How To Get Rid Of Muskrats

Let’s discuss eleven control methods on how to get rid of muskrats from your property permanently.

Are muskrats rodents? Yes, but unlike most rodent species, muskrats live around water bodies or wetlands.

Do they pose a nuisance to anyone? Yes, they do. Especially to pond farmers.

They can burrow through soil banks causing a drop in the level of water. This is counterproductive and will require a solution.

Getting rid of muskrats is the best option. We have focused on providing you with the control methods you need to enable you to tackle rodent problems the best way possible.

Why Should A Muskrat Problem Be Taken Seriously?

Muskrats pose a serious challenge when they gain entry to your property, especially when there’s a water body close by. Hence the need for urgent elimination.

But first, you’d have to know the kind of threat posed by their presence. These include;

  • Eroding Water Embankment

Natural water bodies like dams, lakes, and even artificial ponds may be targets for muskrats. They burrow and tunnel around these water bodies, thus, weakening embankments.

This can result in severe flooding and as a result, causing heavy property damage.

Not only so, but human lives are also put at risk.

  • Spreading Diseases

Muskrats can easily spread diseases even to humans. The easiest way will be through the consumption of contaminated water.

Tularemia is one of the several diseases that can be gotten through this process.

Leptospirosis and rabies are other diseases carried by these rodents.

  • Damage to Garden Plants

If you own a garden and are close to a water body, then your garden may be a target. Muskrats love to feed on vegetables. So, You’d need to take the necessary measures to ward them off.

All of these reasons are sufficient to find effective ways to get rid of muskrats. Taking back control of your territory helps protect your property from damage.

How to Identify a Muskrat Problem

Every rodent problem has to be identified before the right extermination strategies are applied. For muskrats, certain signs are always common. These tell-tale signs speak volumes about their activities.

The most important goal should be seeking out their burrows. Finding these is essential to your quest for a muskrat-free environment.

Be on the lookout for burrows ranging from 5 to 8 inches. You are likely to see these along the outer walls of waterways or banks.

Another way to identify this problem is by looking out for feeding platforms. These are either made from vegetation or mud which is a bit elevated. You may also find their droppings on such platforms.

Muddy water is also a tell-tale sign of their presence or activity. Especially when such areas are rarely visited by people.

If you find any of these signs, you should be almost certain that muskrats aren’t far away.

Are muskrats aggressive? No. They are generally known to be shy and non-aggressive and will flee from human confrontation. This does not mean they won’t react if you corner or assault them.

How to Get Rid of Muskrats in Your Yard

Getting rid of a muskrat problem can be a daunting challenge if the knowledge is absent. But you don’t need to worry as long as you read on.

Find below, the best ways to contain the problem. Any or a combination of the following muskrat extermination methods should be just fine. The aim is to find a lasting solution to the rodent problem.

  • Consult Wildlife Specialists

Wildlife specialists offer comprehensive rodent removal services. You only need to kick-start the process by visiting a wildlife removal directory.

Here, you get a comprehensive list of professionals. These are experienced companies and individuals with vast experience in wildlife removal.

Wildlife services use mostly humane muskrat removal strategies. In addition to that, several of them will provide a free inspection. This inspects their origins or tunnel networks to cut them off completely. This method takes the burden off your shoulders.

In other words, they make your muskrat problem their problem. Such services do come with a guarantee as well.

  • Shooting

Difficult muskrat problems call for desperate measures. Shooting is one of the most aggressive ways to reduce its damage drastically. Gunfire also helps to scare them away. So, while killing them, others are frightened by the loud sound.

Doing so consistently for several days will have its toll. It’s a toll in the sense that muskrats will find such areas unsafe.

But for this strategy to be successful, you’d need to find out more about local applicable laws. This helps you avoid breaking any rules that prohibit the shooting of wildlife. Get to know if local laws allow for this action to be taken.

  • Trapping Muskrats

Trapping muskrats isn’t that easy but it is a strategy worth trying. There are traps designed for this purpose. The type you choose will depend on what you want. There are humane as well as lethal traps.

For humane traps, you have the responsibility of releasing them as far away as possible. This shouldn’t be close to other human dwellings. Or else, you’d have succeeded in transferring the problem.

Baits should include vegetables or grass. You should take the fight to them than allowing them to overrun your immediate surroundings. When muskrats become overpopulated around their natural habitats, they begin to venture farther.

We recommend you place such traps well within their habitats. This is a better way to contain them than waiting for the situation to worsen.

  • Attract Natural Predators

Natural predators help to drastically reduce muskrat populations. But these will have to be attracted.

When we mention natural predators, we are talking about hawks, owls, foxes, and the likes. The best way to attract them is by building nests around your property, especially on trees.

Another solution will be to let your pets do the job. This can be used in addition to wild predators. Your dogs and cats will scare muskrats away.

  • Target Their Food Sources

Muskrats will feed on a variety of plant species. Such plants include sedges, pondweeds, rushes, and water lilies among others.

Muskrats will thrive as long as these are in abundance.

One way to get rid of them is by disrupting their food source. It will require having to apply appropriate herbicide products. Treatment Booster and Shoreline Defense are a few of so many others.

When mixed and applied to plants, it takes around a week for it to have its full effect. These plants wither and will need to be removed. With such plants taken out of the way, muskrats will have to look elsewhere.

  • Reduce Vegetation

This is similar to targeting their food sources. However, you are more interested in targeting specific vegetation. These are their most targeted food sources.

You can also call these their most favorite. They include ferns, pondweeds, arrowheads, rushes, and willow among others.

  • Properly Dispose of your Trash

Having targeted their primary food source, muskrats develop appetites for other food substances. As a result, they get close to their homes.

Here, your trashcan becomes one of the first ports of call. But this can be prevented by having these trashcans well sealed.

The same should be emptied as frequently as possible. Doing this makes them less attracted to your immediate surroundings.

  • Fencing

Muskrats are most notorious for their burrowing activities around bodies of water. You can get rid of them by building a fence around such water bodies.

This fence type is quite different from what you are used to. Yet, it is highly effective in stopping them from further burrowing.

This fence is built by a 1-inch mesh wire. It should be at least a foot high. But must penetrate to a depth of 3 feet below the water. The entire water body or pond must be surrounded by this fence. This helps keep it out of bounds to them.

  • Install Motion Activated Sprinklers

Motion-activated sprinklers have been effectively used on a wide range of pests. These electronic devices help scare muskrats away.

The number of sprinklers you need will depend on the size of your pond. This is meant for outdoor use and gets activated once it detects movement.

You want to prevent muskrats from approaching the water. So, it should be installed along the perimeter of the water facing out. It shoots bursts of water with the sole aim of scaring them away.

  • Zinc Phosphide Treated Baits

This is a pesticide that has been approved for muskrat control. It is used to place baits which are then placed along paths used by such rodents. It is efficient in poisoning muskrats.

Though effective, utmost care must be taken when using zinc phosphides. This is because it is toxic.

Carefully read and follow every instruction regarding its safe use. Also, ensure it’s kept away from kids. We recommend using this product at the very source. This will help curtail an existing infestation more effectively.

  • Integrated Pest Management

This is is among the best strategy you can deploy. Why? Because it takes into consideration the safety of the environment as well as those of humans. It finds a way to take out the problem without affecting the environment.

Integrated pest management services are mostly offered by pest control companies.

When seeking pest control services, you have a right to demand the adoption of the integrated pest management approach.


The above-mentioned strategies help you get rid of muskrats effectively. But you must be careful when implementing them.

There’s always something for everyone as we’ve included multiple options. However severe your infestation is, these strategies are sufficient for you to successfully combat muskrat presence.

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