Muskrats are commonly seen around ponds, lakes and streams. The name comes from their unusual musky scent. They are typically around a foot long with a long, rat-like tail that is equally as long. They can be dark brown with black or silver under-fur, usually with a light tan or silver belly.
Signs of muskrat infestation:
Worn trails around and into ponds, lakes or streams.
Small domed dens on the edge of the water.
Holes (burrow entrances) in banks of water features.
Muskrat tracks near water sources.
The main damage caused by muskrats is bank or dam erosion, or chewing on foam floatation used in boat docks. Muskrats can be infected with tularemia, a disease that can transfer to humans. Handling of muskrats, dead or alive, is not recommended. Capture can be difficult, as most traps must be set below water.