Are Muskrats Dangerous?

Are muskrats dangerous?

When you live near a body of water, such as a pond or lake, you’ve probably heard about Muskrats.

Muskrats are a type of aquatic rodent and look different from rats.

Muskrats have tails that are larger and thicker than those on rats; they can weigh anywhere from 2 to 5 pounds, and they typically live for 1 to 3 years.

If Muskrat populations get too high in your area, then the only thing that will be beneficial is if they’re eradicated.

So, you may ask whether muskrats are dangerous or not.

Keep reading this article and get more details.

Are Muskrats Dangerous?

The Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) is a small rodent that can be found in the United States and Canada.

Muskrats are not hazardous unless you deliberately encounter them.

They may bite or scratch you if they feel threatened.

Muskrats don’t like being in the vicinity of humans in general. Thus they escape swiftly. 

They carry diseases like tularemia and leptospirosis by contaminating water that is intended for human consumption.

Muskrats are also an indirect hazard because they are prey for many natural animals such as bobcats, snakes, and coyotes. 

When these larger predators arrive to hunt them, there’s a good risk they’ll come inside your home.

Are Muskrats Aggressive?

Muskrats usually do not attack humans and are fairly peaceful creatures.

Muskrats will usually flee or disappear beneath the water’s surface if they feel threatened, which is understandable considering their defense mechanisms include biting and scratching.

Muskrats may be more likely to injure you with a boat propeller than directly through aggression as long as you keep your distance from them.

Are Muskrats Good for Your Pond?

Muskrats can be beneficial to your pond as they keep other species at bay and will eat the excess vegetation.

Muskrats should not overpopulate a small body of water, like a typical backyard lake or natural pond.

Because their diet consists mostly of aquatic plants and algae.

If you have an abundance of cattails or water lilies, Muskrats will consume them and are more likely to keep the exponential growth of plants and algae.

Also Read: Are Black Ants Dangerous?

How to Get Rid of Muskrats in Your Pond Naturally

How to Get Rid of Muskrats in Your Pond Naturally

There are a few ways to get rid of muskrats in your pond without harming them.

  • Perimeter Fencing

One way is to install perimeter fencing around the edge of the pond.

The muskrats will not be able to climb over the fence, and they will eventually leave on their own.

  • Use natural repellents

Another way to get rid of muskrats is to place repellents around the area.

There are a variety of over-the-counter sprays available that you can simply spray on your plants to keep muskrats away. 

There are also natural deterrents like egg whites, hot sauce, and Muskrat/Mink Repellent Spray. Muskrats won’t even go near the area where these repellents are applied.

  • Humane Traps

Another easy and humane way to get rid of Muskrats is by setting up a humane trap. 

This can be done with any live cage-type trap, such as Havahart traps. 

Place apple slices or sweet potatoes inside the cages as bait, and Muskrats will be attracted to it. 

Once they are caught in the trap, you can relocate them at least five miles away from your pond.

  • Floating Nets

Another way is to set up floating nets across the waterway where Muskrats are entering.

The Muskrat would not want to go against their own instincts and swim through the net, so they would eventually leave on their own.

  • Remove the Food Sources

The final way to get rid of Muskrats is by removing their food sources. 

Removing appealing plants in and around the water will keep muskrats away. If there’s no food for them to eat, they will go somewhere else.

  • Attract Natural Predators

Many natural predators such as hawks, owls, aerial predators, snakes, and bobcats would prefer to eat muskrats to feed their young. 

You can also attract these predators by putting up owl or hawk houses in the area. This will help control the Muskrat population naturally.

  • Cover Banks With Liner

You can also cover the banks of your pond with a liner to discourage Muskrats from making their homes there. 

Make sure there are no existing burrows before you begin.

Fill any gaps with gravel or stones if there are any. 

Also, make sure there are no muskrats in the pond; otherwise, the liner installation would be futile. 

Place the liner covering along the pond’s banks after that. 

The muskrats will be discouraged from making borrows for their hideaway as a result of this.

  • Call a Pest Professional

If you’re having trouble getting rid of Muskrats on your own, it’s best to call a pest professional. They will be able to help get rid of the Muskrats for you and also offer tips to keep them away in the future.


If you’re feeling like your ornamental pond is being invaded by muskrats, it’s time to take action.

Fortunately, there are some easy solutions that can help you get rid of these pesky rodents for good.

Just remember not to use anything too toxic or caustic around the water because they may harm other wildlife in your area as well.

And please don’t forget – this is your property, and the only way to keep them away permanently is with a permanent solution!


Author Ethan