Deer, elk and rabbits commonly destroy vegetation, but if you live near a culvert, pond or stream, you may also have a beaver problem. Beavers quickly deforest an area as they build dams, and can also block waterways, creating drainage issues. Tests conducted by the United States Forest Service found that most repellents, such as commercial deer repellents, predator urine, mothballs and hair, are largely ineffective for deterring beavers, but found that textural repellents, such as paint mixed with coarse sand, work well. In a trial, the organization found that eight out of 10 beavers left painted cottonwood trees alone. The remaining two beavers caused minimal damage.
Mix 5 cups of coarse sand and 1 can of white indoor latex paint in a 1-gallon bucket. Stir well with the wooden mixing stick to thoroughly combine the sand and paint.
Paint the tree trunk with the mixture using a paintbrush. Apply the paint to the first 4 feet of the trunk extending from the ground. Paint young saplings, as well.
Allow the mixture to cure for at least 24 hours before watering. Re-apply paint, as it wears thin due to weather exposure.