Thursday, September 8, 2022

Man vs. Beaver and Other Varmints

Beaver dam under a bridge on the Rattlesnake Creek

Operation Beaver Dam Destruction is underway.

Randy's efforts to thwart the four-legged construction engineers have been admirable. However, those beavers are persistent!

When we were on a Gator ride to the Rattlesnake pasture in mid-August, we made our customary stop on the bridge. It's my normal spot for taking photos toward the east. It provides an unobstructed view easily reached by a regular vehicle to check the creek level and flow.

But we noticed the water level on the west side of the bridge (the neighbor's pasture) was appreciably higher than on our side. Randy went underneath the bridge to try and learn why. And he found a large beaver dam.

He's taken multiple trips to the bridge to try and dissuade the four-legged Master Builders. 

Jill is not impressed with her dad's idea of retirement.

"I thought you were supposed to be leaving the heavy work to the young guys!" she texted back after seeing the photos of her dad bent over, chucking cement blocks away from the beaver dam.

On the other hand, our son-in-law is ready to make business cards with a catchy title like Randy's Rascals. 

Neither Randy or I could believe the size of the cement blocks the beavers were able to move into their dam. How do these creatures without the advantage of opposable thumbs move the heavy pieces? Some of them were too big for Randy to move by himself. (All I'm good for is taking photos of his battle - not lifting heavy objects.)
Randy's efforts helped release some of the backlog of water. 

But, two days later, they had already moved in fresh reeds and grass. That has been repeated multiple times since.

So far, I think the beavers are winning. 

He hopes he has better luck with some other pesky rascals. Randy's golf cart wouldn't run, so he took it to the repair shop. The guys there found out that a packrat had chewed several wires in two. They'd also left behind a pretzel bag and other assorted "treasures." (Randy doesn't keep food in his golf cart, so they found them elsewhere and graciously "shared.") When he was at golf league on Tuesday night, he learned two other carts in the same shed were also incapacitated by the busy packrats.

We've had similar infestations in the old shop and the shed where we currently store the Gator. Packrats were always a problem in farm machinery, too, despite our best efforts to control them.

Millennials aren't the only ones who watch YouTube. Randy found a video that claims rats can't digest baking soda. The YouTuber suggested putting a combination of cornbread mix and soda in a container with a hole cut into it. The rats are supposed to smell the cornmeal, partake of the special recipe, "swell up" and eventually succumb. 

On our way to an appointment in Pratt, Operation Packrat began.

Randy mixed together the corn muffin mix and the baking soda in a disposable container.
Then, he moved the bait into the golf cart shed. You'll notice that he's standing in the empty space where his golf cart usually "lives." Our cart is still in the shop.

He left similar bait traps in both our sheds at home. He's noticed that our cats have recently dined on two rats that they've "graciously" dragged into the yard.

Hopefully, by the time the golf cart returns to the Stafford golf course he will have had more luck discouraging the packrats than he's had with the beaver dam.


  1. Gosh, those beavers are incredible creatures to be able to move the concrete blocks to hold back that volume of water. Go Randy. Hope he is successful eradicating the packrats. We have imported geckos that get into the house. Many an air conditioner has met the same fate as the golf cart.

    1. We have been amazed at their abilities to move such large, heavy objects. It would be interesting to set up a trail cam to watch them do it, I suppose.