Nutria being destructive in East Texas
POSTED: Friday, September 13, 2013 - 6:00pm
UPDATED: Saturday, September 14, 2013 - 11:30am
Tyler, Texas (KETK) — They are not beavers but they sure look like them.
The rodent Nutria which are known to be a nuisance and cause a lot of damage, and it has topped the list of ten destructive species in Texas.
They eat farm and garden crops found next to water.
KETK spoke with Extension Agents with Texas A&M about these pesky rodents and damage prevention.
"They were brought here and know we have them and they can be a problem," says Chad Gulley, Extension Agent, Smith County Agrilife, Texas A&M.
Nutria are swimming rodents which resemble beavers and they're known to cause plenty of damage.
"They're going to follow water and get in areas especially the low line areas that there isn't enough water they build a dam and back the water up so you'll have water in areas where you're not suppose to have water," says Gulley.
Damage also occurs in area of vegetation, girdle trees and dams they're even known to bust water tanks.
"Say you have home on the lake and you plant some real nice trees on the lake, they can cut those trees or damage those trees," says Gulley.
They can lower the lake levels and streams one side.
"To create water on the other side and some case cause flooding," says Gulley.
Nutria are native to South America and have transplanted around the world.
the came to east texas by being washed northward during Texas Gulf Coast hurricanes.
Smith County Extension Agent Chad Gulley for Agrilife Extension of Texas A&M tell us they are found in all areas of Texas except West Texas and the Panhandle.
We're told nutria are all over East Texas, "There's beavers all over this place and nutria too," says Gulley.
"If they're not causing damage to your property you have to have a license to trap them and also sell the fur," says Ashley Pellerin, Prairview Extension Agent
If people plan to trap nutria they are advised to contact Texas Parks and Wildlife for regulations and licensing fees.
As far as preventing nutria, "Minimize the amount of timber around water front property," says Pellerin.
"A lot of people have to put barriers around their trees," says Gulley.