Nonlethal methods of controlling muskrats exist, but they are expensive and may not be practical for many farm pond owners. There are no repellents, fumigants or poisons registered for controlling muskrats in Kentucky. The most effective method of removing problem muskrats is trapping.

Muskrat pelt

Muskrat pelts

If you are experiencing muskrat damage to the point where lethal control is necessary, consider using control methods during the winter. Muskrat pelts are in their best condition at this time of year, and the pelts may be sold to local furbuyers if you possess a valid Kentucky hunting and trapping permit.

Muskrats are considered furbearing animals in Kentucky. An open trapping season is established for the legal harvest of these animals, and they are subject to all applicable state laws and regulations. Consult the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources' trapping digest for information on removal of muskrats during the legal trapping season.


Landowners and tenants who live and work on the property are not required to have a Kentucky hunting and trapping license to remove muskrats that are causing damage to the property. After the animal has been destroyed, you must contact your local conservation officer for disposal of the carcass.