Introduction: Eliminating Tree Rats
Rats carry more than 40 harmful human diseases and rat-borne diseases are thought to have taken more human lives in the last 10 centuries than all the casualties of all the wars and revolutions combined. Each year, rats destroy approximately 20% of all the agricultural products in the world, including going after my mangos and avocados. Also, rats eat eggs and prey on baby birds as you see in the top photo.
SO, the problem is how to get rid of tree rats. Setting traps in trees is difficult, time consuming, dangerous from repeatedly climbing ladders, need to be checked daily, and are not very productive. Using poison on the ground in proper bait boxes will have little to no effect on tree rats. Putting poison in trees can kill a lot of birds.
I have a very simple solution that gets the rats but not the birds.
Step 1: Eaten by a Rat
This is an avocado eaten by a rat. You can tell by the long smooth tooth marks. They only eat the very top of the avo while it is on the tree, and then the avo falls to the ground.
Step 2: Eaten by Birds
This is an avo eaten by birds. You can tell by the small holes made by their beaks. HOWEVER, it was probably eaten by a rat first which is why it ended up on the ground, and then the birds got to it.
Step 3: WHAT YOU WILL NEED
Rat poison, block type with holes (Several brands available)
Wire, String, or whatever
Old plastic bottles
Pliers to cut wire
WARNING: PLEASE read the caution label on the poison carefully.
Also, NEVER use rodent poison INSIDE your home. The rodent may die in a hidden place and you may not be able to find it resulting in a horrendous rotting stench for months.
Step 4: Make a Tent
Cut the ends off a plastic bottle with scissors, band saw, knife, or whatever method suits you.
Step 5: Keep the Tent Low
If you have a large bottle like the above, cut it in half with scissors, band saw, knife, or whatever method suits you.
Step 6: Make a Hole
Make a hole in the long side of both sides of the tent using nail, knife, drill, screwdriver or whatever.
Step 7: Secure Bait to Tree Limb
Secure the bait to a tree limb using wire or string. No need to twist or make the wire tight because you will be replacing the bait periodically. It is only necessary to hold the bait in place.
Step 8: Cover the Bait
Secure the plastic bottle section over the bait using wire, string or whatever suits you.
Rats can get through a hole the size of a quarter (Euro) so keep the tent low to keep out birds.
Step 10: Long & Low
A long, low tent is better than a short fat one. That makes it really easy for rats to get to and impossible for birds.
Step 11: Use Several Baits
Put several baits in each tree. Check fallen fruit for evidence of being eaten by a rat and add a bait and tent on the limb above that location.
Step 12: The Enemy
Rats carry lots of diseases and are dangerous to the health and well being of you and your family.
Step 13: Success
You may or may not find the dead rat(s). They often go back to their nests to die. Dispose of the dead rat promptly and properly. Best wishes, Mauibuck