Are Beavers Dangerous to Humans? (Things to Know)

Disclaimer: The information presented below is for general informational & educational purposes only. Always consult with animal professionals in case of specific concerns.

Beavers are one of the largest rodents on Earth.

They spend most of their daytime sleeping and nighttime hunting or finding food.

With a strong, flat tail, beady eyes, and big-sized front teeth, beavers look like tiny night killers who can seamlessly damage everything in the dark.

That evokes many people’s concerns: are beavers dangerous?

Continue reading to learn more about this rodent, how hazardous it is, and how to tell if one is around.

Are Beavers Dangerous?

Beavers are non-aggressive and nonviolent most of the time. They are never in the mood to attack humans without reason.

However, a beaver can be dangerous if cornered or trapped.


These four reasons explain in detail.

They Can Attack

are beavers dangerous

Besides a strong tail and sharp teeth, a beaver has a harsh temper that induces them to cause damage to pets, humans, and even properties which feels risky.

Once it is ready to attack, it will send warning signs by hissing and growling.

When in water, the animal uses its tail to stir the surface and scare the predator away. If that doesn’t work, it will eventually attack the rival.

They Have Sharp Teeth

A beaver’s teeth can reach the maximum length of one inch and won’t stop growing during its lifetime.

Since the animal munches on plywood, hardwood, and other tough materials every day, its teeth are well-trained and keep being sharper.

It can use its razor-sharp front teeth to cut trees down, so cutting through the skin of other animals or humans is a piece of cake for it.

They Are Territorial

Though these rodents rarely show their aggression toward other species or people, it never hesitates to confront a strange object or attacker.

They are highly sensitive when it comes to their territory. If other beavers step into their home grounds, they will exercise defensive tactics to guard them.

Fierce fights could occur between multiple animals, though physical competitions are uncommon for this species. The results can be severe.

Notably, the animal even dares to attack other dominant creatures such as domestic dogs. Thus, watch your pets carefully when near ponds, lakes, or creeks where rodents inhabit.

They Carry Rabies

Though they doesn’t have venom, beavers carry numerous diseases in their bites.

What happens if a beaver bites you? If treated incorrectly, a beaver’s bite may cause severe health complications.

They include parasitic infections, bacterial infections, inflammation, and ulcers.

In this case, you’d better ask for medical help right away unless you want the parasites and tularemia to make you ill.

Are Beavers Aggressive Or Gentle Towards Humans?

Beavers are neither aggressive nor gentle toward people since they rarely have a chance to see a human.

You can stay safe in the same place as these creatures, provided you keep a safe distance from them. However, they can become hostile and fierce if they feel threatened.

A beaver can react aggressively if a person approaches too close or behaves like a potential threat. That’s why it’s never a clever idea to corner a rodent.

This species has a territorial nature and is highly sensitive about its space. You may think a dam is a beaver’s home, but it’s the shelter for protection against predators.

Numerous wild creatures feast on beavers, like foxes or coyotes, so it stands to reason that they’re always cautious. Also, the dam ascertains that the animals can find food during wintertime.

Since a dam serves various purposes, it is no surprise they strive to secure it. Dams don’t serve as human entertainment or enjoyment.

Thus, never access a dam to take photos or just satisfy your curiosity. Do not allow kids to play around it, or the rodents can become angry.

Though some species are not easy to turn aggressive, they have rabies that could pose infections. You can get sick if one bites you by accident.

So, beavers are not suitable to be good pets. Don’t come close to it if you encounter a rodent in your house. Immediately ask a local wildlife removal company to help take it out of your property.

Are beavers dangerous to dogs? The hazards it could pose are the same for humans and domestic animals.

You’d better keep your dogs and cats away from dams and any area with beavers traces.

These animals may also attack humans when afraid or frightened. Since they’re nocturnal creatures, they suffer disorientation throughout the daytime.

Thus, they can feel nervous or vulnerable for no reason.

Can A Beaver Bite or Kill Humans?

Yes, rodents can bite or even murder people, which was uncommon but shows signs of increasing now.

The most common reason for a beaver’s attack is that people invade its territory. Because of its territorial personality, don’t expect any friendly welcome.

Without proper treatment, a rodent’s bite could lead to hazardous infections or severe injury.

Though the bites are barely deadly fatal, there has been one reported case of their fatality causing death. To be specific, a bite damaged a person’s artery, making him bleed to death.

How to survive a beaver attack? Wildlife experts advise that the cleverest method to cope with a rodent is to keep a safe distance.

If you notice any sign of one preparing to fight, don’t stand still to guess what happens next. Just escape away from that area as fast as possible.

How Does A Beaver Attack?

Before attacking other creatures or people, the aggressive rodents will show warning signs by hissing or growling. On land, they rise to their hind limbs to confront the predator.

They slap their tails against the water surface to scare the rivals away from the colony in water.

These animals will attempt to pull the opponents underwater to sink or drown them during the fight.

Since this species possesses a muscular and powerful build, it is more agile in the waters.

One can even pull a large dog into a river within seconds if it feels threatened. Again, it is necessary to always keep an eye on your pets and prevent them from approaching a rodent habitat.

Read more: Are Badgers Dangerous to Humans, Dogs, And Cats?

How To Tell If A Beaver Is Around?

It is trickier to identify the location of beaver lodges and dams in the wild. This creature usually builds its home to appear like a surrounding area.

This purposeful shelter structure helps it hide from any potential predators. Still, there are some ways to determine if one is nearby.

If beavers are commonly present in your neighborhood, you should get used to what dams look like and even know how to distinguish an abandoned or old lodge or dam from a new one.

Besides, you can look for newly felled trees, teeth marks, and cuttings, signs of rodent activity.


Has Anyone Been Attacked By A Beaver?

Yes, there have been several fatal cases where beavers fight with humans.

For instance, in 2013, an old fisherman died after suffering from a bite that damaged his leg artery severely.

People say he provoked the animal by accident when attempting to take a picture with it by grabbing it.

How Strong Is A Beaver Bite?

Since rodents spend their whole lives munching on wood to cut trees down, their teeth are incredibly sharp, resulting in powerful, fatal bites.

They can exercise a biting force of approximately 180 pounds PSI – which is shockingly strong compared to a human being’s 88 pounds.

Are Beavers Smart?

Yes, this species is intelligent. It can fix any leaks springing in its home. Research suggests that it is highly sensitive to dripping or trickling water sounds.

The animal engineers its ecosystem by generating wetlands and ponds, filtering water, and preventing droughts and floods, which can benefit other animals and plants around them.


All in all, the answer to ‘are beavers dangerous?’ is that they are not innately violent animals but can potentially show hostile behaviors if provoked.

Remember, you should never deem any unknown creature 100% gentle and friendly, particularly those living in the wild.