Canada’s first animal commodity, the North American beaver, was almost hunted to the point of extinction between the 1700s and early 1900s, with a population once estimated to be as high as 400 million was reduced to around 100,000—most of which were in Canada.
Since then, the North American beaver has made a comeback, numbering between six and 12 million, and can be found throughout most of North America, minus the artic and desert areas in the southeast United States.
At two to three feet long and weighing between 35 and 50 pounds, adult beavers in the GTA are by no means a small pest. While beavers may be an iconic symbol of Canada and look cute and cuddly gnawing away at a stick or tree trunk, City & Country Pest Control warns that they can also be dangerous and cause property owners and municipalities headaches.
Over the years, rural and urban development in the GTA has encroached on the beavers’ wildlife habitat, while the beaver population continues to grow exponentially. So, too, do damage costs; conservative estimates suggest that wildlife damage in Ontario costs farmers approximately $41.0 million per year. The cost of beaver damage may exceed that of any other wild species.1
While it’s important for property owners to coexist with beavers in the GTA, they can become a nuisance if their eating habits or dam- and den-building activities cause damage to or flood a home; threatening property, agricultural crops, or public health and safety.
Damage in the GTA occurs when beavers cut down trees and shrubs or when their burrowing undermines yards, walkways, and roads. Beavers can also cause damage to other locations in the GTA, such as golf courses by chewing through irrigation pipes and municipal sewers when dams interfere with drainage. They can also cause roadways to become flooded when they dam up storm drains.
Damage in rural areas in the GTA occurs when beaver dams along rivers and tributaries flood cultivated fields. Beavers also cause damage by flooding roadways and can detour or restrict the water flow in rivers and streams.
That said, City & Country Pest Control understands that it isn’t easy to trap and remove beavers in the GTA. Controlling a nuisance beaver or destroying their habitat on municipal, crown, or even private land can be complicated by a number of factors.
Because beavers are fur-bearing animals, they are protected under provincial and federal law. Breaching a beaver dam and the release of a large volume of water, silt, and debris may actually violate the Canadian Fisheries Act and the Provincial Water Act.2
It is also very difficult to trap beavers in the GTA and remove them permanently. Breaking up a dam is only a temporary inconvenience for a beaver. Instead of leaving, they will simply rebuild—and quickly.
While individuals may decide to try and trap a nuisance beaver in the GTA on their own, it’s important to remember that a threatened beaver can be very dangerous and inflict severe or even deadly injuries.
City & Country Pest Control cautions that if you come into contact with a beaver while attempting to trap it in the GTA, you could end up contracting any number of viruses and germs, including tularemia, which can lead to headaches, chills, vomiting, fever, aches, and pains, and giardiasis, which causes acute gastroenteritis and diarrhea.
The experts at City & Country Pest Control can help residential, commercial, or industrial property owners in the GTA trap a nuisance beaver. City & Country Pest Control can safely and humanely trap and relocate beavers from your residential or commercial property to a safer location.
City & Country Pest Control will also take preventative measures to ensure your property is less habitable for beavers looking for new areas to call home.
If you’re a GTA resident or business owner who would like to know more about City & Country Pest Control’s beaver control solutions, contact City & Country toll-free at 1 (866) 255-9455 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- “An Economic Update of the Wildlife Impact Assessment for Ontario Agriculture,” George Morris Centre, May 19, 2009; http://ontariosoilcrop.org/docs/Wildlife_Update_Report_051109.pdf.
- “Living with Beavers,” Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, June 25, 2012; http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/FW/2ColumnSubPage/290005.html.