Experts: Heavy rainfall causing rodent population to spread across Oklahoma

HARRAH, Okla. - Recent rainfall has left many Oklahoma rivers well above their normal capacity, but experts said the extra water may also have an unusual effect on a wild animal.

Two years ago, Leonard Crump said his trees were dwindled to the stumps when a family of beavers decided to make his property their home.

"They were about that high off the ground where the beavers would chew in the trunk and eat the entire tree down,” Crump said.

Since then, he hasn't had a problem, but the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture said there has been an increase of complaints about the rodents.

Experts said most of the complaints have come from areas around Nicoma Park, Choctaw and Harrah.

A young kit is at WildCare after it was found in the parking lot of a Norman department store. No one is sure how the kit got there but believe the recent rainfall may have caused it to travel downstream.

"This time of year, it's not uncommon for new beavers to show up in a pond or a stream where they haven't been. There are kits that are now adolescents that are on their own trying to find a place to call home," said Rhondi Large, director of WildCare Oklahoma.

Experts said you may also want to keep an eye on your pets.

Recently, one man took his dog to the veterinarian for an unusual injury. The vet said the bite was caused by a beaver.

“They're normally not aggressive but, obviously, if you're near the den, and there are kits, and you're causing trouble or they see it as a threat, they definitely will protect their young,” Large said.

And, if they are tearing up your trees, WildCare has an answer.

“If you don't want them eating your trees, it's fairly easy to take latex paint, any color that you want, mix it with sand, stir it a lot and paint the tree trunks from about waist down," Large said.

They're simple solutions that may make trees less appealing to the rodents.