nutria vs muskrat

Both Muskrats and Nutria prefer freshwater to saltwater. © Copyright Critter Control. So, what is the difference between muskrat and nutria? This, however, is the least of the problems they cause. The fur of Muskrats might be short, but it is dense. The musk of Muskrats is an oily, liquid substance secreted from a gland near their anus that has a unique odor. Did you know that Muskrats were originally called “musk-beavers”? The musk is used as a chemical message by the Muskrats to find out the identity of a resident or the sexual condition of the muskrat who secreted it. The color of their fur ranges between dark brown to black, while the inner side of their body is lighter in color. Nutrias prefer to dig their homes in ditches near river banks, which they cover by using foliage. However, due to the fur trade, farmers and traders have expanded Nutria’s horizons to North America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Muskrats build mounds of plants and mud with underground entrances. Although Muskrats are not herbivorous, their feeding tendencies are primarily plant-based. While both the male and the female muskrats are about the same size, in Nutrias, the males are always larger than the females. When trying to decide whether an animal is a muskrat or a nutria, check the pest's tail. Both of them look quite similar and can often be confused for the other. The large rodents also vary in terms of droppings. If the climate is colder, the process of maturation can take up to a year.

While both leave feces that are dark green, brown, or black in color, nutria droppings are marked with distinct grooves and are about two inches in length. These eat-outs disrupt the habitats of both animals and humans living in specific areas. These burrows are a mix of mud and plants and have an underground entrance. Muskrats mate while they are partially submerged in the water. Hi, I am Elise McDonald, a wildlife blogger, and author.

But can you really distinguish between the two? Like the whales, the bodies of Muskrats are also less sensitive to carbon dioxide build-up than the other mammals. Another interesting thing about muskrat’s fur is that it is double-coated to protect them from cold water.

While Muskrats have semi-webbed hind feet, Nutria’s hind feet are fully webbed. Most issues caused by nutria and muskrats comes from their digging.

The resulting flooding may damage homes and weaken foundations. While little is known about how they communicate with each other, it is believed that they probably used chemical, tactile, and auditory channels to get the job done. It takes these little rodents six months to mature. Nutria and muskrats are semi-aquatic rodents that cause issues for property owners. Although the pests have similar effects on property, some differences between muskrats and nutria identify these animals. Both animals harm water control structures and burrow into banks, levees, and dikes. The Spanish term “nutria” can be translated to “otter” in English. Also known as Coypu, Nutria are the members of the family “echimyidae”, which is the family of the spiny rats.

However, their selection of homes is based on different factors.

Nutrias also have a white patch on their muzzle and incisors in a bright orangish color that Muskrats lack. It spends its life in aquatic habitats and is well adapted for swimming. If you need immediate assistance, please call 800-842-7296. Muskrat’s fur is short, double-coated, and dense to help them survive in a colder climate. The overall size of an average-sized Muskrat is about one foot, which is half of the Nutria. Thank you for your interest in Trutech® services. On the other hand, nutria tails are rounded, hairy, and rat-like. I've been working with the National Wildlife Federation for the past five years. Muskrats’ front prints only show four toes, while there are five visible in nutria tracks. However, if you want to find out how they are different from each other, it is best to look more closely and understand their feeding, nesting, and behavioral patterns. We provide immediate assistance if you discover a living or dead animal in your home. The baby of Nutrias is born fully-matured, while baby Muskrats take six months to reach maturity. If the Muskrats find their group getting over-crowded, the female Muskrats can even kick out their own offspring, who then look for or create another group. As long as they can find plants like water lilies, ferns, cattails, pondweeds, etc., in their surroundings, they are quite content. However, later, people found more similarities between them and rats than beavers, and hence they began to be called Muskrats. The large rodents also vary in terms of droppings. They are furred and can open their eyes from the moment of their birth, and take only a couple of hours to start eating normal food as their parents. They have a large diet and feed on the vegetation from both above and below. While Muskrats usually reach up to their weight of 5 pounds, a fully-grown Nutria can weigh as much as 10-15 pounds. The gestation period in Muskrats (about 28 days) is roughly four times shorter than that of Nutrias (between 120-140 days). They create burrows at the banks in which they live.
However, in order to avoid confusion in countries where people speak Spanish, Nutrias have also been named Coypus. Left and right arrows move across top level links and expand / close menus in sub levels. This activity may lead to erosion and flooding. Many methods for recognizing muskrats vs. nutria rely on visual cues.

While Nutrias are non-seasonal breeders, the Muskrats have a specific breeding season. By contrast, the muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) is the largest microtine rodent in the United States. However, they are not the members of the genus “rattus’, but of “ondatra”. However, Nutria’s fur is less adaptable to colder climates than Muskrats. We are considered an essential service and are open and providing service to customers. Muskrats’ front prints only show four toes, while there are five visible in nutria tracks. While Muskrats are active throughout the day, Nutrias have nocturnal tendencies and are most active during the night. Additionally, both pests carry tularemia, which can be hazardous to human and pet health. While they can live in swamps, ponds, and lakes, their ideal location is marshes. Burrows can affect water levels, which causes erosion and washouts. This is why they can swim underwater for about 15 minutes before catching their breath. They have a tendency to create their homes near the dikes, which ultimately leads to the destroyed structure. Rice and sugarcane plants are a favorite of Nutrias. Tab will move on to the next part of the site rather than go through menu items. The rodents reach about two feet long and can weigh up to 20 pounds. On the other hand, the Muskrats use their musk dominantly for communication. Whereas Nutria’s fur, though double-layered, are not designed to sustain harsh winter. Muskrats can also close their ears off while swimming, while Nutrias can do no such thing. There are also some differences between muskrat and nutria tracks. Nutrias also have a two-layered fur, with a coarse outer layer and a soft under-fur. These rodents are native to the temperate and subtropical regions of South America. They have a typical tendency of eating both above-ground stems of a plant as well as digging through soil to eat their roots and rhizomes. Nutria also have: There are also some differences between muskrat and nutria tracks. In many states/countries, they are included in the category of pests. Nutrias also occasionally feed on floating logs if they can find them. Critter Control Logo.

Navigate to homepage. As far as their weights are concerned, the Nutria weighs at least twice as much as an average-sized Muskrat. The tail comes in handy when they swim; it moves in a rapid, serpentine motion, pushing them forward in the water. While Nutrias are social rodents as well, the structure of their groups is different from that of Muskrats. Long, nearly hairless tails, which are flattened vertically, Dense, grayish-brown fur protected by coarse guard hairs, Rounded, hairy tails that are pointed near the end, Hind legs noticeably longer than their front legs, Large, visible incisors that are yellow to orange in color. While there can be any number of males and females in a Muskrat’s group, Nutria’s circle can only consist of a single male; the rest of the group members are all either females or their offspring. Meanwhile, muskrat poop is only about half an inch long. When trying to decide whether an animal is a muskrat or a nutria, check the pest's tail. Wetlands are considered to be essential economic as well as ecological resources. Both Muskrat and Nutria are semi-aquatic rodents that pose a great threat to your property. Muskrats also tend to whine and occasionally chirp, which could be used as a means of communication as well. Read on to find out everything you need to know in order to differentiate between Muskrat and Nutria. Muskrats have a thin tail that is flattened vertically on the sides. Muskrats mate according to their breeding season, but Nutrias are non-seasonal breeders. The weight of Muskrat is half as much as that of the Nutria. However, if there is a shortage of plants in their locality, they can also feed on frogs, snail, shellfish, etc. When in danger, Muskrats slap their tails on the ground in order to alert the others. If you ever come across one such animal, how would you identify if it is a Muskrat or a Nutria? A baby Nutria stays with its mother for about eight weeks at the most, after which it is fully mature and leaves the group on its own. On the other hand, the Nutria’s tail is thick, rounded, and covered with coarse hair. During winters, they become even more destructive due to the lack of vegetation above the ground. Although Muskrats are native to North America, they have now been introduced in parts of Europe, South America, and Asia as well. The area where they feed is known as “eat-outs”. These small, four-pound rodents are also distinct from nutria thanks to their: Nutria are most often mistaken for beavers rather than muskrats due to their larger size. Nutrias have thus been named so due to their similarities with otters.

Therefore, people in different parts of the world are attempting to control the population of these rodents. Humans consider Nutria to be an invasive species for their destructive lifestyle that is problematic for them. They are usually arranged in a large family and live within a pre-decided, definitive territory. Muskrats have thin, scaly tails that are flat on the sides. Residents who catch a glimpse of the pest itself or its home will find it easier to pinpoint the cause of their problem.
The most obvious difference between a muskrat and a nutria is size. Muskrats weigh about three to four pounds, while nutria range from 11 to 22 pounds. Their breeding is generally between March and August.

The site navigation utilizes arrow, enter, escape, and space bar key commands. The mammae or teats of the female are located high on the sides, which allows the young to suckle while in the water. It plays no role in swimming. However, it does also appear that the muskrat's tail is flat on the sides, whereas the nutria's tail is round like a rat's tail. Muskrats are smaller than nutria at about 16 to 25 inches in length.

They spend their nights in swimming, grooming, and feeding. Muskrats have thin, scaly tails that are flat on the sides.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. While their outer fur is yellowish to reddish-brown, the under-fur in grey in color. Although Muskrats are not loners, they are highly territorial. If you see a Muskrat or a Nutria somewhere around your house or in your neighborhood, you should be worried. They are mostly found in lake edges, slow streams, and marshes. Instead of hair, their tail is covered with scales. One of the significant differences between Muskrat and Nutria is the kind of food they eat.

That being said, each pest has a unique appearance, and being able to tell one from the other is key to controlling infestations. There is a clear difference in muskrat vs. nutria size. Even when Muskrats have cannibalistic tendencies, they do not part with their group.

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