Tips on how to rat proof your Okanagan home for winter
Adam Proskiw - Reporter
A black roof rat.
Image Credit: wikipedia.org
November 25, 2016 - 8:00 PM
KELOWNA – Across the Okanagan residents are getting ready for winter. And so are rats and mice.
The City of Kelowna has set up a page on their website with information how to identify and eliminate infestations.
While Kelowna has no shortage of mice, the roof rat and sewer rat is by far the most problematic. They spread disease, damage electrical wiring and reproduce alarmingly quickly.
Rats leave 30 to 180 droppings per day, according to the city's webpage. They are cylindrical in shape and range from one half to three quarters of an inch in length.
Their presence can also be spotted by well-worn paths along beams, walls, fences and pipes and will even burrow underneath objects. The holes they leave can be as small as two inches in diameter.
Because rats’ front teeth are always growing, chew marks on structures or wiring is a sure sign you’ve got a problem.
The City of Kelowna recommends signs of infestation be reported to your building manager or property owner, who are responsible for managing populations. Traps are available at most hardware stores and Buckerfields in West Kelowna is holding a rat information seminar from 11 a.m. to noon this Sunday, Nov. 27.
If traps don’t do the trick, call a pest management company but if you see rodents at parks or public spaces, call Park Services at 250-71-PARKS or visit this webpage.
To help guard against an infestation, the city recommends access to food, water and shelter be minimized as much as possible. That means sealing composters top and bottom with metal mesh.
Birdfeeders are another temptation for rats and a steady supply of nuts and seeds will almost guarantee that rats will take advantage during the winter.
Pet food left out is another draw and should be removed and stored securely at night.
To keep rodents from entering your house, make sure vents are covered with 1/2” wire mesh and regularly inspect sheds and outbuildings for droppings or chew marks.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.
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