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Beaver on top of beaver dam

Beavers are skilled builders. These determined rodents are constantly working to keep themselves and their family safe from predators and Mother Nature’s elements. As a result of their hard work, they build riverside structures made of sticks, mud, stones, and whatever else they can find to create a barricade. These structures are called dams. But what are beaver dams? And why do they make them?

What is a Beaver Dam?

A beaver dam is a structure made of logs, sticks, mud, and stones. Beavers build dams in places that slow down the flow of water in a river, creek, or stream, which creates a lake or pond behind the dam.


Photo of Beaver Dam

Why Do Beavers Build Dams?

Beavers build dams to protect themselves and their families from predators like wolves, coyotes, or mountain lions. The dam creates a small pond-like area, giving the beavers space to build their “lodges.”

Do Beavers Live in Their Dams?

No. Beavers do not live within the beaver dams. The makeshift pond that is created from the dam acts as a safe place for beavers and their families. This pond is where beavers make a “beaver lodge,” which is their home.


Photo of Beaver Lodge

Best Ways to Remove a Beaver Dam

Although, the majority of the time beaver dams and lodges are placed far away from homes and properties, the dams and the beavers themselves can sometimes become a nuisance. This is especially true if the beaver is damaging wooden structures and trees on your property to build its lodge or dam.


A few ways to remove a beaver dam include:

1. Using a Backhoe

Using a backhoe to remove a beaver dam is a quick process, as long as the equipment can reach the dam safely. This technique should be completed by someone who has a lot of experience using large machinery.

2. Removing the Dam by Hand

To remove a beaver dam by hand, use a shovel or rake to take the dam down in multiple stages: to begin, cut multiple 6-inch notches in the dam that allow water to flow through. Repeat this step every day until the dam is low enough to let water through. This technique is slower and much more tedious than using a backhoe, however, it is often safer for both the user and the environment surrounding the dam.

3. Hire a Professional Wildlife Control Company

If you don’t feel comfortable using a backhoe or removing the beaver dam by hand, you can always get in touch with a professional wildlife control company. Hiring professionals is an especially good idea if the dam is in a culvert; removing beaver dams from culverts is extremely difficult and can be dangerous.

By hiring a professional wildlife company, you can be confident that beaver dam removal is being done correctly and efficiently. The team at Varment Guard can remove dams, remove beavers, and prevent them from coming back.

Do You Give a Dam About Your Property? Get in Touch with Varment Guard!

If beavers and their dams are causing problems around your property, contact Varment Guard—it’s time to keep beavers away from your space for good! Our expert wildlife control technicians have years of experience removing and preventing beavers, so you can feel confident that your rivers will continue to flow and your wood structures will stay gnaw-free.


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