Problems Caused by Nutria: Nutria can cause a wide variety of problems when left to run around unchecked. The problems primarily come from their activities, mainly revolving around burrowing and eating. Rodents are well known for this as they'll build their burrows anywhere they can; usually resulting in property damage for local homeowners or any nearby public structures. They also reproduce at alarming rates which means that any actions taken against them are just a drop in a bucket. Having dozens or even hundreds of nutria running around digging up holes is a massive cause for concern, especially for farmers or anyone living off the land. Nutria, like other rodents, will eat any crops they can find in a very careless way causing them to waste more resources than they actually eat. This makes them infamous among farmers who don't want to see their hard work chewed up and wasted. Nutria can also cause major water damage due to their burrowing and amphibious nature. They have been known to weaken water barriers and cause floods. Another issue they create is due to their very unsanitary biology. They are well-known hosts of all manner of diseases, worms, and ticks. This is why you should never touch or otherwise interact with one of them. They also tend to attract predators and other similar rodents trying to use or steal their burrows. Needless to say, having a group of wild predators to deal with along with the nutria themselves can be quite a complicated predicament.
Nutrias like any other type of pest can be a nuisance to deal with as they attempt to damage your property, land, or home. Unlike other animals though, nutrias tend to be one of the more unique types of pests to deal with. This mainly comes from the fact that they are not a species native to North America. They were originally brought over for their fur before being released into the wild when their market value dropped. People didn't want nutria fur anymore which left us with a wild mob of nutrias running around unchecked. Because of this, they are considered to be an invasive species that can cause havoc on the local ecosystems due to their unnatural presence.
Nutrias look a bit like a cross between a rat and a beaver with some pretty long whiskers. It would be best to look up some images of them to confirm that this is the animal you're dealing with as their relative rarity compared to other popular pests could cause some confusion. Read on to discover some of the best methods for dealing with wild nutrias in and around your property.
Trapping: Trapping is one of the best ways of dealing with nutrias. Due to their vegetarian diet and lack of caution compared to some of the other pests out there, nutrias can easily be caught and dealt with while avoiding much fuss. Simply place the traps near the animals' favorite zone of activity and wait for them to get trapped. You can use a wide variety of baits such as reeds, wheat, seagrass, corn, and a few other vegetables and plants. These should be cheap to acquire as nutria don't eat any meat at all keeping their bait costs comparatively lower than other pests. Do be careful with what you do with them though as they're still an invasive animal than can cause problems in other areas. Do not under any circumstances relocate them in a random location as this will severely damage the local ecosystem. Look up information about what to do with nutria in your area as this can vary from place to place.
Natural Predators: A clean yet somewhat unintuitive way of dealing with nutrias is by releasing predators around your area. Thankfully this is nowhere near as crazy or dangerous as it sounds. You don't need dangerous animals like a coyote or anything like that. What you need are garter snakes which are in turn harmless to humans. Simply release a few of them in your lawn or area and sit back as they do all the work for you. The snakes will hunt down and eat any nutria they find as well as their offspring, saving you all the hassle and stress. Once done clearing out the pests, the snakes will recognize the lack of food and will proceed to leave the area in peace with nothing to worry about. This makes snake usage a somewhat slow but guaranteed method of clearing out wild nutrias. Another option is to attract predator birds like hawks by building nesting boxes for them. This is more difficult and not guaranteed to work so it's not worth it in most circumstances.
Poisons: Poisons can work with nutria but as always you run the risk of injury to yourself, children, or other animals so you should take extreme caution when using them. Otherwise, nutrias require no special method or consideration for poison use aside from making sure you properly dispose of every single corpse. Failure to do so can cause irreparable harm to the local ecosystem while also attracting other animals.
Professional Help: Like with most situations, you can always contact local animal control services to help deal with your pest problems. Unlike other pests though, nutria don't really pose any major danger aside from damage to vegetation, which makes professional help a bit unnecessary in some cases. It saves you the hassle of doing it yourself but trapping them or using snakes is probably a lot cheaper overall which is something to consider. If you really don't want to trap and dispose of the nutrias though then local professional services will get the job done without a problem.
Fences: As with some other rodents, you need special considerations when setting up a fence to keep nutrias out. They can burrow which will let them get past from under your barriers quite easily. To prevent this you need to be sure to insert the fence deep into the ground. Around 20 inches should do it to guarantee a secure pest-free perimeter. We hope that this list provided you with the ideas and help you need to finally rid yourself of your pest problem. As always, try to avoid any direct contact with the animal's feces to prevent sickness.
Nutria (also known as coypu) are semi-aquatic rodents best known for looking like a cross between a beaver and a rat. In fact, their scientific name Myocastor coypus is derived from the Greek words for mouse and beaver (mys and kastor respectively). In terms of size, they are smaller than beavers and feature long thin rat-like tails which beavers do not have. The backside of their bodies is bigger which gives them a bit of a hunchbacked appearance. Their front feet have claws in all but one toe per side which makes them potentially dangerous to provoke. Nutria are burrowers and spend their time building up their underground homes and stocking up for winter. They have a very active sexual lifestyle and are extremely prolific. Females tend to get pregnant around three times per year with each litter having between 1 and 13 children, averaging around 4 to 5. They are strictly vegetarian and never consume any meat, favoring aquatic plants. Despite being adept at living on both land and water, they actually prefer to spend most of their time on the water. That's where they get their food, going so far as to sometimes feed their offspring directly on the water with the female's four mammary glands. They also tend to be much faster than their appearance would imply making it pretty easy for them to escape from any threats. They are considered pests due to their rampant reproduction and constant destruction of vegetation, causing problems for farmers and gardeners.