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Beyond Rodent & industrial sized!

 
                      
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Can Anybody suggest what I might do about Nutria. I have some that believe they should live under my outbuilding in the back.They are very tame & brazen & just walk around the yard during the day like they are house cats. The adults are as big if not bigger than my dog. (He's a Pekenese) I've been told & tried the trick of putting a generous amount of moth balls in the building as well as down the hole that they come & go through but it seems to act more like rock candy for them. Tried putting Hot sause @ the entrences as well. The county came out & set some traps in the gully behind our fence last year but I never did hear of the results. I'm concerned that my grandkids or chickens or veggies will be attacked by them. I hate to have to get a gun even if it's just a pellet gun to ward them off but if I have no choice...
 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I have no suggestion besides to eat them.

http://www.nutria.com/site14.php

It's ironic you use hot sauce to get rid of them, as it was the McIlhenny family of Tabasco fame who introduced them to the US where they have become a pest.

Never eaten them myself.
 
                      
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Thanks Ludi! At first I wasn't sure if you were serious. Then I questioned if the link was a spoof...   I suppose it's not any more shocking than folks throwing a possum in a stew pot. Mine are now full of moth balls so I would be concerned about eating them...
 
                                
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I think give them a few weeks to get the mothballs out of their system and eat them indeed! those recipes look tasty.

Seriously. Free food source you have recipes for and don't want the animal around. 
 
Emerson White
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Location: Alaska
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It is very permaculturally responsible to eat them, and use their little nutria brains to tan their hides, and then do something with the hides. Maybe feed the bones and offal to pigs or chickens.
 
                      
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I'd probably make winter slippers with the hides Unfortunatly, though I might be technically outside city limits, I am within the city's urban boundry & between a middle school & an elementary school. Discharging a weapon here may make some folks mighty cranky...LOL! Could nail one with a sling shot though. Then alas I would feel guilty about any babies left behind under the shed to slowly starve to death... I better tuffin up my own hide. After all- when they give birth- they scream like they're havin rosemary's baby. Quite disturbing.
 
Emerson White
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Location: Alaska
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I was thinking trap more than gun.
 
Brice Moss
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Location: rainier OR
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22 shorts in rifle are almost silent and plenty for varmint killing, I'd eat nutria if'n they were tryin to eat my food
 
Shawn Bell
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Bow and arrows are silent.  I almost wish I had some of those under my shed.
 
tel jetson
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personally, I think nutria are totes adorbs.  particularly the babies.  especially when they're swimming in circles for minutes at a time.

and I've eaten nutria.  can't say it was the most delicious critter I've ever tasted, but it wasn't bad.  plenty of spices and slow cooking ought to do the trick.
 
                  
Posts: 114
Location: South Carolina Zone 8
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Outside city limits but near a school so a traditional firearm that goes bang is an issue. While I do not own one a company called Gammo has a couple break back pellet guns and specially designed pellets in .22 for varmit hunting quietly. I discovered them when we had a mouse infestation outside and I was considering one so I did not disturb the chickens at night when the mice were active. My wife vetoed it at the time and ordered a multi-catch livetrap.
 
Bucks Brandon
Posts: 44
Location: Bucks County, Pennsylvania [zone 6]
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another option I'll throw out there... if you know they are going under the shed you could set some snares to catch them.

Very economical and doesn't require you to sit out there with a pellet gun.

http://www.thehuntinglife.com/html/sections/articles/ferreting_trapping/snaring-rats.html

 
                  
Posts: 114
Location: South Carolina Zone 8
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For nutria the snares mentioned will need to be upsized and rigged for live leg snaring rather than around the neck as it would take one hell of a spring to lift a nutria and get a clean kill by hanging it. The same trigger and "spring" will work for many different animals I know it does on pigs as a farmer I know uses it. But once again it is upsized a bit. Personally I don't like setting snares or traps other than live cage types (which I have seen a clamshell spring loaded cage for nutria). Snares (and the dreaded metal jaw spring leg traps)can be rather unselective at what they catch. Imagine if you will the horror of finding the neighbors cat or dog hanging from your nutria snare. Another big bane to any method of snaring or trapping is the odor of a snared skunk and soon to be you because you will have to get in there and release it. But in my opinion the worst thing is you set a live leg snare and instead of finding a whole animal you find a foot. Now this does not mean snares and traps are bad and not an option however shooting them is more selective but it carries it's own risks and drawbacks.

After a bit of quick research on nutria specifically as we do not have these here in South Carolina yet (I stress yet) I think I have a better understanding of the problem and perhaps a solution. They are using the ditch as a highway and there is little that can be done about it. I think you will find them in the yard from time to time especially if you have things they like to eat in it. That said if they are living under your outbuilding either it is raised up off the ground a little bit or they have dug underneath the foundation (which can be real bad) or both. What you need to do is take a day and scare all of the animals from underneath the building (assuming you can). A short dog such as a dachshund can help with this (after all they were originally bred to go down holes for hunting). Then when you are at least 99% sure there are none under the building you dig a trench around the building (or the side facing the ditch at least) and bury some chicken (or similar such as hardware cloth) wire leaving some above ground to attach to the bottom of the building. This makes it more difficult for them to dig under it and prevents them from going under if it is slightly raised. Still while protecting your building should be top priority I like to make use of whatever natural resources that are presented to me and depending on what you read nutria is good eating if you get over the fact they are basically a giant rat. I personally would go the pellet gun route (although for a first try maybe my bow or even 22) and invite one to dinner just to see if they were good eats but even if not I would still reduce the population but then I enjoy hunting and shooting.
 
                      
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My outbuilding is raised a bit & has a foundation. I live in a rental & don't have permission to do that kind of construction. Just as well- dn't want to invest any more into this property than the grand a month Im paying to make their morgage payment.... i did find a cool temporary solution. At each of the entry sites that go underneath, I filled the hole with the contents of the used cat litter pan. It is correct that they are using the gully in back as a highway. I'm OK with the used cat litter for now & will be interested to see how long it will last. I sure appreciate all the advise & info. Good stuff to learn for the future.
 
                  
Posts: 114
Location: South Carolina Zone 8
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Ahh a rental. I am not sure the specifics on your rental agreement but the nutria are a pest problem like rats and mice. The property owner may be compelled to come up with a solution just like any other pest problem. It all depends on how the rental agreement is written. Basically whomever is responsible for pest control for the property is the one who has to take action in the event of a pest problem. If it is you then your action can even be live with it but if it is the landlord then he has to do something about the problem. In this situation (assuming we had a good relationship) I personally would offer to do the work if he provided the materials which in the long run saves him money. Good luck with the problem and remember any animal problem is not much of a problem provided you can eat it
 
                      
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Thanks Peter K. My landlord has only one concern- rent paid on time. Doesnt care about anything else. Not the best situation to be in- but Im still Greatfull not to be homeless. Others have it so much worse. I dont so much mind them being there as much as Im worried for the safety of my Grandkids & chickens. They do just hang out in the yard w/ the ferril cats that live in the gully as well. The yard is kinda Club Med for the unwanted creatures around here.  It wasnt until this forum pointed it out that it even occurred to me to eat them. But, that's why I like it here- I learn the best stuff! Happy Spring Hollidays!
 
Dave Bennett
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MsMinuette wrote:
Can Anybody suggest what I might do about Nutria. I have some that believe they should live under my outbuilding in the back.They are very tame & brazen & just walk around the yard during the day like they are house cats. The adults are as big if not bigger than my dog. (He's a Pekenese) I've been told & tried the trick of putting a generous amount of moth balls in the building as well as down the hole that they come & go through but it seems to act more like rock candy for them. Tried putting Hot sause @ the entrences as well. The county came out & set some traps in the gully behind our fence last year but I never did hear of the results. I'm concerned that my grandkids or chickens or veggies will be attacked by them. I hate to have to get a gun even if it's just a pellet gun to ward them off but if I have no choice...

The only solution is setting off a nuclear device. hahahahahahaha  Have you ever been to some areas along the Gulf Coast?  I was visiting some friends in Pascagoula Mississippi and they took me to an area to show me the "Nutrarats."  WOW!  There certainly is a huge colony in that area.
 
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