Des Moines Iowa Pest Control

Catch of the Week: Nutria

November 11, 2016

This past week, the Preferred Pest team had an interesting run-in with an animal called nutria. We got a call from a customer that spotted a 'giant rat' run out of a semi-truck trailer when it was opened in Ankeny. Once we arrived at the site, we were surprised by not only how big the animal was, but how fast it could run. Nutria are not commonly found in the Midwest, and it is safe to say that this little fella took us by surprise.

Nutria Appearance 

Nutria are large, web-footed rodents that are approximately 17 to 25 inches tall and weigh about 15 to 22 pounds. Their hair tends to be coarse, shaggy, and yellow or brown in color.

Nutria Behavior and Diet 

Due to their webbed feet, nutria are known to prefer water more than land. Nutria tend to inhabit riverbanks, lakeshores or dwell within wetlands. These pests' diet consists of small creatures, such as mussels or snails. However, they do eat most pond or aquatic plants and roots, as well.

Nutria Fast Facts 

  • Nutria are strong swimmers and can stay underwater for as long as five minutes.

  • Nutria are social animals and sometimes choose to live in large colonies. 

  • Female nutria have about two or three litters every year. 

  • A nutria's lifespan in the wild is 8 to 10 years.

Des Moines Pest Control 

Though nutria are not common animals around the Midwest, you never known when one may make an appearance. Whether you spot one of these guys running around or need help combatting common Midwest pests, our team here at Preferred Pest can help!

To make an appointment, give us a call at (515) 415-5550, or you can schedule an appointment online today.