Nutria are large, semi-aquatic rodents that live in groups around lakes, wetlands, rivers, and streams. Similar in appearance to beavers and muskrats, nutria also have coarse brown fur, though they are distinguished by their rounded tails. Since they spend a lot of time in the water, the pests have eyes set high on their heads, small ears, webbed feet, and large hind legs. This gives them a hunched appearance when they walk on land. Nutria can weigh as much as 20 pounds and grow to more than three feet in length.
Problems Caused by Nutria
One of the more helpful identifying characteristics of nutria are their large front teeth, which are usually yellow or orange in color. These teeth allow the pests to gnaw on various aquatic plants. Nutria are also known to dig burrows along the banks of their watery habitats. These burrows in turn can damage dikes and man-made irrigation channels, causing them to collapse. Nearby fields, yards, or homes are often flooded in the process. From time to time, the pests may also feed on cultivated crops planted near river and stream beds, like rice and sugarcane.
Certain exclusion tactics, such as setting up fences and walls, may reduce nutria damage. However, these structures are usually costly, become less efficient over time, and may also ruin the aesthetic appeal of the property. In order to effectively identify and remove problem nutria, contact the trained wildlife removal specialists at Critter Control.
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