West Kelowna wants the province to lead battle against rats | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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West Kelowna wants the province to lead battle against rats

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September 26, 2017 - 8:00 PM

WEST KELOWNA - Rats are a growing problem in B.C. communities and West Kelowna thinks the provincial government should do something about it.

“It doesn’t make sense for one local government to try to take on rats on their own,” West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater said. “Rats are mobile, they move around.”

West Kelowna has put forth a resolution at the Union of B.C. Municipalities — an asssociation representing all the province's cities and towns — calling on the Ministry of Environment to take the lead on a province-wide rat reduction strategy.

Findlater imagines something similar to the Bear Smart program it offers throughout the province educating homeowners on how to deal with bear encounters.

“If the province could do some similar programming, some education like that about how to deal with rats, it would be very helpful,” Findlater said.

West Kelowna does not currently try to control rats, leaving homeowners to control an infestation on their own or call an extermination service.

The non-binding resolution notes that rat infestations often lead to damaged buildings, electrical wiring and stored food supplies while carrying diseases that can be transmitted to humans.

This is the first time such a request has been made of the UBCM, according to its resolutions committee, which made no recommendation on whether to support the resolution.

Rats have been a growing problem throughout the southern interior in recent years. 

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