Rat Damage Assessment and Evaluation of some Methods of Control for Rattus rattus on Date Palm and Orange Trees in New Reclaimd Land.

Document Type : Original Article


Plant Protection Research Institute, Agric. Res. Centre, Dokki, Giza, Egypt


Rodent damage assayed in date palm and orange trees in different locations at El- Wady El- Gadid Governorate (El-Kharga, El-Dakhla, Gharb El-Mawhob and El–Farafra) as new reclaimed lands. In addition, two control methods were studied i.e. chemical control (zinc phosphide and diphacinone anticoagulant bait) and mechanical control (Aluminum sheet rolled around the trees, clean around the trees by rake, the weeds around the trees were removed, demolition of rat burrows by axe and muslin covered the date). Results showed the damage percentages were 37.06 % in El- Kharga, 45.63 % in El-Dakhla, 0.57% in Gharb El-Mawhob and 4.75% in El- Farafra for date palm. While the damage percentages in sweet orange were 28.16% in El-Kharga, 44.08% in El-Dakhla, 4.78% in Gharb El-Mawhob and 9.14% in El-Farafra. In case of bitter oranges damage percentage were 18.61, 28.28, 4.12 and 4.15 % in El-Kharga, El-Dakhla, Gharb El-Mawhob and El–Farafra, respectively. The results of chemical control showed that diphacinone bait was more effective than zinc phosphide. Whereas, zinc phosphide gave 72.43%, while diphacinone achived 89.26 % population reduction of rats in date palm. Concerning orange trees, it was 69.30 and 86.79 % population reduction of rats. 
  Regarding the mechanical methods, the damage percent in date palm declined      to zero percentage after using aluminum sheets around palm stem, clean around the palm, remove the weeds and demolition of rat burrows in date palm. While, in case of using the muslin cover, percentage the damage not decreased in date palm. The average damage percentage after using the chemical and mechanical control on date palm in El- Dakhla were 1.39, 1.80 and 0.00 % by zinc phosphide, diphacinone and aluminum sheets, respectively. In conclusion, mechanical control of rats on palm was better than the chemical methods to protect the environment from the impact of rodenticides especially in new reclaimed land.