Help solve the mystery!!!

Virginia Beach, VA

My friend has a 6 year old pond which had some holes and so we had to put down a new liner. Last week we noticed that there are new holes on the new liner which is the top quarter portion. Some of the men who looked at it thinks it is musk rats which explains why some fish are disappearing!! The pond is netted. Had any of you ever had this problem?. How do we get rid of them?. How do you patch the holes? Thank you for your input. Belle

This message was edited Nov 6, 2009 4:24 AM

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

maybe muskrat??

Virginia Beach, VA

How do you get rid of muskrats?

Perth,, ON(Zone 5a)

I believe muskrats are vegetarians.....

mink, raccoons, hawks or herons may be taking the fish from the pond.

Virginia Beach, VA

The pond is netted like mine so no birds nor herons can go in.

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

I think you have to trap them (not easy solution)
There are pellets too that can be used but then the critters just move over a few yards.

Virginia Beach, VA

How about the rat pellets? Now do you think a muskrat can chew on a heavy rubber liner?Some are 2-3 inch in diameter!! I appreciate your help. Belle

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

squirrels chewed through plastic lattice at least 1/2 inch thick. Mice chew through electrical wire -- so I think the muskrat if positioned correctly (meaning a good piece to grab) could certainly chew through a lining..

Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

Why would it be chewing on the bottom? Maybe trying to dig? (Just curious, not arguing - we have nutria down here in that same ecological niche, so I have no experience with muskrats.) Hopefully not trying to start a nest... Maybe wire mesh directly over the liner? I wouldn't be surprised if they could chew through the wire, too, if they really wanted to, but maybe that would be unpleasant enough that they would just prefer to go elsewhere.

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

Belle mentioned the holes were in the top quarter. Mesh a good idea - maybe can lay at the top and fold over the edges of the pond down into the water and then end it. It would be invisible I bet. Is this a small pond or a great big one. If big - maybe that is too much to do.


It could very well be a muskrat. We had that problem a number of years ago with our second pond. We did take care of the muskrat before he was able to do any damage to the liner. But they will try to burrow into the liner to try and create a home.

I think your friends best bet is to try to trap the muskrat and release him somewhere where he will not hurt anything.

Googling muskrats, I found that their primary food is vegetation, however they will eat fish and snails

Virginia Beach, VA

thank you for the link, I did not think they chew rubber!!The new liner costs her over $300.00!! Belle

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

Wonder if it is chew...spit....chew .....spit...

or chew...swallow...chew swallow.....

if the latter, maybe the muskrat won't be around too long

Virginia Beach, VA

This is a huge pond, it costs her a fortune and to get someone to fix the holes is $150.00 per hour!! They make more than someone with a college degree!! LOL!!! Belle


there are patch kits that are out there that are supposed to work very well. I have never had to use one - at least not yet, but I would try that first. If that doesn't work, it sounds like it would be less expensive to put in a new liner.

Virginia Beach, VA

We just put in a new liner and it was $300.00. Belle


I understand that - liners are not inexpensive. I would try the liner repair kit at approximately $15-$20 first. This company is great - I don't know if you are familiar with them or not - they have a wonderful tech support group to answer any and all questions. Give them a call and ask them about patch kits and how well they work. They do not charge for their tech support.

My thoughts about a professional repair are -- if the guy that is going to patch your liner is there for anything close to 2 hours or more, you are better off getting a new liner that has not been compromised in any way. The patch kits are supposed to work very well, but I would have to believe the lifetime of the liner is not as long as before it was compromised. $300 is $300 regardless of whether it is spent on repairing the liner or putting in a new one.

I would definitely take care of the muskrat first. I have to tell you, we have not had another one since the one time....and we live between 2 rivers.

Let us know.

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

a live trap for the muskrat?

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

If your pond is netted, think from the outside in.

Assume you are using 45 mil pondliner. How big is the pond?

Virginia Beach, VA

The pond is approximately 15 feet x 30 +. it is big!!! It is situated in front of a Cultural Center ans so it is visited by thousands of people . It is also near a golf course and DH said there are plenty of musk rat in that golf course. We decided to cement the pond and after 3 days the lining goes in. i just hope the kois will survive in their new house. They will be transferred into a big container and will have a bubbler. Belle

Deer Park, IL(Zone 5b)

What about using an electronic sensory (low buzz emitting repelant) or similar to keep the "criminal" away. Or borrow a dog for a few days. Nothing like the scent of a dog to keep everything away. That has to be very frustrating.

Virginia Beach, VA

Where do i buy the sensory devise? Are they submersible? Thanks.Belle

Council Hill, OK

Hi Bellieg,
First thing I think I'd do is put a light out there that is sufficient to illuminate the little problem as he/she does its thing. Make a few trips to the window at night to look. Have you not been able to find any tracks? Knowing the enemy is essential to solving the problem. Every animal has a distinctive track and are all listed on the internet. If that isn't feasible maybe a friend has a deer camera he isn't using this time of year. Heck, I sit outside in the dark just to see who is doing what in the night, if you don't move you will never be noticed, but not many can do that. Many nocturnals are put off by bright lights, I think they know we need to see well with light in order to aim properly. Or get DH to set out a muskrat trap or two.
I'm certain chicken wire would prevent further chewing. Or maybe dig a small gap and pour in some concrete as a backup. I know they can't chew through that.
Put up a sign: Sushi: $25 per fish. In advance.

Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

bellieg.....No the devices are not submersible.... They have solar and battery operated ones. (they kind of look like a solar light) It makes a noise not detectable to humans, that keeps the animals from that area, although if it's their only food source, you will have a tougher time selling that idea to them! There are also animal deterrents that hook onto your hose, and as something crosses the red beam, it blasts them with a shot of water. Motion detector lights are also available (solar, so you don't have to run electricity around your pond) and that combined with rippling water won't allow animals to see what's under the surface. I had a heron problem for a while, and although he wouldn't eat everything (he tried!) he would still poke a hole in the heads of my large fish, killing them, and poke holes in the liner. I added some bubblers, turned off any underwater lights, and added above ground lighting, which just caused too much surface distraction, not allowing him to see what was swimming underneath. I also fed my fish in the evenings, instead of the morning, so they would all be settled in and go lower in the water, instead of skimming around the surface. Being in VA, you probably shouldn't be feeding anymore for the season anyway, your water is probably getting colder.
If you get a chance to redo the side walls of your pond, a straight edge drop is much better than a gradual slope, where predators can wade. Since changing mine, nothing has been able to reach my fish (yay! knock on wood!)

Virginia Beach, VA

This is not my pond, my pond is okay and netted. I was told that the pond will be cemented but the rubber liner will go back after 3 days.What is amazing is the holes are at the edges. I thank you for the response. Belle

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