KANSAS CITY, Mo. — “Busy as a beaver”is the term they use, and that’s exactly what they are. A family of beavers have turned a storm drainage basin into their own private pond.
The sound of beavers at work — it’s what Shannon and Charles White are now used to.
“Kind of like a wood pecker, pecks, pecks, pecks. It’s like just squeaking wood all night long,” said Shannon White, a Northland homeowner forced to live with a family of beavers just beyond her back yard.
It was around two years ago when the family of Beavers invited themselves into the Kansas City neighborhood, and the damage has only become worse.
“You know at first it was cute,” said Charles White. “A little slice of nature. Some little trees started to go down, no big deal. Then a year and a half later it looks like a scene from terminator salvation. Like it’s been annihilated.”
The family of at least four has torn down nearly every tree in the basin.
“It’s like a mason you know,” said Charles.
They have built walls of mud and houses of sticks.
“Completely, effectively blocked all the water from draining out,” Charles said.
And when the runoff water can’t drain, it isn’t pretty.
“With all this water there is billions of frogs. Where there’s frogs, there’s snakes, tons of snakes,” Charles said. “Mosquitoes and bugs. There’s still a concern for West Nile Virus.”
Along with the bugs there are also piles of trash. So the White’s have declared war on the beavers.
“As you can see, we have to go in and trench it and channel it just to get this to drain,” Charles says.
Every night they dig and every night the beavers respond.
“They’ve been building it back up overnight,” says Shannon.
Sounds kind of funny, right?
“I tell somebody we have a beaver problem and they laugh, and I’m like no really, I know it’s hilarious, but we really have a beaver problem,” says Shannon.
“I don’t think of small cute animals anymore that’s for sure,” says Charles.
The Missouri Conservation Department says beavers are their No. 1 source of nuisance complaints. However, because beavers are so territorial, it’s almost impossible to relocate them, so the only alternative is trapping, which is fatal to beavers.