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Animal Hazards : Beavers

Beavers

The beaver is the largest rodent in North America with adults ranging from 35 to 46 inches long (including a flattened 12-18 inch tail) and weighing from 45 to 60 pounds. Beaver weighing over 100 pounds have been recorded. The hind feet are very large with 5 long webbed toes. Front feet are small and dexterous, which allows the beaver to carry dam construction material such as stones and sticks.

Both sexes of beavers breed at 21 months of age from December through February. Females ovulate 2 to 4 times at 7 to 15 day intervals during each mid-winter breeding season. There are no records of beavers breeding as first year kits. Development of the fetuses requires 120 days with the young being born between April and July. Litter sizes range from 1 to 9 with an average litter size of 4. The heavier the female, the larger her litter, also the number of young a female bears is inversely related to her family size at the time of breeding. Adult females will breed every year regardless of the habitat quality.

As a food source, beavers prefer aspens and willows but will eat the leaves, twigs and bark of most species of woody plants found along the water's edge. During the growing season beavers will also consume large quantities of non-woody plants such as grasses and cattails. During the fall, they will stockpile their woody food supply in the water near their house for use during the winter months., The presence of these fresh cut feed piles is an important indicator of an active beaver lodge. During the ice covered winter months beavers are generally inactive with regard to tree cutting and dam building.

Beavers construct dams which result in the formation of ponds within which the lodge and winter food cache are located. It is believed to be a combination of water flow sensation and the sound associated with running water that stimulates this dam building activity. Within and around the pond the beavers construct canals for security and for the transport of food and building materials. Beavers are primarily active at night with regard to their dam building and tree cutting activity. Their aquatic habitat and instinctive behavior minimizes the adult beaver's susceptibility to predators.

::Risks

Damaged crops, trees or landscaping are common problems caused by Beavers. Flooding can be caused with damaged or dead trees blocking normal water pathways where Beavers have been at work.

::Removal & Treatment

According to the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division, trapping is the most effective, practical, and environmentally safe method of beaver control. Success depends on the trapper's knowledge of beaver habits, use of proper traps for the situation and trap placement. For this reason, Wildlife Resources Division (WRD), Game Management Section offices maintain a list of licensed nuisance trappers and recommends using only licensed trappers. Animals B' Gone, Inc. is one of a handful of companies that is a licensed trapper.

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Top 5 Calls

1. Bats
2. Bees
3. Snakes
4. Rats
5. Squirrels

Atlanta: (770) 757-1783
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More people have died in the world from rodent related diseases than any other cause.


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