Odd Fruit Tree Question

This question is going to seem weird but I am sure you all will understand. I have an Apple tree and Pear Tree. Our first year in our home we didn't have any fruit. Last year we had fruit on both. Along with the fruit we had rats! We diligently picked up the dropped fruit but still had rats. Our first year when there was no fruit there were no rats. My question is how do we stop the trees from bearing fruit? We don't want to cut them down, they are nice trees but the fruit invite unwelcomed guests. Any ideas?
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On Thu, 10 Feb 2005 01:22:27 GMT, "99windstar"

Dig up the trees and give them to the neighbors or get some snakes to take care of the rats.
zhan
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We have snakes too but they don't help with the rat population. We want to keep the trees. Anyone else have any suggestions?
wrote:

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wrote:

how
they
rat traps?
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There exist fruit-set retardant chemicals (essentially plant hormones) that will cause early flower drop and thus preclude fruit formation. These chemicals are supposed to be innocuous enough, but be sure to investigate them fully.
Short of that, I know that a pesticide called sevin (carbaryl) at the right dosage may also cause flower abscission in the apple group, but I would put up with the rats myself.,,,
Or get up on a ladder and wassail the darned fruits off.
Good luck
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understand.
had
do
Interplant with rat-traps?
More seriously after two years I would not be so certain that the only reason rats arrive is the fruit. You need more information before coming to a conclusion. Rodents often have quite cyclic population swings that may have nothing at all to do with your fruit. Have you talked to neighbours about the rats? Have you looked around for other sources of rat food and/or shelter for them?
If you are convinced the rats come for the fruit you could trim off the immature fruit after flowering I suppose.
David
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says... :) This question is going to seem weird but I am sure you all will understand. :) I have an Apple tree and Pear Tree. Our first year in our home we didn't :) have any fruit. Last year we had fruit on both. Along with the fruit we had :) rats! We diligently picked up the dropped fruit but still had rats. Our :) first year when there was no fruit there were no rats. My question is how do :) we stop the trees from bearing fruit? We don't want to cut them down, they :) are nice trees but the fruit invite unwelcomed guests. Any ideas? Figure out where the rat source is address the problem there if possible.
--
Lar

to email....get rid of the BUGS
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opined:

Regardless what you do, you have rats. Rats are everywhere and anywhere. My neighbor kills them with poison and we still have rats everywhere and anywhere. It doesn't matter if we have bird food out or not, there are rats. Rats are not the demons people want them to be.
One thing you can do is never prune your trees and make sure you never fertilize them. I believe you may be able to spray the blossoms with copper spray (please check into this thoroughly before doing it) which will kill the blossoms.
What I'm wondering is why would you want to keep the trees when you don't want the fruit? That is curious. You could replace these trees with others, but know this, you will always have rats.
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Yes I agree rats are everywhere BUT normally you don't see them on a regular basis. When you start seeing them then there is an infestation. When the fruit trees didn't have anymore fruit on them and the ground was cleared the rats decided to move to our house. Now the rats are the demons everyone makes of them! They eat and destroy the wiring and insulation under the house. We don't store food in the garage and our trash is in containers. We have had terminex here to find why we have such a population of rats and the fruit trees are the only food source we have around our yard. We do have bait stations out and are noticing a decline in activity. We just want to avoid getting in this postion again. These rats are huge! We don't want to dig up the trees because replacing them with other non fruit bearing trees would be difficult since our yard is a steep slope.

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opined:

I see rats almost daily in my gardens. They are giant sized, fat as cats. Cute as any other creature I've seen.

There's already an infestation whether or not you see them. For every person, there are about 500 or more rats...on the planet. NYC has over a billion rats. In my yard I count about 12 adults.

Getting rid of the fruit trees won't prevent this. Good hygiene, proper pruning of branches near the roof, closing off any possible entrances with wire or mesh, putting some tanglefoot where they enter, etc. will help.

Be prepared to have a very long expensive poison bill because you will never get rid of rats. Never. No amount of toxic poison will do it and all you do is kill innocent animals. Please, I don't want to hear your shit about me being a rat hugger, 'cus I am and I know it and I like who I am and won't be changing anything about that part of me.
So, do whatever you want, but if the trees are the source, cut em down and replace them or move.
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opined:

really? i don't have rats...not i don't see rats, i don't have any. if i did, the barn cats would gift me with them.

where do you live? i have a farm, with livestock, with the attendant grain storage, but no rats. i have lots of mice, voles, moles & woodchucks, red & grey squirrels, chipmunks, but no rats. the previous owner had a rat problem, but he used wooden grain bins. i keep the barn tidy & store grain in metal trash cans with bungeed lids. the chicken feeders hang from the rafters, so no grain at floor level. i also have two chubby little barn cats who are excellent vermin hunters.

this is true. i don't think the trees caused the rat population explosion. how far away are the neighbors & how clean do they keep thier yard/house? since the rats have moved in, getting rid of the trees won't help. you need to find what they're eating in your house & clean that up. rats don't stay if there's no food source... but if your neighbors have a food source, it's possible they will live in your house & go next door to eat.

are your garbage cans metal? are the covers tightly fastened, as in bungeed closed? where is thier water source? if your house has a crawl space, you need to screen it off. make sure you have no leaking pipes to supply water. keep all your dry goods (flour, pasta, grains, etc) in metal or plastic containers. rats are lazy. they won't live somewhere where food & water aren't easily available. oh, and consider getting a cat, not any cat though. you need a cat that comes from a barn cat background. while most cats will hunt from instinct, house cats tend to not be as good at ratting as cats that haven't had the instint bred down. spayed female cats are better hunters than males typically, although my male barncat is pretty good. his sister is still better at actually killing things. Rudh tends to 'play' with his prey & they escape more often. :p i note you said you'd replace the apple & pear with other fruit if you *did* cut them down anyway, so i see you really don't think they're the source of the problem. if you really thought the fruit was a problem, why would you just plant more fruit? oh, & since you only have one apple & one pear, *someone* within a mile of you must have more fruit trees to pollinate yours (or the pear, at least, wouldn't be fruiting. they aren't self-pollinating, & apples fruit better if cross pollinated), so that may also be the source of the rats. lee
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I live in Texas where the rats are big! Actually, I assure you that, if you have mice, moles, voles, shmoles and poles, you also have rats. You may not see them, but they are there. The reason we have them is because we have a Native Wildlife Habitat in our backyard. There is food, shelter and water supply and a place to raise young. We have an opossum living back there. I saw it up in the mesquite tree a few nights ago. I am relatively certain a raccoon came in and mangled one of the comets in the pond which we had to put down because he was so injured. We've had herons in our trees because I'm just up the hill from a very active, wet creek. Rats are everywhere. I have moved the bird feeder to the far back of the property because the rats eat here and live in the neighbors woodpile. He poisons them and throws them into our pool. Nice.
In my town it is against the law to let a cat roam, so that is not something I do. We have neighbor cats who do, and it is very annoying to me and others. They scratch at my screens because they sit on the ledge and want to eat my parrot. They kill birds at my feeders. I detest people who let their cats roam when they live in sub-divisions. In the country, so be it. Around here we have coyotes so if I did have a cat it would not go out.
Anyway, I think this thread has given ample answers.
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On Thu, 10 Feb 2005 18:04:10 GMT, "99windstar"
:) Yes I agree rats are everywhere BUT normally you don't see them on a regular :) basis. When you start seeing them then there is an infestation. When the :) fruit trees didn't have anymore fruit on them and the ground was cleared the :) rats decided to move to our house. Now the rats are the demons everyone :) makes of them! They eat and destroy the wiring and insulation under the :) house. We don't store food in the garage and our trash is in containers. We :) have had terminex here to find why we have such a population of rats and the :) fruit trees are the only food source we have around our yard. We do have :) bait stations out and are noticing a decline in activity. We just want to :) avoid getting in this postion again.
Food is only one factor that can be a cause of the infestation. Somewhere, probably within a 100 yards from you there is a harborage spot. If you are in a neighborhood situation you may have someone feeding the wildlife or just keeping their outside dog food bowl full of dry food along with another neighbor that may have an old garage or storage building that they may be living in. If this is the case, unfortunately there isn't a lot that you can do other than what you are doing. As long as there is a breeding population nearby you will have them showing upon occasion, especially during the bounty time of the fruit and as you discovered as they venture further from where they came they will tend to set up residence in the less populated area. I mainly deal with roof rats, but the most common factor I find with them is some sort of vine...English Ivy, Jasmine, honeysuckle...that is growing on a fence or up into the trees. But any type of debris pile near you will suit them fine. Keeping the limbs trimmed away from any fence and several feet from the ground and as mentioned a collar three feet up the trunks will help, though you will need to stay on top off all the fruit that falls to the ground. Yes there will always be rats around, but you can also, especially with the help of neighbors keep them in control.
Lar. (to e-mail, get rid of the BUGS!!
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99windstar wrote:

understand.
didn't
we had

Our
how do

they
I doubt the trees are the sole source of rats. What do they live off the other 11 months? Besides, they don't particularly like fruits. They can manufacture most vitamins inside their body and they prefer more caloric food (they are ,after all, squirrels without bushy tails). If the trees are isolated from other vegetation, a metal disk three feet up the trunk will impede access to the branches, and picking up the dropped fruit will do the rest. If you feel like giving them a long lasting memory, an electric fence wire wrapped around the trunks will make them apple-shy for a long time. My electric fence has been in disuse for 3 years, but the local mammals still remember it.
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