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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Hawaiian sugar cane rat control methods and problems

  • Author(s): Smythe, William R.
  • et al.

The problem of rat damage done by Norway rats, black rats, and Polynesian rats to sugarcane in Hawaii is discussed in terms of damage description and economic impacts. Control methods largely depend on the use of various anticoagulant rodenticides formulated on rolled oats with addition of paranitrophenol as a mold inhibitor. These baits are placed in around the periphery of fields in three types of bait stations: temporary stations made of cardboard treated with wax, inverted “T” bait dispenser, and “L”-shaped bait dispenser, with the latter two typically made of plastic pipe. Baiting strategies are described, and the problem of bird consumption of anticoagulant baits is noted. Occasionally, baits made from rolled oats treated with thallous sulfate are used, but prebaiting is required for these to be effective. Better rodenticide baits are needed, especially for the Polynesian rat, and it would be advantageous to have such a bait that could be applied in sugarcane fields by aircraft.

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