Muskrats Extermination - Muskrat Pest Control
The muskrat is a stocky rodent with a broad head, short legs, small eyes, and rich dark brown fur. Muskrats are chiefly nocturnal. Their principal food includes stems, roots, bulbs, and foliage of aquatic plants. They also feed on snails, mussels, crustaceans, insects, and fish. Usually three to five litters, averaging six to eight young per litter, are produced each year. Adult muskrats average one foot in length and three pounds in weight. The life expectancy is less than two years, with a maximum of four years. Muskrats can be found wherever there are marshes, swamps, ponds, lakes and streams having calm or very slowly moving water with vegetation in the water and along the banks.
Muskrats make their homes by burrowing into the banks of lakes and streams or by building "houses" of bushes and other plants. Their burrows begin from 6 to 18 inches below the water surface and penetrate the embankment on an upward slant. At distances up to 15 feet from the entrance, a dry chamber is hollowed out above the water level. Once a muskrat den is occupied, a rise in the water level will cause the muskrat to dig farther and higher to excavate a new dry chamber. Damage (and the potential for problems) is compounded where groundhogs or other burrowing animals construct their dens in the embankment opposite muskrat dens.
Muskrats are one of our most prolific species. Adult muskrats can have up to five litters in a year's time. Muskrats in northern states seem to average about 2.5 litters a year. Muskrats in southern states often average 3 litters. Litter sizes vary, and 5 or 6 kits per litter is common. There is evidence that muskrat populations may be somewhat cyclic.
Muskrats produce fewer litters when populations are dense and more litters when populations are sparse. The quality and abundance of food also affects the number of litters as well as litter sizes. Female muskrats born in the spring are sometimes capable of raising their own litter by late summer or early autumn. An average female muskrat will raise about 15 or 16 young in a good year. One female muskrat has been known to produce 46 young in one year. The gestation period for muskrats is 29 days. Muskrats are thought to have one mate during rearing seasons.
Populations can be estimated in the fall by counting lodges, and multiplying by 5.
In dams, dikes, and banks, muskrats tunnel upward from below the water surface into the soil to make dens that remain dry. When fluctuating water levels flood their initial den, they burrow farther into the bank or dig new, higher den chambers close to the surface.
Rodenator Pest Control Methods for Muskrats
First find where the muskrat enters its den. Go up the bank several feet and probe down into the bank with a rod to feel for the tunnel opening underground. Once you feel the tunnel system below ground, pull the rod out of the ground and place the end of the Rodenator over the opening that you created with the rod. Inject 60-90 seconds of gas mix down the hole you made with the rod/probe into the tunnel system and ignite the gas. When you ignite the gas you will feel the ground under you shake and sometimes you will see a blast come out from under the water. If the Muskrat was home, you just terminated him. Move on to the next Muskrat den.