BLADEN COUNTY (WWAY) — Last week we told you about a Shallotte neighborhood overrun with alligators. After that story aired, William Settlemeyer from Bladen County reached out to us about his own issue, but he doesn’t have a gator problem, he has a beaver problem.
“The beavers and the nutrias have gotten so bad that they’re destroying our roads,” Settlemeyer said.
Settlemeyer said when he first saw beavers on his land back in the 1970’s he thought the critters were kind of cool.
“The first time I saw a beaver I said, ‘Oh man this is wonderful, we got beavers!’” Settlemeyer said.
But that opinion quickly changed when he said the rodents took over. In fact, Settlemeyer said if he were to guess he’d say there are about 200 of them on his property.
“It’s good for the ducks, good for the turtles, but it’s not good for your timber,” Settlemeyer said.
He said some of his roads have been washed away because beaver dams prevent water from flowing the way it naturally would. He said there is little he can do to stop them.
“Back before 9/11 we could go buy dynamite. We dynamited the beavers. We’ve got heavy equipment and dug the dams out, we’ve trapped, we’ve shot them, but they’re so prolific we’re not gaining any ground,” Settlemeyer said. “It’s an aggravating problem. They’re like fire ants and coyotes, they’re here to stay. I don’t know what kind of alternative we have.”
He said almost every stream in the Carver’s Creek community has a beaver dam in it and it’s causing big changes to the ecology of the area.