Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post

Sukoharjo farmers wage war on rats in ‘extermination’ contest

Mon, February 24, 2020   /   02:41 pm
  • /

    Farmers use long sticks to flush rice-field rats out of their nests during a “rat extermination” contest. A sudden surge in the rat population has destroyed the farmer’s entire crop in Banmati, Sukoharjo, Central Java. JP/Ali Lutfi

  • /

    A farmer picks up a rice-field rat that was flushed out of its nest at a rice farm in Sukoharjo, Central Java. JP/Ali Lutfi

  • /

    A rat (far left) flees farmers during an extermination contest in Sukoharjo, Central Java. JP/Ali Lutfi

  • /

    A record keeper keeps a tally of the rice-field rats caught during the contest. The farmers caught a total of 508 rats in just a few hours. JP/Ali Lutfi

  • /

    Farmers count their “catch”. The farmers divided into several competing teams during the “rat extermination” contest. JP/Ali Lutfi

  • /

    A farmer of the winning team smiles as he holds the first-place trophy. JP/Ali Lutfi

Ali Lutfi

Around 150 members of the Banmati Farmers Group in Sukoharjo, Central Java, have taken up arms against a rat infestation that has destroyed 20 hectares of paddy crops and caused tens of millions of rupiah in losses.

The local population of rice-field rats, which usually affect only a small volume of crops, has recently seen a sudden surge into the thousands and destroyed the farmers’ entire crop.

Armed with long wooden sticks, gasoline and water to flush the rodents from their nests, the farmers held an “extermination” contest on Jan. 19 to rid the local rice farms of the pests. The district head pledged Rp 1,000 for each rat caught, while trophies were given to the teams that caught the largest number of rats.

The farmers caught 508 rats in just a few hours, although it is likely that thousands more remain among the tall grass and other vegetation around the farms. They believe that the overpopulation of rats is very likely due to a decline in the rodents’ natural predators, primarily snakes and owls.[kes]