Beaver Control: Why Do Beavers Build Dams?

Learn why beavers build dams and how to outsmart them using water control structures.

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by Adobestock/Ronnie Howard

Why do beavers build dams? Is humane beaver control possible? Get rid of beavers naturally by outsmarting them using clever water control structures.

This article is also in audio form for your listening enjoyment. Scroll down just a bit and look for “Audio Article”.

Beavers have been integrated into our lives for centuries. Sayings such as “busy as a beaver,” “eager beaver,” and “leave it to beaver” (OK, I might be stretching here) all come from the apparent industriousness of beavers. The Greek word kastor, which means “one who excels,” is probably the root for the beaver’s genus Castor. The provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta use the beaver in their official seals. Oregon is the Beaver State. Beaver lore abounds in Native American cultures. Even Aesop had a story about how a beaver saved itself, although the story is not for gentle ears.

The beaver has played many roles on the North American continent. Its meat, fur, and castoreum were used by Native Americans for thousands of years before the beaver became one of the principal financial sources that funded the exploration and colonization of the continent by the Europeans. Today, after near extinction by the fur trade, beavers have made a dramatic comeback. They have repopulated much of their historic range, to the point that now, in many places, the beaver has become a pest with a propensity for chewing trees, building dams in unwanted places, and digging into man-made ponds.

Beaver History

  • Updated on Apr 24, 2023
  • Originally Published on Feb 28, 2022
Tagged with: beavers, Culvert Installation, pond management, prevent water damage, water control structure, wildlife
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