Rats are one of the most common pests on agricultural land. They can cause extensive damage to crops and property, and can also spread diseases to livestock and humans. There are a number of ways to reduce or prevent rat populations from establishing themselves on farms, including using traps, baits, and other deterrents. Rat control is an important part of maintaining a healthy farm environment.
Sanitary practices and regular maintenance like cleaning trash, fixing water leaks and regularly trimming grass to be short can help reduce nesting areas for rats. One of the most effective ways to eliminate rats are rodenticides.
There has been a fairly new rat bait which was developed and released just earlier this year called selontra. Selontra, being a non-anticoagulant, has proven to even be effective against pests that are immune to anticoagulants. It contains cholecalciferol which is toxic to rats. Pest bait must smell and taste appealing in order to have rats ingest it. The Farmers Weekly UK suggests that rats, “ate 13.2 times more Selontra than maize silage, and 4.3 times more of the bait than pig feed in the first day”. Cholecalciferol has proven to be safer than other baits and do not affect local food chains like other types of rodenticides.
Snails are typically attracted to soil with a decent level of temperature and moisture, and have a reputation for munching away at precious crops. Regular practices such as weed maintenance and refuge removal can help reduce the likelihood of snails or slugs infiltrating your plants, however there are other ways to keep the ands and slugs away – whether it be with natural methods or the use of chemicals.
According to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, you may utilise other animals and create an ecosystem in which ducks or chickens can help keep molluscicide populations under control. Ducks In particular are excellent at hunting for snails, the ideal breeds being the khaki campbell or indian runner. In order to deploy a good team of snail hunters, you must have at least 26 ducks which can cover up to 20 hectares worth of land and water bodies like dams or ponds. Chickens are also quite effective, but the downsides are that they do not have as much land coverage as ducks do and can impair fruit crops.