Muskrat  

muskrat

Muskrats are most active at night or near dawn and dusk. They feed on cattails and other aquatic vegetation. They do not store food for the winter, but sometimes eat the insides of their push-ups. While they may appear to steal food beavers have stored, more seemingly cooperative partnerships with beavers exist, as featured in Plant materials make up about 95% of their diets, but they also eat small animals, such as freshwater mussels, frogs, crayfish, fish, and small turtles. Muskrats follow trails they make in swamps and ponds. When the water freezes, they continue to follow their trails under the ice. Muskrat den in the bank the same as Beaver do, their tunnels can be 12 feet or more depending on the soil. They cause damage to the bank of retention ponds and golf coarse ponds with their tunnels often ruining landscaping. Tunnels will collapse if stepped on or if lawn mowers ride on them. Damage to machinery or personal injury can be a result of their damage. Homeowner associations often use a thick underlayment with rocks on top to protect their bank but muskrat just digs under the plastic underlayment sinking the stone. Muskrat trapping can be year-round, the best time for trapping for damage control is spring and fall. Getting rid of current populations can be done at any time. Muskrats, like most rodents, are prolific breeders. Females can have two or three litters a year of six to eight young each. Removal of these rodents at any time decreases the amount of damage they cause and the amount of money it takes to fix damaged areas. Controlling populations will be custom to your needs, oftentimes trapping 100 % of the muskrat at one time is not cost-efficient.