Many years ago, The Captain and Tennille singing duo, had a hit song called ‘Muskrat Love’. They sang about a pair of muskrats twirling and doing a tango and jitterbugging in muskrat land. I hated that song then and even more so today!
One of our customers called because they were experiencing drastic water lose in their pond and the water was very muddy. After some rock moving and poking around, we found very large holes in the thick rubber liner of the pond. Muskrats! A muskrat had decided the pond was a perfect place to call home and proceeded to dig through the liner and create a burrow with several entrances. This is a disaster, and I thought groundhogs were bad.
|One big hole|
|A second hole|
|A third hole...|
there are more but I got tired of posting them
I am getting quite the education about muskrats. They are the largest member of the microtine rodent family and spends its life in aquatic habitats. Adult muskrats are usually 18”- 24” in length with large males reaching 30” long. The average weight is around 2 ½ pounds and those big males can reach 4 pounds. Females can produce 3 to 6 litters per year and 5 to 6 kits per litter are not uncommon. They are capable of remaining under water for 20 minutes. They are known for their damage; chewing boat motor wires, burrowing into floating boat docks, burrowing into earthen dams, which can lead to collapse, and of course the above mentioned atrocity to our customer’s pond.
It is trapping season so the homeowners can set out some traps and try and catch this aquatic devil. I have seen several recipes online for ways to grill, roast and sauté muskrat, which I may pass on to them.