Living With Wildlife

Living With Beavers

This page provides problem-solving advice and ways to make your yard less attractive to beavers in the first place.

For more information on these aquatic mammals, including what they eat and where they live in the forest preserves, visit the main beavers page.

 

Beaver Dams & Flooding

Flooding due to beavers in DuPage forest preserves is only controlled by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County if it causes a public danger. However, if a beaver dam in a forest preserve is causing flooding upstream on private property, the District may install a drain pipe in the dam to regulate water levels.

 

How to Make Your Yard Less Attractive

  • Wrap light wire fencing at least 3 feet high around the base of clusters of trees. You can also wrap the lower 3 feet of individual trees with heavy-gauge hardware cloth. Remember to loosen the wire as the tree grows. 

What You Should Never Do

  • Destroying a beaver dam will not discourage these tenacious animals. They will merely build a new one. A beaver will only move if you are more persistent at tearing down the dam than it is at rebuilding it. Trapping and removing an animal is not always the solution to the problem. Removing the animal is illegal without the proper permits and only creates an open space for another animal to inhabit. A trapped adult may also leave young behind to die of starvation. Focus on removing the attraction, not the animal.
  • Never move young from a den.
  • Never use poisons. They’re inhumane and may be illegal. They can also result in secondary poisoning of other wild animals or pets.
  • It’s illegal to keep wild animals, even for a short time. They have special nutritional, housing and handling needs, and inexperienced individuals who try to raise or treat them inevitably produce unhealthy, tame animals that can’t survive in the wild.

 

Public Health Concerns

Beavers are known to carry giardia, a parasite that causes severe diarrhea. Pets and humans can get giardia if they swallow water that contains the parasite, so never drink unfiltered water.