The most efficient ways to control muskrat populations and the damage that is associated with the species are to eliminate their habitat and food sources and trap the animals to remove them from the area. The use of federally-registered toxins, such as zinc phosphide, warfarin and pivalyl, is also an effective method of eliminating and controlling problem muskrat populations.
Muskrats typically construct burrows in the banks of bodies of water. Shoring up the banks of aquatic habitats with stone riprap prevents the muskrats from creating burrow dens and limits their ability to provide themselves with shelter. Alternatively, sealing the entrances to existing muskrat burrows with stones or concrete once the body of water has been sufficiently drained prevents the animals from re-entering the sites. Muskrats are typically herbivorous, and the removal of aquatic plants in the habitat may be necessary to deter them from an area. If the muskrats are feeding on grown crops, fence off the area to deny them the food source.
Trap and poison muskrat populations in conjunction with habitat and food source removal to eliminate and control the animals. Mix toxins with prepared fruit, vegetable or grain baits that are presented on floating platforms and placed near the entrances of muskrat dens. Place both live and lethal traps near the entrances to muskrat dens. Due to the varied state regulations that exist regarding the killing or trapping of muskrats, ensure that the use of toxins or traps is legal before using these methods to control muskrat populations.