Pest Control

6th Nov 2012

Rats. At the beginning we started trying to use only traps but gave up out of frustration. Lots of traps going off with no rats caught or the bait gone but not set off (possibly mice).
We have only just started trialing traps again. We are confident that we have made major inroads into rat control with our 13 bait stations after switching our baits to Contrac so the plan now is to intercept the rats at the point of entry to our gully with traps.  We have put a box with a bank of three ordinary rat traps at the Odering Nursery entry point. This again has had the baits gone but not set off several times. We introduced a mice trap and caught one.
At the southern entry point by bait station 13 we have installed a Ka Mate Trap. These are similar to the standard rat trap but have an interesting difference in the trigger point. Instead of the rat having to push the trigger down there is downward pressure on the trigger which is held up by a pellet. When the rat eats the pellet the trap is set off.  We have had two successful kills of late.
These trials are ongoing. We are going to put a standard trap beside bait station one. This bait station has always had a heavy consumption of baits.

Possums caught to date is 22. The traps are still out but nothing is being caught. We feel we have cleared them out and will only be catching the odd one that may come into our gully.

7th June 2012

Summary to date of pest control
Possums caught since December now totals 19. There has been nothing in the traps for over two weeks now so it looks as though we may have cleared out the resident possums.

Rat baits pellets eaten from our bait stations since we started now totals 274. We were trialing one bait station which has been in place since November last year and that had 48 eaten by March when we started put the other bait stations into the reserve. The last of the 13 were installed by 20th April. The bait stations are serviced weekly. We are a bit surprised that the uptake of baits has not had any noticeable reduction yet. There must be a lot of rats out there or the bait pellets (Ditrac) is not having any effect and we are just feeding them!! We are sure it is the former. 

 20th April
We have now installed 13 rat bait stations in our 2 hectare restoration block.  The map shows the approximate location of each. Some are really remote but numbers 8 and 5 are just off the track.  We record the number of pellets we add to each station.  It is quite apparent that bait stations in some locations (1 & 9) are being frequented by rats a lot more than other locations. 
Double click on image to enlarge.

2nd Feb  2012
It is proving very difficult to trap the rats. We are still doing trials. We are finding bait stations are much more effective than traps. After having one bait station as a trial we now have four in place with another eight on order. The bait we are using is Ditrac with an active ingredient of diphacinone. This has been selected because it has no after kill properties. That is if your moggy happens to eat a dead or dying rat it would not cause its death. The bait stations are secure and cats would not be able to get access to the bait blocks which are threaded onto a wire so the rats have to eat them inside the bait station.
The one trial station went through 45 bait blocks in two months.
It was found that rats frequented bait stations
that were placed in trees more than those directly
on the ground. We paint them green so they are
less likely to be seen by the public and
tampered with.

16th August 2011
While we are happy with the rat trap design we are finding that mice are continually eating the peanut butter bait. This has become quite frustrating. We reviewed all the poisons available on the market. Our major concern of using poison bait was the chance of poisoning a pet puss when it ate a half dead mouse or rat that was dying of poison. Our research has come up with “Natural No Rats”, a bio gro certificated product marketed by Kiwicare. The specs can be checked out by clicking on this link,103,0,0,html/Natural-NO-Rats
We are now converting some of the trap covers to bait stations.

14th June 2011
The trap itself is just the standard wooden rat trap. The covers that hold the trap has been designed to minimised or eliminate the catch of un-targeted species. We have six at present in the gully. This is giving us an indication of whether the design works (and it does) and what the rat population is likely to be.

15th May 2011
Our Group has designed and built six rat prototype trap covers. Carpet Court went to some trouble to source a length of plastic pipe that carpet used to be rolled on for us so that we can make another 10 trap covers (we now have enough pipe for 20).

6th Dec 2010
After a discussion with the Dept of Conservation a summary is as follows:
  • Start rat control July to reduce numbers by Oct 1st bird breeding season.
  • Rat numbers usually spike in Nov each year.
  • Survey the area into a maximum size of a 75metre square grid. One bait / trap station per grid.
  • DOC can supply a spread sheet to record a track monitoring system. 
  • Recommended “mini-philproof” bate stations.  
  • This would cover possum & rat poisoning from the same station
  • Recommended to use the second general coagulant poison brodifacoum.
  • brodifacoum is marketed under several names, one is Pestoff ,
  • Poison baits available at rural retailers. Wrightson or RD1

Photo from Ship rat in a fantail nest