If you live in Georgia, it’s likely that you have — or have had — muskrats on or around your property. Generally speaking, if you see muskrats and the signs of their existence around your property, it’s because they live within a few hundred feet of your property. Usually found near natural bodies of water, these semi-aquatic members of the rodent family like to burrow in order to build dens and lodges made of mud, twigs, weeds, and most anything else they can gather along the many banks of ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams found all throughout Georgia. Relatively small in stature, muskrats can be as long as 16-24 inches (half of that being the tail) and weigh anywhere from 2-4 lbs. While they may be small in size and stature, the damage they cause and the nuisance they create can be much larger.
Damage to Water Barriers
Muskrats are primarily herbivores that feed on waterborne vegetation in wetlands and water features near their food sources, where they also build their lodges and burrows. Their constant burrowing for food, shade, and shelter can cause damage to embankments and water barriers as a result. As a matter of fact, burrowing muskrats were once blamed for a breached levee along the banks of the Mississippi River, causing the town of Winfield, Missouri to flood in 2008. Officials said the flood submerged dozens of homes and 1,700 acres of cropland, adding to an increase in corn prices. If muskrats can wreak havoc on an entire town, just imagine what they can do to the water features on and around your property. Early indications of water seepage or erosion on or around your property could indicate a potential muskrat problem that should be addressed in order to avoid larger issues such as flooding, improper drainage, and structural damage to buildings and other above-ground structures.
Vegetation and Gardens
If you’re like many Georgians, perhaps you have an herb and vegetable garden that you’ve spent a lot of time working on building and cultivating. Perhaps it’s a decorative flower garden you’ve nursed to blooming beauty. Such hard work and dedication can be gone in no time if left to muskrats and their foraging. Because they are primarily herbivores, they can do great harm to your gardens in search of food. Even if you’ve put up a fence or are considering doing so, you may eventually need to call a professional trapper to trap and eliminate your muskrat nuisance.
Dangerous and Diseased
Because of their close proximity to you and your property, it’s also important to know that muskrats can carry very harmful and infectious diseases such as rabies, leptospirosis, and tularemia, a bacterial disease that can be transmitted through contaminated water. If that wasn’t enough, muskrats can also carry parasites like roundworms, tapeworms, and ticks.
While it’s possible to build fencing to protect your gardens and other property, nothing is as effective as hiring a professional trapper to bait, trap, and remove the muskrats. An experienced trapper is not only trained in the safe removal of nuisance wildlife, but has the tools and resources available to do it effectively.
For a FREE inspection and estimate regarding the removal of muskrats or any other wild nuisances from your property, contact Wild Trappers, North Georgia’s animal removal and wildlife trapping experts today.