Date of this Version
Within the past ten years, the roof rat (Rattus rattus) problem in residential Santa Clara County has developed from an insignificant nuisance to one of major concern. When a considerable number of complaints to the Santa Clara County Health Department reported roof rats on telephone cables, a study was made of 29 city blocks to determine the feasibility of utility pole baiting as a means of roof rat control. In the baiting process, rat signs were commonly observed on telephone equipment attached to the utility poles. A correlation was observed between bait consumption and the close proximity of vegetation to the telephone cable clamp. Bait consumption profiles on most blocks demonstrated patterns which resembled activity ranges. During the study approximately 190 two ounce bait blocks were consumed and many dead roof rats were found by the Health Department and residents living in the baited areas. The procedure appears to be an effective means of population reduction and has the potential of long range effectiveness.