Muskrats are quite the confusing animal. Many people assume they are beavers, while others mistake them for large rodents. The truth is, muskrats are interesting semi-aquatic animals, but they can be quite destructive to your property if not properly managed. Continue reading to learn some educational facts about muskrats that will help you better understand how to deal with a nuisance muskrat problem.
Muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus)
Muskrats are semi-aquatic rodents. That’s right; rodents. They are members of the “Rodentia” order, which they share with several other species of rodent. As semi-aquatic animals, muskrats live near bodies of water. This includes rivers, marches, swamps, lakes, canals, and even drainage conduits. If the area has 4 to 6 feet of slow-moving, calm waters and abundant vegetation, you are likely to find evidence of muskrat activity. In marshes, they build dome-shaped lodges made of plants that can span up to 6 feet across or more! These lodges can have inner chambers, portals, and underwater access holes. In other habitats, like rivers and lakes, they dig burrows in the banks for shelter.
They are an average of 1 to 2 feet long, with stocky bodies, round heads, thick fur, and long black scaly tails. Their tails can reach lengths between 7 and 12 inches long! And more interestingly, their tails are laterally-flattened, meaning they are vertically flat. This style of tail works like a rudder on a boat, helping them swim through water with speed and agility. Their rear webbed feet are a big help with this too. They also have long sharp front teeth that allow them to rip through meat and plant fibers with ease. They can even use their chompers effectively under water!
Muskrats, as semi-aquatic animals usually do, eat mostly an aquatic-based diet. They are crepuscular foragers, meaning they are active during the dawn and dusk hours of the day; and they are omnivores as well, eating fish, shellfish, and amphibians, as well as, cattails, sedges, and other aquatic vegetation. In detail, they eat snails, crayfish, mussels, clams, frogs, fish, cattails, and more. Once they find their food, they take it to a communal platform (made of mud and plants and usually out in the water) to store it there for later. This is their feeding station where they can enjoy their meals without fear of predators or thieves.
Indianapolis Muskrat Removal And Control You Can Trust
Call Budget Animal Removal at 317-875-3099 for fast and affordable animal removal and control for muskrats in Indianapolis, Indiana and its surrounding areas. Our DNR licensed and insured wildlife rescue and control specialists offer nuisance wildlife abatement services, clean up and minor restorations for animal damages, 24 hour emergency service, free estimates, and much more! Get started by requesting a free estimate or advice, today.