GOING NUTS OVER RAT BAIT

Auckland Council is hoping the rats go nuts over a new temptation in the pest control department.

Selleys, mostly known for its sealants and adhesives, has partnered with premium peanut butter manufacturer, Nut Brothers, to deliver a double whammy to rats on some of the Hauraki Gulf islands and remote rural areas.

Selleys has donated over 22,000 of its Talon wax blocks (rat bait) which Auckland Council will use as part of their Pest Free Auckland Programme in its fight against what has been the biggest beech mast for more than 40 years.

Brett Butland, at Auckland Council, said the unusually high seeding has provided a bonanza of food for native species but had also fueled rodent and stoat populations that will pose a serious threat to native wildlife as predator populations build up this spring and summer.

“We want to keep ahead of the game and ensure our predator free islands continue to stay that way.  The rat bait and peanut butter works in tandem beautifully.  Rats appreciate quality and we learnt that they find good organic oils much more desirable and they will draw them in to the bait station.  To ensure the bait is used appropriately, we’ve worked closely with the recipient projects," said Butland.

Nut Brothers donated 160kg of its award winning, locally roasted, peanut butter that recently won a Gold medal at the Outstanding NZ Food Producers Awards.

Selleys’ assistant brand manager, Tania Menzies, said while some would consider the partnership between rat bait and peanut butter a little unusual, the exceptional circumstances of a super beech mast calls for exceptional measures.  “When we asked Nut Brothers to help they were happy to get involved.  We wanted to lure the rats towards the bait instead of seeds and wildlife.  If it deals with the rat problem more effectively, then it’s a great result," said Menzies.