Asked on Oct 14, 2017

How do I get rid of tree rats?

Naomie Moore aka baileyanddaisey, Castaic CAPJ WiseDorothy Law


They have hollowed out almost all my navel oranges even while they are still green!

5 answers
  • Melissa V
    on Oct 14, 2017

    Hi Diane, to be honest with you, I have never heard of tree rats (especially in the desert). Are you sure you don't have birds enjoying your fruit? I've heard to protect fruit trees are large nets meant just for that purpose, plastic owls-some light up, and maybe get a cat 😺
  • Dorothy Law
    on Oct 14, 2017

    not sure it would work in a tree but eh worth a try..... I read splitting open tubes of toothpaste that have been named as being bad for humans and putting them into the roof space has worked at keeping Vermon under control. Maybe get a few tubes and wire it to a few spots in the tree. My grandson spotted a rat clim down my gazebo wall here in Bali tonight so I'm off to get some for my experiment also!
  • PJ Wise
    on Oct 14, 2017

    How to Keep Rats Out of Citrus Trees

    Keep wood piles off the ground.

    It will likely take several control measures to effectively get rid of those pesky rats feeding on your citrus trees. Coined "integrated pest management," adopting more than one control technique helps ensure pest elimination. Whether they are roof rats also called black rats or Norway rats munching on your fruit, the average homeowner can usually eradicate them from the landscape without calling in the professionals.

    1 Prune citrus trees so they are isolated and do not touch other objects, including the ground, fences, wires, buildings and other trees. Maintain a space of about 2 to 3 feet whenever possible.
    2 Install rat guard around the trunks of the citrus trees. Use a sheet metal or aluminum flashing that is at least 18 inches tall and wrap it around the base of the tree, overlapping it by 2 or 3 inches. Drill or poke holes with an ice pick through the overlapping metal, two on the top and two on bottom. Thread a piece of wire through the top two holes and twist to secure. Repeat on the bottom two holes. This method to secure the guard around the tree does not harm the trunk.
    3 Pick fruit when it is first ripe. Remove dropped fruit and vegetation growing under the citrus tree, as rats do not like to be out in the open. Clear the debris in your landscape, including wood and brush piles. Keep wood piles, boxes and other items off the ground. Thin thick vegetation, such as an ivy ground cover or dense shrubs, to create a yard this is less desirable to rats. Store trash in sealed bins and do not unnecessarily keep water and food out for your pets.
    4 Trap rats with bait or snap traps, using bacon or dried fruit as bait. Do not use poison bait traps that are labeled as indoor use only. Set traps at the base of the citrus tree and throughout the landscape where you have noticed rat activity. Secure traps in the citrus tree itself using twine. If you use an anticoagulant wax block, set it in a bait station, which can be purchased or made with a plastic or cardboard box. The bait station protects other wildlife in the landscape. Set the bait station in the citrus tree, 6 feet off the ground.

    Things You Will Need
    *Pruning shears
    *Sheet metal or aluminum flashing
    *Drill or ice pick
    *Snap or bait traps
    *Bait station
    Pruning shears

    Tip: Rats generally stay within 300 feet of their nest or burrow to look for food!

    Be sure that the rats are not using your home, garage or other outbuildings as their nesting site by closing all holes, etc. Remember, if the head can go through, the body (no matter how fat) can follow!

  • Place a metal band around the tree trunks. Like they have on palm trees at resorts. But that will only work if the tree trunk is their only access. They can jump a fair distance from a fence or another tree.
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