Important Information About Roof Rats and Fruit Rats in Florida

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Use of Poisons

If poison baits are used outdoors, they must be placed in a tamper-resistant bait station. All rodenticide labels in Florida state that it is illegal to place any poison rodenticide baits where they are accessible to children, pets, livestock, or wildlife, unless the bait is contained in a secured, tamper-resistant bait station. These stations can be secured to the trunk or branches of trees.
The practice of wiring poison bait blocks to branches of trees is illegal and has caused thousands of cases of accidental poisoning of dogs and wildlife each year. Tamper-resistant bait stations are not usually found in retail stores. Try pest control companies, like those shown in the margins of these pages, which may sell them or can refer you to another source to order them.
A newer style of bait station that is very appropriate for roof rat control is the Inverted T station. These stations can easily be secured to fences, rafters, conduit, pipes, and tree branches.
In Florida, due to our high humidity, parafinized bait blocks or pellets should be used in any outdoor bait stations. Some municipalities and counties have rodent control programs, but most do not. Contact your local city or county government to find out if there are programs in your area. There are no repellents registered specifically for roof rats. Since most wildlife repellents cannot be used on human food plants, their usefulness in rat control on fruit trees is extremely limited.

Integrated Pest Management relies on biological control agents as a cost-effective way of controlling pests. We have many allies in our war on rats:

Snakes - In Florida, many species of snake help control roof rats. Yellow rat snake, gray rat snakes, corn or red rat snakes, black racers, king snakes, coachwhips and indigo snakes all prey on roof rats. Even our venomous rattlesnakes and cottonmouths eat lots of rats.

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