KOHIMA, Sept 19 � Although a favourable monsoon this year brought cheers to farmers after last year�s drought-like situation, rodents are giving them sleepless nights by invading one paddy field after another in Nagaland.
Official reports said standing crops in Mokokchung and Wokha districts, where summer crops have been the mainstay, were destroyed by rats.
The situation is alarming as rats invade fields and devour crops in the nights everyday, District Agriculture Officer of Mokokchung, Bendangtemsu, said. Officials said following flowering of a bamboo species �Ashi� (Bambusa Pallida) infestation of rats in paddy fields and farms were reported from many villages.
Departmental officers and field staff were closely monitoring the situation by visiting the affected villages, Bendangtemsu said, adding two mini trucks loaded with chemicals such as Ruban, Ratol and Ecodon were being distributed in the affected villages to control the increasing population of rats.
The department is also considering procuring Zinc Phosphate to control the menace. However, the department has asked the villagers to use it only in emergency situations because the chemical is poisonous for other mammals, birds and insects.
Community elders said the phenomenon of simultaneous bamboo flowering and rat infestation was last witnessed in 1961-62 in the district where a number of villages were severely hit.
The department assessed that at least 35 per cent standing crops were damaged by the invading rodents in the middle range of the district. � PTI