rats eating fruit of Chinese Dogwood last summer
I live in Hikes Point. Last summer I saw several rats picking off the fruit of my Chinese Dogwood and hiding the fruit in my down spout of my gutter. I talked to the Neighborhood Watch guy and he told me it was because we had been having a dry spell and the rats would move on once it rained. He told me to put out poison which I did. My question. Can I now remove the fruit from the tree so as to deter the rats from my yard this summer? Will my Dogwood still bloom in the Spring? Thanks, Betty Baker
Jefferson County Kentucky
Taking all the fruit off of your tree might not stop rats from entering your yard. The fruit removal would be very time consuming and the process may harm the tree through bruising or other physical damage. If you feel it's necessary to remove the fruit be careful to not bruise the trunk or branches.
Rats tend to be where people are. We can attract them to our neighborhood in many ways - providing nesting areas in unkept yards, access to garbage cans, pet foods left out doors and road kill.
Eliminating attractive nesting areas, keeping garbage cans closed and empty and feeding pets indoors can help keep the animals out of your yard. Applying rat poison can help eradicate a rat infestation, just keep children and pets away from these toxic baits.
Dr Potter at UK has more information: http://pest.ca.uky.edu/PSEP/pdfs/cat8rodents.pdf
Feel free to contact our office if you have other questions.
Let me know if I can help you further!
Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service
200 Juneau Drive
Louisville KY 40243