One of the common problems every farmer or gardener faces with their fruit trees is the persistent attacks from rodents, especially during fruiting. No farmer will be happy to see his fruit trees being damaged by rats or squirrels, which is why you need to learn how to protect fruit trees from rodents.
Sometimes these animals may not only destroy your fruit trees as they also can spread diseases such as leptospirosis through their urine which can result in kidney disorder in humans.
In this article, you learn simple ways you can protect your fruit trees from rodents without hiring an expert.
How to Protect Fruit Trees from Rodents
Knowing how to protect fruit trees from rodents is important. So, if you want to at least significantly control the activities of rodents on your farm, here are some of the protective measures you must take.
1. Regular Pruning
One of the easiest things you can do to keep away rodents from attacking your fruit is to prune your trees regularly.
During fruiting, you will discover that some branches of your fruit trees sang as a result of overbearing fruit. Ensure to cut off those parts touching the ground to disallow rodents from eating them.
Or instead of cutting them, you can provide support for them by using long sticks to raise such branches up.
2. Provide enough space in between fruit trees
When planting fruit trees, ensure you give adequate space so that they do not grow too close together. Rodents can hide in between trees that are closely planted together and you won’t notice it until they start to eat your fruit.
Repotting of fruit trees is necessary if they are closely planted together to prevent rodents from using them as havens.
3. Biological Prevention
Another good way to protect your fruit trees from being taken over by rodents is the use of other animals like snakes, cats etc.
Cats, being carnivores, are not only used as pets, they are also used to keep rodents away from homes and gardens. They feast on them (rodents).
So if your fruit trees are being attacked by rodents, you can try using cats or any other enemies of rodents.
4. Keep the ground and its surrounding clean from rotten fruits
During a heavy storm with lots of wind, both ripe and unripe fruits fall to the ground. Clean up fallen fruits as quickly as possible so that rats and other rodents do not use that as an avenue to get access to your farm.
Leaving fruits for too long on the tree will also make them fall to the ground on their own as a result of over-ripening. So, ensure to harvest your fruits immediately they are ready.
5. Use of traps and snare boxes
Another way to protect fruit trees from rodents is the use of traps. Traps are mostly used in rural areas to get rid of rodents like rats, squirrels and the likes.
Placing traps near fruit trees and using the right baits will attract them. So, in an attempt to eat the bait on the traps, they are trapped.
6. Use of rodent poison
The use of rat poison is one of the fastest and easiest ways to control rodents on fruit trees. There are different types of rat poisons that you can use and they also come in different forms.
Some kill and dry rodents without smell while some will kill only without drying.
Please, ensure to cover your mouth or eyes when administering the poison as it also poisonous to humans. And if taken swallowed, please contact a physician immediately.
Note: Contact any local chemical shop near you for the different types of rat poisons.
7. Use of electronic rodent repellants
These are devices that produce different electromagnetic and ultrasonic technologies to deter rodents from gaining access to places they are not wanted especially in farms. These devices come in different energy sources like battery, electronics, or even sola.
You must ensure that children do not go close to where they are installed as they could mistakenly disconnect them. This will defeat the purpose.
8. Use of rat guards on the stems
You can wrap metal sheets around the trunks of the fruit trees to prevent rats from climbing into the tree.
Also, you can use adhesive gum to rob on the stems so that they get stuck as they climb. The University of Florida United States of America describes the roof rat as the worst rodent and also the most common enemy of fruit trees.
9. Block their hiding holes
Rodents, like rats and other ground animals, live in holes. Look for these holes and block them with stones or cement to prevent them from destroying your fruit trees.
You can easily trace them to where their holes are located as they like to eat along the paths. Teeth marks on fruits, making a nest in high places like lofts and attics especially in homes, are some of the common signs of infestation.
So, whenever you see these signs, there is the presence of rodents.
Here are some things you may need to effectively protect your fruit trees from rodents:
- Pruning shears
- Sheet metals or aluminum flashing
- Adhesive gum
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Rodents are known to be destructive to crops especially fruit trees. So, care should be taken to ensure that they are significantly eliminated or prevented from gaining access to our farms.
Implementing the steps on how to protect fruit trees from rodents entails taking some adequate measures as learned in today’s guide.
Since food is the number one attraction in rats and other rodents, keep all garbage cans properly covered, clear the surroundings of your garden to make sure they do not stay within.
Note: One of the adverse effects of rodents on fruit trees is that it can lead to serious economic losses.