How to Get Rid of Muskrats [5 Solutions]

Muskrats, or Ondatra zibethica, are a species of large rodent native to most parts of North America. They are closely related to voles but have a more compact body and more webbed feet that give them an adapted ability to swim. Muskrats are typically between 16 and 24 inches long and can weigh between 1 and 2 pounds. They generally have dark brown fur and muscular, broad tails that can reach up to 10 inches long. 

Muskrats are well-known for their mounds made from mud and aquatic vegetation. They construct these mounds as a place to build a nest and as a source of food. Inside the mounds, muskrats create burrows for themselves to sleep in. They are also known to create maturation canals that connect bodies of water, such as shallow lakes, rivers, and ponds.


Muskrats feed mainly on aquatic plant material, aquatic invertebrates, small fish, snails, and mussels. They also take some small land animals, including insects, deer mice, and shrews. Muskrats are also frequent scavengers and will eat nearly anything they come across.

Muskrats are also significant because they consume vast amounts of aquatic vegetation. This helps to keep aquatic vegetation from over-growing, and they also provide food for a variety of predators. They are also commercially harvested for their fur, which can be used to make items such as coats, muffs, and gloves.

1. How to get rid of muskrats?

Muskrats are semi-aquatic rodents and can be a nuisance if they wander into your garden or yard and establish burrows near bodies of water. They can destroy a garden or landscape and can create damage to homes and businesses, making it important to take steps towards getting rid of them and protecting your property from their destruction. While finding a way to get rid of them is important, understanding the steps for humane removal and population control is also necessary for their quick removal and prevention of future muskrat activity.

a. How to get rid of muskrats? Solution One:

Properly seal off your property.

Muskrats like to live along the edges of bodies of water, so the best way to stop them from entering your property is by properly sealing them off. Fencing your yard or property line, sealing any cracks or doorways with wire mesh, or covering any large or small entryways is key to preventing these rodents. You should also ensure that your yard (or garden) does not have any excess water or sources of food, as it will attract muskrats. 

get rid of muskrat

b. How to get rid of muskrats? Solution Two:

Place traps near bodies of water.

Traps are one of the most effective ways to get rid of muskrats from your property as they capture and eliminate them from the area. Placing strategically placed traps along the edges of bodies of water can significantly reduce the chances of muskrats coming onto your property. Live traps are recommended, as they humanely trap them and then allow the animal to be relocated to an area with more suitable conditions and away from your property.

c. How to get rid of muskrats? Solution Three:

Use chemical sprays or repellents.

Chemical sprays or repellents are another effective way to keep muskrats away from your property. There are several chemical sprays available that Muskrats find distasteful or toxic, which can be sprayed around your yard or property line to deter them from coming in. Repellents can be placed in burrows or other entry points of muskrats to drive them away from your property and to discourage them from entering. 

d. How to get rid of muskrats? Solution four:

Employ natural predators.

Natural predators of muskrats like foxes, coyotes, and hawks can be effective in keeping their population in check. Placing birdhouses or other shelters for these predators can also be beneficial, as they provide a haven for them and make getting rid of the muskrats much easier. 

e. How to get rid of muskrats? Solution five:

Maintain your landscape. 

Keeping your landscape in good condition is key to preventing the presence of muskrats. Regularly mowing your lawn or trimming shrubs and trees can deter muskrats from building burrows or entryways near your property. This can help reduce their presence around your home or business, as they prefer to stay in areas with dense foliage. 


rid of muskrat

muskrats are an incredibly important species of rodent in North America, both ecologically and economically. But they can be a nuisance and it is important to take swift action to rid them from your property. With the tips stated above, you can take the necessary steps towards humanely and effectively driving away or eliminating muskrats from your land. Proper sealing of property, using live traps, employing chemical or natural repellents, and maintaining your landscape are all effective solutions for getting rid of muskrats.


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