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Aims: This study assessed the morphology and the bait preference of black rat (Rattus rattus) in Obafemi Awolowo University student hostel with the aim of controlling the population of black rat in the students’ hostels.
Place and Duration of the Study: The study was carried out at Obafemi Awolowo University which is situated in Ile-Ife, an ancient city in the Southwestern Nigeria and lies between latitudes 7°28′N and 7.467°N and longitudes 4°34′E and 4.567°Ewith a landmass of 5,506 hectares between December 2017 and February 2018
Methodology: Locally made metal traps (cage traps) (Plate 1) contains baits were placed fortnightly in various sampling locations (Awolowo, Fajuyi, Angola, Akintola, Mozambique and Moremi halls of residence) for a period of 3 months between the months of December 2017 to February 2018. The traps were set around the dark corners of the sites in the evening and collected the following morning (6.00am).
Results: A total of 236 black rats (Rattus rattus) were caught (81 male & 155 female), with the female having the highest weight (238.30 g). Among the baits used, fried fish caught the highest number of the black rat (58%) followed by beans cake (akara) (28%) and the locust bean (14%). There was a positive correlation in the morphology of the black rat caught in all the hostels.
Conclusion: The black rats in the University student hall of residence were of the same family and genus, and fried fish is the best-preferred bait.