An unusual helper in biological pest control

coati

The white-nosed coati (Nasua narica) is a common site all around Playa Viva.  A member of the raccoon family, it’s name means long nose (coá: long, : nose).  Aside from being a rather exotic addition to the Playa Viva family, this furry rodent has a large appetite for just the kind of critters we want to keep at bay around our casitas. 

 While they will travel up to 2000 meters in a single day in a quest for food, they are just as happy to eat what’s near by.  Keeping their muzzle down close to the ground as they search for food, they are happy to eat any beetles, spiders, scorpions, ants, termites, grubs, centipedes, and even land crabs, mice and lizards they might find

 Of course their willingness to help comes at a price.  They also love to eat fruit.  And that leves the many exotic fruit trees at Playa Viva vulnerable.  So while we appreciate their valuable assistance with pest control, the Permaculture team has also had to come up with some creative solutions for containing our Coati population.  So far our most successful strategy for keeping them out of our fruit trees has been nailing metal around the trunk so they can’t climb up. 

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But since the Coati is so smart and territorial they can be domesticated and trained to a certain extent, thus allowing us to get the benefits of natural insect control around the casitas, without worrying about the fruit trees. 

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