Beaver Control Basics (An Interview With Johnny Little)

Professional Trapper & Beaver Control Expert

There are a number of pro-active steps landowners can take to control beavers before they get out of control and create significant property damage.

If you have a lake or pond located on your property, do not grow trees within 20 – 30 yards of the edge of the water. Beavers move slowly on land and are susceptible to predators. They do not like to cut trees away from the safety of water.
If you see a beaver on your property during hunting season, immediately get rid of it. Do not wait until spring. A beaver’s social organization consists of an adult male and adult female, their kits (two year olds) and yearlings. They are monogamous, mate once a year and have their young in late February and early March. If you do not get rid of beavers during hunting season, by spring there will be plenty more on your property.
Kits are pushed out of the lodge to move into their own territories, build their own dams and lodges and this will compound the problems for a landowner. Therefore, anytime you see a beaver on your property, consider dealing with it immediately. If you wait, the problem will only get worse.
Clearing beaver dams does absolutely no good if the beaver colony and lodge are allowed to remain in place. Novice trappers are capable of trapping a few beavers, but if one beaver remains on the property, it will easily and quickly rebuild a dam.
Many properties with ponds, lakes, ditches, streams or canals need regular monitoring throughout the year for signs of beaver activity because young beavers are always moving into new territories.
A beaver’s ability to drastically change landscape is surpassed only by humans. They are prolific nocturnal builders and can quickly flood large areas of land. The flooding caused by their strategically placed dams in streams, ditches and water canals, provides protection for them and their lodges from predators such as coyotes, and protection of young beavers from owls and hawks.

Flooding caused by beavers creates numerous problems and great expense for landowners. Damage to timber and erosion of roads are two very obvious problems that occur when beavers move into an area and go to work. Another long-term problem that many landowners experience is damage to lake dams. Beavers will often dig out mud from the sides of lake dams when building their lodges. This engineering practice over a period of time will compromise the integrity of a lake dam and can cause the loss of water in lakes and ponds.


Johnny Little is a professional trapper and beaver control expert. He owns Mississippi Beaver Management and has successfully practiced beaver control management in Madison County and Central Mississippi for over 15 years. Contact him at 601-573-5665 to discuss controlling beaver populations on your property.