LETTER: Reader seeks city action on rat problem in Vernon

Rat traps aren’t enough, Vernon man says

To the Editor,

In the Dec. 20, 2019, edition of the Vernon Morning Star there was an article entitled Vernon council briefs: Rats… The short article stated, among other things, the rats that invaded City Hall were taken care of with traps. The only advice given to anyone concerned about rats was the following: call an exterminator. Good advice if there is an infestation that may require rat poison with its potential for “collateral damage,” i.e., accidentally poisoning hawks, owls, pets and children. Even when using rat traps, the potential for mechanical collateral damage must be taken into consideration.

Rats, once limited to coastal B.C. communities, are now found as far east as the Kootenays and as far north as Kamloops. We live on Mission Hill. I have dispatched eight rats in our yard. Our neighbour’s grapes and walnuts were definitely part of their diet. According to Google, controlling food sources and limiting denning areas are key to keeping rats in check. Trapping is, at best, a stop-gap measure. The black rat, also known as the ship rat, the roof rat or the house rat, is a common long-tailed rodent. A typical adult black rat’s body is up to 18.25 centimetres (7.2 inches) long, not including its 22 cm (8.7 in) tail. Each female can produce up to 40 offspring a year. Rats need to gnaw to keep their constantly growing incisor teeth worn down. They damage woodwork, plastics and will strip insulation from electrical cables in houses and vehicles.

Here are a few basic preventative measures the public should be aware of, namely, remove pet food from outside, minimize access to birdfeeders; keep garbage/compost containers tightly sealed; prune back vegetation around buildings and block access points to houses and sheds with 1/4-inch mesh or steel wool. If you see a rat, or its droppings, the odds are there is more than one. Keep in mind, rats are nocturnal.

This email will be forwarded to Vernon City Hall with in the hope our Mayor and councillors will consider drafting an authoritative fact sheet and a list of recommendations for dealing with the growing rat problem. Such information could be included in the city’s quarterly utility bills and/or be made available on the city’s website. Hopefully our municipal officials will come up with appropriate information and an action plan.

Lloyd Atkins

Vernon, B.C.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon youth ready to make some NOYSE

Showcase of excellence features talents of young local performance

Vernon Vixens leave Merritt hockey tournament undefeated

Team sweeps all four games while out-scoring opponents 21-3

Vernon museum praises local group for spearheading RCMP Appreciation Day

Feb. 1 has been officially proclaimed Royal Canadian Mounted Police Appreciation Day

North Okanagan Knights pull out overtime victory over Sicamous

Knights goalie Sean Kanervisto gets first win after being named a top KIJHL rookie

Tickets available for Vernon’s seventh-annual Okanagan Military Tattoo

The city’s largest indoor event will take place July 25-26, 2020

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

Rockslide obstructing traffic on rural Shuswap road

Large boulders rolled onto Sunnybrae Canoe-Point Road in the South Shuswap.

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Snow angels: B.C. volunteers shovel for those who can’t

‘They’ve helped me make it through the rest of the winter’

Most Read