Beaver Appearance

American beavers, the largest rodents in North America, bear some resemblance to their much smaller cousins. The pests have thick reddish brown to black fur, small eyes, and tiny, rounded ears. Built for stability and power rather than speed, beavers are stocky, usually weighing between 30 or 40 pounds. They have broad, flat, and scaly tails that are used as rudders while swimming. Like rats, squirrels, and other rodents, beavers have four large, yellow or orange-colored front teeth that never stop growing. As a result, they must be worn down daily through constant gnawing on trees.

mountain beaver for identification purposesHabitat and Identification

Found throughout North America, beavers are skilled engineers that mold their habitat to their own needs. When the pests want to move into a new area, they build dams out of wood and mud to redirect a river or stream's flow and raise water levels, putting the entrances to their lodges underwater for safety. As a result, in addition to being larger than other rodents, beavers leave more noticeable signs of their presence. While most rodents cause cosmetic damage by gnawing at buildings or trees, a single beaver can fell an eight-foot tree in five minutes.

Problems and Removal

Issues caused by beavers can be minor or severe depending on a home's location. Nuisance behaviors such as eating garden plants or stripping trees of bark are common, while more serious damage can include causing trees to fall on homes. Flooding can also result when beavers dig into river banks or dam nearby water sources. Destroying dams or lodges is not a long-term solution, as even a small colony of beavers can rebuild a dam in less than 24 hours. Play it safe by contacting the wildlife experts at Critter Control for effective beaver identification, removal, and exclusion.

beaver building dam