The muskrat is a large, stout, semi-aquatic rodent. Its head is broad and blunt with short ears barely visible beyond the fur. The muskrat's coat is practically waterproof and is soft, dense, and grayish brown in color. The underfur is covered by long, brown guard hairs which serve to protect the soft underhair from wear. Its tail is scaled, nearly hairless, and somewhat flattened on the sides. The muskrat is further adapted for its semi-aquatic life with lips that act as valves, closing behind the front incisors so it can actually gnaw underwater.
Head and body length usually reaches 10-14 in. (25 36 cm); tail 8-11 in. (20-28 cm). Average body weight is 2 - 4 lbs. (908 - 1816 g). Muskrats have dense, rich brown fur, overlaid with coarse guard hair; and a silvery underside. Its most distinguishing feature is its long, naked, scaly, and black tail; flattened from side to side. Their presence in marshes may be detected by the conical houses, 2 - 3 ft. (61 - 91 cm) above water, which are built of marsh vegetation.
Usually, muskrats are a nuisance to the landowner if they are damaging a garden or crop by their feeding and burrowing activities in their 200-yard home range. Some structural damage to dams or dikes can occur as a result of burrowing.
Preventative measures include Exclusion*. Control methods include Live Trapping*, Licensed Trapping*, Physical Capture*, Shooting*, Relocation*, and Destruction of the animal.
*For a detailed definition of each control method please see Animal Wildlife Control Services & Solutions »
Please note that, in contrast to almost all other Ontario animal control operations, as a licensed furbearer trapping company we are able to employ all of these control methods INCLUDING relocation or permanent removal of captured muskrats.