets built. The water spreads out and eats up your property and your neighbors (yes he can sue you because you didn’t remove the dam). Then you lose your trees, lose your crops, sometimes your access road gets flooded. Your neighbor is now your enemy…all because the beaver wanted a brand new waterfront condo.

When beavers do this, a beaver became a pest…needing control…to their bitter end.
Beavers are big. Adult beavers can weigh 50 pounds. So you need to think about whether you are up to the job.

So what are your choices to control the beavers.


Do it safely if it is legal in your community.


Because you cannot buy approved poisons, it is a job for a licensed exterminator or trapper who can buy the effective types. Contact information for them is available in your local phone book or from various web sites.


Killing this way is not legal in most places and is not considered effective anyway.


This is the choice of almost everyone who has issues with beavers.

Snare, box, suitcase, kill, leg hold…all are traps that may or my not work with beavers. Remember, they are large rodents and if they are alive when you check the trap, they will be one nasty creature, so be ready for that. Traps should be on or near their slide path to the water. The floor of the trap should be covered with dirt or something so they will waltz right into their new temporary home. Bait is limited to Castor oil and popular scented odors.

  • Live trap and relocate: Relocation needs to be a long long way away, or “I’ll be back”.
  • Live trap and shoot or drown them: Rotting beavers stink. Bury the carcass.
  • Hire a professional trapper: They do it for a living. They will catch and remove all the big beaver for you and follow all local laws. Most specialists have a web site with the contact information you need or perhaps one is listed in your local phone directory.
  • Explosives: The road departments use this method regularly because of the complex interweaving of the branches preclude removing the dam by hand.
  • Branch by branch: (NO COST TIP) This is a long hard process. Be certain to move the branches far away from the site or you may find them reused.
  • Mechanical help: A backhoe would be of great help and is one of the ways that cities do the job.
  • Burn the dam: In some jurisdictions it is OK, most places it is not.
  • DO: Place wire guards on the base of a tree or trees: Wire mesh known as hardware cloth is usually chosen for this.
  • DO: Spray trees with repellent: Deer and bird control repellents may work. Bad taste is the key that drives them to the next tree, so spray a lot about 4 feet up the tree. Rotten eggs, soaps and blood products are also used as repellents. These products are available on the internet and a few local stores.
  • DO: Get an electric fence: Placing it several inches above the ground is effective in diverting their attention.
  • DO: Redesign of dams and culverts: Fencing placed in the water and pipes to carry flow through their dams are the essentials of this solution. There are many articles on the internet explaining how to baffle or divert water from their dam blockages.