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Methods of Destroying Rats
Farmers' Bulletin 297

written by "Lantz, David"
...n apply alike to all. Introduced into America about the year 1775, the brown rat has supplanted and nearly exterminated its less robust relative, the black rat, and despite the incessant warfare of man has extended its range and steadily increased in numbers. Its dominance is due to its great fecundity and its ability to adapt itself to all sorts of conditions. It breeds three or four times a year and produces from 6 to 12, and even more, young at a litter. Young females breed when only 4 or 5 months old. The species is practically omnivorous, feeding upon all kinds of animal and vegetable matter. It makes its home in the open field, the hedge row, and the river bank, as well as in stone walls, piers, and all kinds of buildings. It destroys grains when newly planted, while growing, and in the shock, stack, mow, crib, granary, mill, elevator, or ship's hold, and also in the bin and feed trough. It invades store and warehouse and destroys fur, laces, silks, carpets, leather goods, and groceries. It attacks fruits, vegetables, and meats in the markets, and destroys by pollution ten times as much as it actually eats. It carries disease germs from house to house and bubonic plague from city to city. It causes disastrous conflagrations; floods houses by gnawing lead water pipes; ruins artificial ponds and[Pg 4] embankments by burrowing; destroys the farmers' pigs, eggs, and young poultry; eats the eggs and young of song and game birds; and damages foundations, floors, doors, and furnishings of dwellings. METHODS OF DESTROYING RATS. A compilation of all the methods of destroying rats practiced in historic times would fill a volume. Unfortunately, the greater number of them are worthless or impracticable. Few have more than temporary effect upon their numbers, and even the best of them fail unless persistently applied. Conditions vary so much that no one method of dealing with this pest is applicable in all cases. Among the more i...

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