Case Study: Muskrat Control on a Chewed-up Shoreline
Some people and some creatures are locked into a steel cage match, where only one side can emerge standing. Famous match-ups include landlords vs. mice, travelers vs. bedbugs, and farmers vs. crows. Here’s a fight you might feel you’re alone in: shoreline property owner vs. MUSKRATS.
You had no personal animus toward muskrats and similar vermin, but they’re ruining shoreline property you worked hard for, and so it has become personal. So far, they’ve been Roadrunner to your Wile E. Coyote, outmaneuvering you at every turn. The stakes are high and emotions run higher. You’ve got to get them, but you need to be careful so as not to ruin your own shoreline, drop an anvil on yourself, or light your tail on fire in the process.
It turns out you’re not alone: muskrats damage shorelines all too often. You may even know how they do the deed: They swim to the edge of the water and start digging into the land, sometimes far into your yard or beach. They inhabit their burrows for a while before moving on. After they eventually grow bored and move onto tidier pastures, their tunnels collapse, leaving your property looking like an Army mortar training range.
In 2018 we did a project that was challenging, expensive, but ended the muskrat problem.
A lady with a home on Lake Minnetonka (MN) had been at war with the dreaded muskrats for years and years, and they were winning. Eventually she had enough and called us She said she’d do whatever it took to keep the furry little [BLEEP]ers out of her yard.
So we sketched out an unusual but simple plan. On many shorelines where muskrats are a problem, we’re installing riprap for the first time or replacing the typical decrepit riprap with better-engineered work. On those shorelines typically we install muskrat mesh™ under the stones, right along the water’s edge.
Here, we installed our famous muskrat mesh™ vertically along the shoreline, forming a kind of underground fence.
We also folded the top of the mesh towards the yard so that if the furry miscreants (muskreants?) somehow made it under the mesh they couldn’t come up for air and would need to go back the way they came.
Here are 3 brief time-lapse videos that show what we did.
It was more work than one might think – and even more than we expected – but it was worth the expense and toil. To this day not a single muskrat has broken into our customer’s yard. They’re nibbling away at property values elsewhere on Minnetonka.
Muskrats and other rascals will always chew shorelines, but that doesn’t mean they need to destroy your shoreline. Whether it’s a standalone addition to your shoreline or it’s accompanying the kind of tough and beautiful riprap shoreline only Lakeshore Guys® can build, contact us when you’ve decided your muskrats need a new diet.