Muskrat problems? Call 800-CRITTER today for effective trapping solutions to get rid of muskrats and prevent muskrat damage.


Large rodents that live in and near freshwater, muskrats are similar in appearance to beavers, though they are typically much smaller. They populate shallow-water areas throughout the United States and were once some of the most commonly trapped animals in the country. Their name is derived from the strong, musky scent they produce during mating seasons and to mark their territory. Muskrats have specialized lips that act as valves, closing behind the front incisors so as to allow them to gnaw underwater.


Typically dark brown in color, muskrats have dense coats that are practically waterproof and covered in coarse guard hairs. They grow up to 24 inches in length and weigh around 4 pounds. Muskrat tails are thin, nearly hairless, and resemble those of rats. Other distinguishing features include small eyes and ears, short front legs with claws for digging, and longer hind legs with partially webbed feet that help the animal swim.


Muskrats prefer living in areas with consistent sources of shallow water, including ponds, swamps, slow-moving streams, marshes, and other wetlands. Generally herbivores, muskrats look for places with abundant aquatic plants like cattails, waterlilies, and duckweed. They burrow into the banks of ponds or streams, constructing dens that typically have at least one underwater entrance and are comprised of aquatic plants and mud.


Are muskrats known to enter homes or yards?
As semi-aquatic animals, muskrats typically have no interest in entering manmade structures. Human and muskrat interactions occur when homeowners have ponds or other sources of water on their property. Though they primarily feed on aquatic vegetation, large populations of muskrats sometimes venture into gardens to supplement their food sources.


Do muskrats harm people or property?
The majority of muskrat damage is done to the ecosystems in which they live as their feeding habits cause deterioration of available food sources for other species. Homeowners that plant gardens near muskrat habitats can experience loss of crops. Additionally, the animal's preference for building dens on the banks of waterways can mar existing dams and dikes. Muskrats will claw and bite both humans and pets in order to escape when they feel threatened, and they carry a variety of diseases and parasites, including ticks and lice.

Control and Safety

Habitat modifications can be employed to keep muskrat populations from encroaching on private property. Managing slopes and water levels helps discourage muskrats from burrowing into pond embankments, as does installing barriers and trimming overgrown aquatic vegetation. Erecting fences around gardens and other crops can effectively deter muskrats, as well.

Trapping and Removal

As muskrats reproduce quickly and become aggressive when cornered, trapping and removing them without professional assistance can be both dangerous and time-consuming. Critter Control specialists have the knowledge, skills, and tools to remove infestations of muskrats humanely and efficiently.

We can help you get rid of muskrat problems.  Call today: 1.800.274.8837.

Chicago Animal Control & Wildlife Management Services

Critter Control is an environmentally sound and ecologically responsible animal control and wildlife management company. We are committed to providing the best animal removal services to home owners, property management companies, industrial and commercial clients, municipalities and Fortune 500 companies in the Chicagoland area. 

Our expert staff includes biologists, zoologists, certified wildlife specialists, animal control officers and anti-cruelty personnel. All of whom uphold our standard of excellence as the number one animal control service in Chicago. 

Critter Control of Chicago Service Area

Addison, AMF O'Hare, Barrington, CHicago, Darien, Fort Sheridan, Glen Ellyn, Highland Park, Ingleside, Lake Bluff, Libertyville, Medinah, Naperville, North Chicago, Palatine, Roselle, Schaumburg, Vernon Hills and Wadsworth.

This franchise is independently licensed and operated by R&N, Inc., dba Critter Control of Chicago