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National Wildlife Control Training Program vol. 1.

Beaver Control

Additional Links

Beaver Control
Bailey Trap
Hancock Trap
Beaver Pipes
Additional Photos
Supplemental Information
Scientific Name: Castor Canadensis Castor canadensis by NebraskaLand Magazine

Beaver can cause a tremendous amount of damage through their damming and tree cutting activities. 

Photo by NebraskaLand Magazine/NE. Game and Parks Comm.

Beaver Identification

Tracks: Webbed hind feet and tracks. Front tracks smaller and toe-in while hind feet tracks and tail drag marks may obliterate front tracks.

Front Feet 3 in X 2 3/4 in and claw marks show.

Rear Feet 5 toed hind tracks and Hind track is 5 in X 6 in.(12 X 15 cm);  5 toe pads and claw marks usually show. hind tracks show four or five toe and claw marks with webbing between toes.

beaver fur photo by Dallas VirchowBeaver fur Description: The beaver keeps its soft, thick luxurious coat oiled by combing with its hind foot nail. Photo Credits: Dallas Virchow



A beaver skull Description: An adult beaver skull is massive. This one is as big as your fist. Photo Credits: Dallas VirchowBeaver skull. Photo by Dallas Virchow









Beaver lodge

Description: A beaver can build very large mounds of sticks and mud in which it seeks shelter and rears its young. Photo Credits: Ronald Fryda

beaver lodge. Photo by Ronald Fryda

beaver slide

Beaver slide Description: Beaver slides or runways appear on the water's edge. Photo Credits: Dallas Virchow




Root damage to tree roots caused by beaver.Damage

  • Safety Hazard-Beavers occasionally impede or affect the structural integrity of roads, railroad tressels, and manmade waterways.
  • Tree Damage-Southeastern U.S. states report annual timber and other losses at $3 to $5 million. Damage to the timber industry is principally via flooding.
  • Chisel-like gnawing on trees, clipped stems, Large chisel markings on tree trunks. Woody stems up to one-inch diameter can be clipped off in a single bite.


Other evidence are dams of sticks and mud across streams or piles of sticks along shore; burrow entrances at water level in stream bank; slide

Agricultural Damage-Stalks of mature field corn can be clipped and felled, sometimes stacked at lodges.



Individual tree wraps. Photo by Dallas VirchowHabitat Modification

  • Individual tree wraps Description: These should be made of metal sheets or mesh NOT chicken wire. Photo Credits: Dallas Virchow
  • Home and acreage owners need to prevent or mitigate damage by placing metal mesh fence exclosures around small areas or individual plants. A fence placed between protected area and the water can discourage beaver.
  • NOTE: recent research has questioned the efficacy of this method! A fine sand can be added to alkyd paints and applied to woody plants to deter gnawing on bark. Caution! Owner must be willing to tolerate a painted plant! Abrasive Paint - use exterior latex paint (with a color to match the bark) mixed with Mason sand (30 mil or 70 mil) in a ration of 5 oz. sand to 1 quart paint.  Mechanically mix on the day of application. source



  • Some research suggests that using beaver castor to mark areas around a waterway that has yet to have a beaver colony, may help deter beavers from entering the area.


  • Trapping is the most effective way of managing beaver populations. Footholds, conibears, snares, Hancock, Bailey and other suitcase like traps are all effective in capturing beavers.
  • Baits: beaver baits fall into two categories, Castor based and food based.

Foot hold traps for beaver. Description: A number 4 trap works fine.  


  • Shotguns can be used on beavers, typically at night. However, beavers quickly can become quite wary.

Toxicants & Fumigants

  • No toxicants or fumigants are available for beaver control.



Beavers are hosts to several ectoparasites and internal parasites including, nematodes, trematodes, and coccidians. Giardia lamblia is a pathogenic intestinal parasite that causes human giardiasis. The Centers for Disease Control have recorded 41 outbreaks.

University Publications

These links are comprised of pages dedicated to providing more information on the biology and control of beaver. Before initiating any beaver control measures be sure to check with appropriate federal and state agencies. Links to those agencies can be found in the navigation bar above.

General Beaver and Beaver Control Information

Beaver Control--Mississippi State University 

Beaver Control--Snohomish County, WA

Beaver Damage Prevention & Control--Arkansas Univ.

Beaver Management--University of Kentucky  

Beavers--North Carolina State University

Managing Beaver Ponds--North Carolina State University  

Identifying and Managing Aquatic Rodents in Texas:Identifying and Managing Aquatic Rodents in Texas: Beaver, Nutria and Muskrats Beaver, Nutria and Muskrats by Texas Agricultural Extension Service.1986. 46 pages. 8½x11'' pages. Color photos.

This document, suitable for inclusion in a 3-ring binder, will help landowners understand and address damage caused by beaver, nutria and muskrats.

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