Vertebrate Pest Conference Proceedings collection


Date of this Version

March 1972


Mujumdar (1968) has recorded that there are 566,000 villages in India as compared to 2699 towns, and that there is 322,460,000 acres of cultivable land and probably 500 million domestic rats in India. The food production target in 1968 in India was to be 110 million tons. National rodent committee 1967 mentioned of a loss of one million ton of food grains by rats alone. Deoras (1968) has mentioned that 3 common rats in Bombay were consuming 26 gm. of food grains per day, that is, about one ounce, while the quantum of cereal rations available per man in some parts of India is 6 oz. per day. If rat reduction was done, this 16% denial of human food could be saved, and 7.7% import of food grains improved (Deoras 1968). It was further observed that the small rat Laggada booduga climbed up a paddy plant and ate every grain, while the field rat B. bengalensis took a few grains, may cut a plant and remove it to burrows. The presence of the bigger rat drove the smaller ones away. The smaller rats did more damage than bigger ones, and if indiscriminate baiting was done, the bigger ones that did less damage were wiped out, leaving the smaller ones to do more damage. The knowledge of the frequency of rat population and the habits seemed necessary to do a large-scale rat eradication programme.