How to Get Rid of Invasive Nutria Rats?

how to get rid of nutria rats

Rodents in the yard or the property can be a big nuisance.

They can spread diseases, wreak havoc on the property, and may contaminate the food.

Nutrias are such rodents, and no property owner wants these rodents anywhere near them.

So, if you are experiencing a problem with Nutrias on your property, then here is a complete guide for you.

Through this article, I will help you understand how you can effectively get rid of these rodents forever. Let’s begin.

What Are Nutria Rats?

Before we learn about the various ways of controlling them, we first need to understand what they are.

Nutria rats (also called coypu, river rats, and giant swamp rats) are incredibly large rodents that are native to South America.

In fact, they are one of the largest known living rodents in the world that can grow as big as 28 to 42 inches in length.

Plus, they can weigh more than thirty pounds when they grow up to be adults.

Their most distinctive features are their long reddish-orange teeth and even longer whiskers on their face.

They were brought to North America because their fur was valuable, and there was a high demand for it.

However, during the 40s, their fur lost its importance, and they transformed into an invasive species.

The Nutria rats began to be a nuisance and caused damage to wetlands, vegetation, and many crops.

That is because they dig deep, live in burrows, and only eat vegetation.


How Do Nutria Rats Impact the Ecosystem?

Nutrias were not part of the natural ecosystem.

They were introduced unnaturally, and that’s why they are considered a pest.

They invade the property, and they cause a lot of nuisance. Their diet is vegetarian as they consume wheat, alfalfa, sawgrass, cattails, rice, and many more.

While this is not a problem for normal homeowners, it is a big problem for farmers and gardeners.

Most farmers and gardeners rely on the crops as their source of income, and Nutria rats can destroy them very easily.

However, they are an even bigger nuisance for water banks and dams. They dwell in dams and make their burrows in water banks.

If their population keeps growing in these dwellings, they can disrupt the flow of a dam, and they can destroy a water bank.

So, in conclusion, their effect on the ecosystem is significantly negative, and that’s why they need to be controlled.


How to Inspect and Look for Them on Your Property?

Controlling is just one aspect.

Before you can do that, you need to perform an inspection to understand where the Nutrias are hiding and if they are even there on the property.

Of course, there are many signs you should be on the lookout for.

The first thing you should do is search your property inside out.

The starting point of your search should be next to bodies of water.

That is because Nutria rats love habituating in places that are close to sources of water.

You can search for them in:

  • Fields
  • Crops
  • Yard
  • Garden
  • Crawl spaces
  • Water-retaining levees
  • Marshes

These are the top places you need to start your search.

You need to look for various factors that indicate a Nutria rat is habituating nearby in these places.

The biggest sign you should look for is their burrows, slides, and trails.

These will be filled with Nutrias tracks, and you will be able to know that they are lurking nearby.

The tracks of Nutria rats look like four webbed tossed one toe on the side that isn’t webbed.

That is what their hind foot looks like, so these are small signs you should look for.

Besides that, Nutria rats leave their droppings wherever they are dwelling.

These dropping are black or dark green, are cylindrical, have a length of two inches, and have a diameter of half an inch.

If they are dwelling on your property, you will find these droppings everywhere.

If there are trees on your property, then the Nutria rats may be feeding on it.

You can easily tell this as the tree’s bark will be peeled if Nutria has fed on it.

After looking at all these signs, you can confirm that a Nutria rat lives on your property.

Coypu

What are the Different Ways to Get Rid of Nutria Rats?

Now that you know all about Nutria rats, it is time to understand how you can get rid of them.

Here are many effective ways you can utilize:

#1. Setting Traps

Setting traps is the most effective way to get rid of Nutria rats.

However, setting a trap may be challenging as it requires a lot of time and patience if the population of Nutria rats is high in the area.

There are many different traps you can utilize to catch Nutria rats.

Some of these you can use include:

  • A leg hold trap
  • A live double door trap

Both of these are the most effective traps when it comes to catching Nutria rats.

Remember that you need to keep a check on these traps every day and maintain them so that you can dispose of the Nutria rats soon enough.

#2. Snares

As an alternative, you can even consider snare sets which basically involve wire cables and mounting loops.

However, they can be tricky to use so make sure you use them if only you know how to use snares for catching nutria.

Plus, the animal can get nasty when snared so you also need to deal with them carefully.

#3. Poisoning

Using your old and simple rat poison can be effective in killing a nutria animal.

This means you can poison the nutria rats by placing them near their dwellings or in places you don’t want them to enter.

However, you will need to be careful with the poison and place it strategically because you don’t want it to hurt other animals in the area.

#4. Releasing Predators

If you have a large population of Nutria rats on your property, then you need to release their predators in the ecosystem.

The most effective way to rid of them is to release two to three garter snakes on the property, and they will end up feeding on all the Nutria rats.

Once the snakes have eaten the Nutria rats and there are no more to feed on, they will leave.

So, if you are not afraid of having snakes on your property, then this is one of the most effective ways.

Other Related Questions:

Does nutria make good pets?

Although not very common, many people agree that coypu or nutria rats can be kept as good pets.

However, before you think of keeping them as pets, keep in mind that nutria is an animal that can get aggressive, bite, scratch, and even cause serious damage.

Especially they can be dangerous to other pets like dogs as they are known to be territorial and can do whatever to defend themselves.

What’s the largest rodent in the world?

The Capybara is the biggest living rodent on Earth.

They are semi-aquatic and can be found throughout northern and central South America. A small invasive population has also been seen in Florida.

Few other large size rodents that are known to live on earth include:

  • Castoroides
  • Giant Hutia
  • Josephoartigasia
  • Bosavi Woolly Rats
  • Swedish Viking Rats
  • The Gough Island House Mouse

How do you tell the difference between a beaver and a nutria?

Like many other rodents, nutria love vegetable gardens.

Besides eating aquatic plants, mussels and bird eggs; they also love to feed on rice, corn, wheat, barley, oats, peanuts, alfalfa, sugar cane, bark, etc.

Nutria can also be easily mistaken for wild pig, raccoon, and beavers.

But the fact is they are not the same but different.

Unlike beavers or muskrats, nutria has a round, slightly haired tail. They are also smaller than a beaver but larger than a muskrat.

Final Words

That is all you need to know about getting rid of Nutria rats.

If these ways don’t work, you can also try using repellents for nutrias in your yard, basement, riverbanks or important wetlands.

And if that doesn’t work, you need to call a professional pest removal service.

They will take care of the problem for you, and you will never experience another Nutria rat dwelling on your property again.

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