Beaver is a large aquatic rodent (25 to 75 pounds in weight) with a flat, scaly tail and webbed hind feet. Beaver eat aquatic plants and the bark, leaves, and twigs of many trees and shrubs. Beaver creates dams to raise the water to the level which best suits their needs. It’s their key to food and safety for the beaver colony. Beaver/human conflicts have been increasing in recent years due to human encroachment on wildlife habitat and a growing and expanding beaver population.
Beavers can dramatically alter the environment in which they live. In some cases, beaver activity can threaten property, agricultural crops or public health and safety. Most of the damage caused by beavers is a result of dam building, bank burrowing, tree cutting, or flooding. In Tennessee, Department of Agriculture estimates where beaver damage is extensive have estimated the cost at $100 million dollars annually for timber loss; crop losses; roads, dwellings, and flooded public and private property. In Tennessee, tracts of bottomland hardwood timber up to several thousand acres in size may be lost because of beaver.
Some unusual cases observed include state highways flooded because of beaver ponds, reservoir dams destroyed by bank den burrows collapsing, and train derailments caused by continued flooding and burrowing. Housing developments have been threatened by beaver dam flooding, and thousands of acres of cropland and young pine plantations have been flooded by beaver dams. Road ditches, drain pipes, and culverts have been stopped up so badly that they had to be dynamited out and replaced. Some bridges have been destroyed because of beaver dam-building activity. In addition, beavers threaten human health by contaminating water supplies with Giardia.
Tennessee Wildlife experts have extensive training and experience in beaver removal and beaver damage management. We offer both residential and large scale commercial beaver control services. We conduct an onsite inspection by request, consult with the landowner, and offer solutions to your beaver control issues. If you suspect you have a beaver problem you should call our beaver control specialists to schedule and onsite inspection.