The number of rats in India has increased six times more than human population, said Gobi Assistant Director of Agriculture, V. Jeevathayalan. So, integrated rat control system is must.
Six rats’ food is equal to one man’s food. They waste more than ten times as much food as they eat by their excreta.Rats destroy food in homes and destroy crops, seeds, seedlings, and fruits in the fields.
Types of rats: Mice are multifaceted, such as the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus), the black mouse (Rattus rattus), sundeli (Mus musculus), the perucheli (Bandicota Indica), and the small perucheli (Bandicota bengalensis).
Circumstances for damage: Crop damage is more likely to occur in areas where the fields are covered with bushes, and ridges. Fields where pesticides and fungicides are used more to control pests and diseases in the crop, have less number of natural enemied of rats.
Enemies of rats: Natural enemies of rats in the fields are: snakes, cats, dogs, owls, mongooses, eagles. A variety of diseases that affect mice naturally would control the reproduction of rats.
Rats movement would be less in the houses where cats are existed.
How to control rats: Rats will damage paddy crops since the moment of milking of paddy.
During this season, every farmer should inspect and calculate the damage to the field, and calculate the number of rat burrows in the field.
In doing so, if 25-50 rat burrows per hectare are found, intensive monitoring should be done to control the damage to the crop.
If more than 50 burrows are found, immediate control measures should be carried out by calculating the damage to the crop.Intensive monitoring should be carried out if any damage is found in the crop.
If the same crop is cut into several pieces, serious action should be taken.
During the field study, it should be noted that the rat is naturally kept under control if the movement of natural enemies of the rat is high during the same season in the field.
Rat reproduction is high during harvest. At that moment, ryots can destroy burrows with the rats and cubs.
Rat control mechanisms: In the non-cropping season i.e. summer, the large ridges should be leveled. The bushes and potholes should be cleared.
Natural enemies of rats such as snakes, cats, owls, mongooses should be protected to control the reproduction of rats.
It is best to avert usage of more chemical pesticides to control pests in the crop to protect snakes from extinction. Cultivation of the same crop as possible in the area reduces the loss caused by rats.
If enough water is available, more water can be stored in the field to kill rats in the burrows itself.
The rats can be killed by setting up 9 feet high bird seats (V shaped sticks) at about 10 locations per hectare in the field to accommodate the large number of rodent-loving birds.
The rats can be kept under control by keeping 100-125 rat kits per hectare. Rat traps can be kept at 4 to 5 locations per acre to control rats.
Chemical control: In areas where rats are highly mobile, rat poison-0.5 g of ‘aluminum phosphide’ tablets can be used.
Similarly, one part groundnut or coconut lentils can be mixed with 40 parts ‘zing phosphide’ and kept in the fields to control rats.