Beavers are nocturnal animals that can create a great deal of damage, especially when they take up residence on private property. These animals can kill trees and have an impact on private waterways by disrupting the flow of water or even changing the water levels. Once these pests have taken up residence, it is often difficult to get rid of them. However, if you use the correct types of traps and bait them correctly, the odds of eliminating this pest increase immensely.
Select the proper trap for your situation. There are three types of traps that you can use. One type of trap is commonly called the kill trap. This trap will capture the beaver and quickly kill it by squeezing it tightly. A leg trap, another option, snares the animal by the leg and holds it until you come to release it from the trap. These types of traps are ineffective unless you use a large one, due to the fact that some beavers get very large and the smaller traps simply will not spring when the beavers enter them. The third possible type of trap that you can use is a live trap. This is the most humane way of catching the pests on your property. The beaver are caught and kept alive so that they can be transported to a different area and released to live out their lives.
Place the trap near a scent mound when possible. Beavers are known for wanting to leave their scent on their territory. They do this by building structures known as scent mounds. These scent mounds are typically located around the edges of waterways. The beavers will return to this scent mound periodically to make sure their scent stays fresh. If you can find one of these scent mounds, you can place your trap along the mound.
Use a poplar tree bait to bait your trap. If you do not have poplar trees in your area, travel and find some branches that are not more than a half-inch in length. Take the branches home and remove the bark from the outside. Place the branches inside of the live traps in order to lure beavers in or around a snare or kill trap. Each trap will have a slightly different location where you place the poplar branch. In live traps, for example, you usually just place the tree branch inside the trap area. Once you have placed the branches, you can apply poplar oil to them to attract the beavers to the trap.
Disguise the trap by setting it along a trail that the beavers commonly use. You can find the trails by observing where the beavers frequently travel. Once you have determined what trails they use, you can set the trap along the trail and disguise it with small pieces of logs and branches with the trap in the middle. Make sure that the beaver has no other way to bypass the trap and the animal will wander in without even knowing it.