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'Nuisance' Neighbors Wreaking Havoc in Loganville Neighborhood

Beavers have moved into a small lake in a Loganville neighborhood and are feasting on the homeowners trees and shrubs.

Beavers have been wreaking havoc in a Loganville neighborhood, taking a toll on many of the gardens and shrubbery of local homeonwers. One of the residents has been looking into a way to resolve the problem.

“I have lived in my subdivision off of Old Loganville Road for 11 years on a small lake. This year we have had two beavers start to destroy everyone’s trees, roses etc,” Susan Cater said, adding that there are about 12 homes in the neighborhood dealing with the problem.

In looking for a way to resolve the issue, Cater that she was not alone in embarking on the research to do so.

“I have discovered there is a waiting list to even get book on the subject at all of our local libraries,” Cater said. “Apparently this is a new area problem.”

When contacting the Georgia Department of Natural Sources, Cater did learn that the beavers are not a protected species. However, being in a subdivision, hunting them is not an option.

“So I am learning how to trap,” Cater said, adding she would like to know if beavers have been problem for others in the area. “I was wondering how many other people are having their dogwood trees, poplars, Chinese cherries and roses eaten lately.”

She also would like to what it is that prompted the beavers to take up residence this year. 

“I know they drained the Vines Nursery Lake, Lake Carlton, and we have a drought. Why have they been moving into this area-this year?” Cater said, adding she would welcome answers from any longtime residents to the area.

Beavers have been known to cause problems in Loganville before though. A few years ago, the city of Loganville had to bring in a trapper to relocate about five or six beavers that had built dams on Big Flat Creek, flooding sewer lines.

According to Don McGowan, Senior Wildlife Biologist, Wildlife Resources Division of the Georgia DNR, beavers have not been an escalating problem.

“Our nuisance beaver complaints seem to have held steady for the last 10 years or so. Beavers are endemic (native) to every watershed in Georgia, including watersheds in urban and suburban areas,” McGowan said. “While they can be a nuisance when they cut down valuable trees and damage other landscape plants, or cause flooding on roadways or backyards, the benefits they provide in creating valuable wetland habitat and natural filtration of water pollutants are often overlooked. In fact, beaver pond complexes have been identified as a priority habitat for conservation in the Georgia Piedmont in Wildlife Resources Division's State Wildlife Action Plan."

McGowen said trapping is indeed the best way to deal with nuisance beavers. He quoted the following from the Beaver Management and Control publication for individuals/landowners.

"In the majority of situations, trapping is the most effective, practical and environmentally safe method of beaver control. Success depends on the trapper's knowledge of beaver habits, use of proper traps for the situation and trap placement." 

McGowan said trapping regulations and a list of licensed wildlife trappers can be found at http://www.georgiawildlife.com/NuisanceWildlife.

In the meantime, Cater has found her move from Tennessee to the suburbs of big city Atlanta hasn’t turned out quite as expected – though not necessarily in a bad way.

“This has been a real adventure for my two high school kids 18 and 15,” she said. “First snapping turtles, of course we get the geese and mallards, and four types of fish or more. What a fun subdivision! And we thought we were living in the Big Burbs of Atlanta moving here from Tennessee.”

Have you noticed an influx of beavers this year? If so, Susan Cater - and the rest of us - would like to know about it.

Michelle Couch July 19, 2012 at 05:30 PM
This may be a stupid question - but what do you do with the beaver once you have trapped it?
Sharon Swanepoel July 19, 2012 at 05:32 PM
In the city of Loganville's case, they relocated them to somewhere in Rockdale County.
Tim July 19, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Beaver are one of the most destructive animals. They cause millions of dollars in losses to landowners in timber and crop destruction every year. That is why we are allowed to trap them and Coyotes year round. Typically, they should be humanely euthanized because of this destructive trait. Relocation is just moving a problem from one area and creating a problem in another area.
Sharon Swanepoel July 19, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Thanks for weighing in with that information Tim. Anyone from the Old Loganville Road area know if this has been a problem there before?
Heidi Perryman July 20, 2012 at 03:18 PM
The pond is full of life because beavers are a keystone species and create wetlands that benefit countless animals, birds and fish. With 60 percent of america dought conditions they also benefit humans. The first pond leveler was INVENTED in Georgia, so controlling water height isn't a problem. Protecting trees isn't either (wrap with wire or abrasive painting). These beavers bring far more to your subdivision than they take. Learning to fix the problem isn't the same thing as killing it. Heidi Perryman, Ph.D. President & Founder Worth A Dam www.martinezbeavers.org

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