The following is taken from West Africa Link. “Rev. Noah Kyireh, agronomist at the Nyankomasi Methodist Agricultural Project, has found an effective method of keeping rodents away from young oil palms. The young trees can be attacked by rodents, which will eat the stem right at ground level, killing the tree. Wire netting placed around the tree is not completely successful because the rodents can dig under the wire and still get to the tree. Noah Kyireh has been putting logs of dry wood around young oil palms at a distance of some 20 centimeters from the stem. It is the tropical fire ants, which subsequently inhabit the dry wood, which then keep the rodents away. He says it is much more effective than the use of wire netting, and certainly much cheaper.
ECHO Staff 1994. A Method For Keeping Rats Away From Oil Palms.. ECHO Development Notes no. 45