Beavers are an animal that share a love hate relationship with cottagers and homeowners who live close to lakes and rivers and streams. We love to watch the little creatures, marvellous engineers that they are, and we love having one or two around. At least to a point.
Beavers can be a nuisance in several ways. One, they can bring with them a nasty parasite that can make you sick if you drink the water, two, they can cause flooding by damming up streams and three beavers can eat your prized trees.
A few years ago I was having quite a time with a beaver who was coming across our cottage lake and eating all my young aspen trees. In fact, he didn’t stop until he most of them gone, I think he cut down ten in total. And perhaps most amazing and annoying, he did it at night when I was inside the camp. I don’t think he cut many down when I wasn’t there. It was almost as if he was taunting me.
I tried several methods to deter him, the last one being chicken wire wrapped around the tree trunks. In one instance, he stood on a rock and reached up to chop the tree off just above the chicken wire….go figure.
Fortunately, we seem to have run out of trees of interest to him. However, I am ever mindful that he will eventually return.
How To Prevent Beavers From Eating My Trees
Here are some links about how to prevent beavers from eating my trees.
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources – Living With Beavers online publication provides some useful ideas for dealing with problem beavers.
The Pacific Streamkeepers Federation has some good information, especially if a beaver dam is the problem you are having. Their report, Controlling Beavers by Joe Kambietz has some great tips for living with them, discouraging them and even getting rid of beavers.
Allstate Animal Control sell fencing designed to keep beavers from eating your trees. Their mesh fences are made from materials that beavers cannot chew through. They also have fabrics that are soaked in a chemical repellant that can be effective.
There is a product that you can purchase to spray on the base of your favorite trees that will discourage beavers and other critters from knawing on the bark. It does not harm the animal, in this case the beaver, but leaves “a lingering bitter taste that prevents biting, chewing and licking” You can spray it on garbage cans, trees, siding and plants.
I suspect this is something that requires repeat applications and it might depend on the how determined the beavers are.
If you want to try this solution you can order a spray bottle from Amazon here:RO-PEL Animal Repellent
The Wildlife Rescue League has an interesting device that they have found effective, particularly around water and areas where damming is a problem.
Solving Problems With Beavers
One more, Beavers: How To Stop That Chainsaw With Legs from Pest Control Rx.