Rats destroy Kalahari grazing land

Die Vryburger

Rats destroy Kalahari grazing land
Rats destroy Kalahari grazing land - Image - Die Vryburger

One of the worst rat plagues that hit the Kalahari is beginning to discourage farmers because of their vast size.

Mr. Deon Hoon van Kuruman says large colonies of whistling rats found in, among other things, Olifantshoek up to the Botswana border, to a great annoyance of cattle farmers because the rats destroy their pasture.

Flute rats (Parotomys brantsii) have already stripped more than half of farmers’ grazing in some areas, combined with the low levels of rainfall, resulting in severe problems.

The rats prefer dry sandy soil to stay in and are active early in the morning. They like to sit in the sun and burn at the entrance of the hole. The complex has two or more entrances where one to three youngsters are born in the summer. The young ones cling to the mother’s nipples as she walks. The animal eats the leaves of fleshy plants, seeds, and flowers.

Some farmers believe there are up to 700 rats per hectare of land, and all the rats eat plants that are intended for livestock.

Farmers say the rats are not unknown to them, but they have never had such an enormous plague.

An expert in the field of pest control said a supersonic audio system can be purchased that sends out signals causing the rats to flee, but the distance is limited to about 700 meters.

Read the original article in Afrikaans on Die Vryburger

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