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National Wildlife Control Training Program vol. 1.

Nutria Control

Scientific Name: Myocastor coypus


  • Lives in Water and Marsh Areas
  • Nocturnal


  • Four-toed front tracks and webbed five-toed hind tracks with chest or tail drag marks;
  • Dark green to black, cylindrical 2-inch long droppings with parallel grooves that run longitudinal. Dropping occur at waters edges, floating or on shore.


  • Tree Damage-Nutria eat seedling bald cypress, girdle fruit, nut, and shade trees and ornamental shrubs.
  • Lawn Damage-  Nutria eat arrowhead and other aquatic and landscape plants.
  • Structural Damage-Styrofoam in boat docks, wharves, and house boats.
  • Agricultural Damage-Nutria eat rice, sugarcane, corn, grain, melons, vegetables, sorghum, sugarbeets and table beets. They also eat wheat , barley, oats, and peanuts.

Control Methods

Habitat Modification

  • Fences
  • Proper dam or shoreline construction

Frightening Devices

None known to be effective


None known


  • Body grip traps
  • Foothold traps
  • Box traps


  • Shotguns


  • Zinc phosphide bait


  • Nutria can carry the parasites that cause swimmer’s itch or giardiasis.
  • Nutria undermine levees and other water-holding structures.


University Publications

Identifying and Managing Aquatic Rodents in Texas:Identifying and Managing Aquatic Rodents in Texas: Beaver, Nutria and Muskrats Beaver,Nutria and Muskrats by Texas Agricultural Extension Service.1986. 46 pages. 8½x11'' pages. Color photos.

This document, suitable for inclusion in a 3-ring binder, will help landowners understand and address damage caused by beaver, nutria and muskrats.

Order On-Line Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries 



April 14, 2006. Nutria Found in Seattle, WA. The Mercury News.


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