Muskrats get their name due to the strong musky smell they give off during mating season and when marking their territory. Muskrats are related to the rat but look like a beaver. Similar to the beaver, they are fury semi-aquatic rodents that live typically in water. An adult muskrat and be anywhere from 1.5 pounds to 4.5 pounds. If you have an encounter with a muskrat, use extreme caution. They can be aggressive when confronted and there is always a risk of disease, parasites, and rabies.
Muskrats can be a nuisance to you and your home. Especially if you have areas of water on your property such as a pond, streams, drainage ditches or any other shallow water. They eat fish and turtles and will destroy any aquatic plants you have. Muskrats will burrow in water dams and floating docks, destroying the dams and causing sinkage.
Their dens are made out of brush, cattails and other plants. Muskrats build the den above water but they enter the den under the water. These dwellings resemble a haystack and can be quite large depending on how many muskrats are living there. They are very good swimmers but somewhat awkward on land. On farms, muskrats create problems for livestock if the livestock tramples onto an area where muskrats have built their tunnels.
If you come across a muskrat, remain calm and call Westchester Wildlife.
If you have any problem regarding wildlife, please contact us or call at (800) 273-6673.