Eliminating rats

Published: Thursday 15 July 1993

SMALL farmers who cannot afford expensive rat-poisons now have a cheap, natural alternative: A fastgrowing tropical tree, Ghricidia sepium, whose leaves when fermented act as a potent rat-killer (Ceres, Vol 25, No 2). The vermin die of internal bleeding as the toxin reduces production of prothrombin, a blood-clotting agent secreted in the liver.

Gliricidia sepium is not just a ratkiller; its seedlings are considered a delicacy by humans, it serves as an excellent feed for livestock, and can be used as green manure as well.

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