River otters are common in the areas surrounding Northwest Washington, including Skagit, Whatcom, Island, and San Juan. If you need assistance with river otter trapping and removal, please call our office today! You can also reach us online here.


River otter problems in NW WashingtonA member of the weasel family, otters are semiaquatic animals that feed on insects, fish, amphibians, small reptiles, and shellfish. The North American river otter can be found throughout the country inhabiting inland waterways.


Otters have streamlined bodies with rounded heads and thick, tapered tails. Otters have brown to reddish-brown coats, webbed feet, and dense fur that helps them swim and stay warm.


Otters can be found wherever there is access to water. They often live in marshes, swamps, rivers, and lakes. River otters can tolerate various climates and environments, making homes in both warm and cold locations as well as at differing elevations. Otter dens typically have underwater entrances and tunnels leading to nests.


Otters do not typically enter homes or yards unless they are in close range of the animal's natural habitats. Nevertheless, it is possible for otters to find their way into areas inhabited by humans when in search of food.


Major damage is caused when otters take up residence in ponds or fisheries as these locations provide the animal with constant access to food. Their feeding may create an imbalance in pond ecosystems or cost owners of fisheries significant sums of money in losses. Otters are dangerous and may bite and claw at humans if threatened or cornered. River otters carry diseases that are transmittable to dogs and cats.

Control and Safety

Property owners should construct wire fences to keep otters out of private ponds and fisheries. Building walls along the shore may make it difficult for otters to exit bodies of water, which effectively traps the animal until removal is possible.

Trapping and Removal

Otters are wild animals; attempts to trap or employ lethal control methods are quite dangerous. Instead of attempting potentially reckless methods of control, contact Critter Control of NW Washington. We have the proper training, knowledge, and equipment to remove and humanely relocate otters that become nuisance pests.

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River Otter
River otters are common in the areas surrounding Northwest Washington. Otter dens typically have underwater entrances and tunnels leading to nests.
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