When organic-certified orchardists Geoff and Leny Leong in Paengaroa, Bay of Plenty, noticed rats and possums raiding their avocados, macadamia nuts and walnuts, they knew they had a serious problem.
“We’d shine a torch down the shelter belts in winter and see so many sets of rats’ eyes shining back at us,” says Leny. “It was that bad!”
The damage to the trees and crops resulted in a huge amount of waste - something every orchardist does their best to avoid. The loss of production led to loss of income and became a real risk for the couple’s business.
For their serious problem they needed a serious solution. Humane and toxin-free pest control aligned with their ethics and organic values.
“It’s hard to rest easy when you know how pests suffer from the use of toxins,” explains Leny. “While we don’t like what pests do, we still want to treat them with respect. That’s the big plus of using Goodnature’s toxin-free lures.”
Setting up the network of traps to control the 74-hectare orchard was easy. It took two people less than a day to install 32 x A24 rat traps and 10 x A12 possum traps.
The A12 and A24 traps drastically reduced the damage from pests, protecting the orchard’s production.
“We were surprised by the number of kills recorded by each trap’s counter,” says Geoff. “They just kept clocking up. But without the counters we wouldn’t have known because scavenging is so common.”
94% of the rats killed by the A24 traps were scavenged overnight, while 66% of the possums disappeared without Geoff or Leny needing to do anything.
Over two years, our A24 traps killed 690 rats and our A12 traps killed 55 possums.
While the Leongs are stoked with their success, they’re also realistic about the inevitable reinvasion. Since the traps automatically reset themselves, they know their crops and profits are safe.
The minimal effort required to maintain the traps is something else they rate highly. “We can get on what we love most: growing some of New Zealand’s best avocados, macadamias and walnuts!”