Norway and Roof Rats are a growing concern

Norway and Roof Rats are a concern for not only our town, but our entire region as the colonies appear to be extending their boundaries.

Letter to the Editor:

(Open letter to Creston residents)

Dear Creston:

I’d like to start off by saying thank you to everyone making an effort to secure attractants and trap Norway and Roof Rats in our valley. We’ve known of this problem for some time, and I truly feel with the overwhelming community support we have for rat eradication, we can really make a dent in their population and be on the road to eradication!

It truly does take a village for this to be a success, for even if you had the most pristine yard with zero food attractants available, secured all potential den sites, and were a diligent trapper, if your neighbors are not on the same page, your efforts will be futile. We need to all work together, reach out to our neighbors and lend a hand when needed.

I was absolutely not, in no way shape or form looking for extra things to add to my plate, but it appears I’ll be taking the lead with the eradication portion of this equation. While I’m not a pest control expert, I have been reaching out to those who have experience with trapping, pest control and rat biology. We have a wealth of knowledge within our own community, and thankfully these individuals have offered to assist our community’s rat eradication efforts. Well done Creston!

Technically trapping vermin falls under the umbrella of a homeowner’s responsibility, but Norway and Roof Rats are a concern for not only our town, but our entire region as the colonies appear to be extending their boundaries. The Alberta Invasive Species Council has done a great job identifying the destructive impacts of a rat infestation in their province. These impacts include economic damage, environmental damage, and sociological damage, all of which we’re seeing in our valley.

I hope as we move forward with this community initiative, we receive enthusiastic support from the Town of Creston and the RDCK. This is a multi-faceted regional issue, not simply a homeowners irritation. Our residents need support, education and outreach. Attractant management is simply not enough to mute the rat population. Winter will be when the most concentrated effort is needed for the available food sources are limited which slows down the assembly line of reproduction these rats are capable of. Fun fact, one pair of rats can create up to 900 offspring in a single year.

I have created a Creston Rat Patrol Page on Facebook (the name suggested by a local resident) which will provide the platform to share information, ask questions and communicate with one another. Please feel free to join the page and keep your eyes open for the upcoming dates we’re scheduling for educational outreach.

Trish Drinkle | Creston

The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Creston Valley Advance. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.

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