In response to a letter to the editor titled “Expanding rat population in Creston” in the July 25 edition of the Creston Valley Advance, Creston local and conservationist Trish Drinkle responded by creating the Creston Rat Patrol group on Facebook to help Creston Valley residents get ahead of the growing rat population in the valley.
“We’ve been in limbo for years in Creston. We’ve known about the rats. I did my first council presentation on the increasing rat population three years ago when I was the Selkirk-Purcells Wildsafe BC co-ordinator,” said Drinkle. “The information on food attractant management is out there, but that’s useless unless we have an active tracking and trapping program happening in the valley.”
Currently, in the Town of Creston rodent management is the primary responsibility of the homeowner.
“The Town of Creston needs to acknowledge that Creston has a fast-growing rat population, we need to have a concentrated effort as a community, including residents, the town of Creston, the RDCK, and local businesses to eradicate the growing rat population.”
Last week Drinkle and Merrill Palmer, a retired biologist and teacher, were invited to speak to the Creston Valley Rotary Club about the growing rat population, rat biology, trapping, proper handling of a carcass, and the consequences of the increasing rat population.
“Right now, we can manage food attractants, and hopefully mute their reproduction cycle,” said Drinkle. “We need to start mapping out where the rat colonies are and look into a cost-share trapping program before the fall. Winter is the prime time to eradicate the rat population. Norway rats and roof rats are an invasive species. They need our food and shelter to survive. Without that, they will die.”
Visit the Creston Rat Patrol Facebook group for support and mentorship on how to trap rats without using poison and how to dispose of the carcasses safely.