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Trapping and anticoagulant baiting to reduce rodent populations in coconut plantations—and consequently to reduce crop losses—were evaluated in Leyte (Central Philippines). Activity indices (trap success and tracking board utilization) were used to reference rodent populations (largely Rattus rattus mindanensis). Relative numbers of rodent-damaged, fallen coconuts were used to assess control efficacy.
Both anticoagulant baiting (ground, trunk, crown) and snap trapping (ground and crown) reduced numbers of rodents and fallen and damaged coconuts. Crown baiting was the most effective in reducing rat numbers and thus damage, and it also provided the most favorable cost/benefit ratio. Marking of rodents with metallic flakes contained in bait showed vertical movements in coconut trees as well as movements from croplands into coconut plantations at times of harvest and field preparation.
coconut, Philippines, rice-field rat, Rattus rattus mindanensis, rats, anticoagulant rodenticide, metallic flake marking, rodent control, Polynesian rat, Rattus exulans, warfarin, Ratoxin, rat control, tracking boards
Graduate fellowhead, Bowling Green State UniversityVisayas State College of Agriculture, Bowling GreenBaybay, Leyte, OH
Destinguished university professor, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH