Status of rat infestation and recent control strategies in oil palm plantations in Peninsular Malaysia
M. N., Hafidzi and M. K., Saayon (2001) Status of rat infestation and recent control strategies in oil palm plantations in Peninsular Malaysia. Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, 24 (2). pp. 109-114. ISSN 1511-3701
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A survey was carried out to establish the status of rat infestation and recent rat control practices in oil palm plantations in Peninsular Malaysia. Rattus tiomanicus (Miller) constitutes a major rat species (68 %), followed by Rattus argentiventer (Robinson and Kloss), (46%) and Rattus rattus diardii (L.), (28%). Although 75% of estates did not consider rats as a serious problem, the damage estimated ranges from 0.01 to 0.1 t/ha. The barn owl Tyto alba (Scopoli) is now an important rat control component in oil palm i.e. 82% of estates that participated in the survey. In some estates (21.4%) control is achieved entirely with T. alba, without baiting. In most estates (60.7%) baiting was done in combination with T. alba, whereby the latter reduced baiting cost from RM2.64 to RM30/ha/year.
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