This roof rat was trapped in a large rat trap in Salmon Arm in December 2019. Experts say Norway rats and roof rats are typically the only rats found in B.C. (File photo)

This roof rat was trapped in a large rat trap in Salmon Arm in December 2019. Experts say Norway rats and roof rats are typically the only rats found in B.C. (File photo)

City of Salmon Arm facilities not plagued by rats

Council responds to letters asking city not to use poison

City facilities are not being plagued by rats, but gophers have been problematic in the past.

The city received six letters from Salmon Arm residents stating the widespread use of poisons in rodent control is killing wildlife and harming greenspaces and waterways.

The letters, which appeared to be identical, said municipalities can play a key role in reducing rodenticide use and educating residents on preventative and alternative control measures.

Coun. Sylvia Lindgren asked staff if the city is using poison to kill rats.

Rob Niewenhuizen, the city’s public works director, said the city doesn’t have rat problems at its facilities and hasn’t used rodenticide. He said gophers were a problem at the airport several years ago, but the city employed a contractor who trapped, not poisoned, them.

The letters noted that North Vancouver and Saanich recently passed motions to ban rodenticide use on all municipal properties, and the writers asked the city to do the same.

The letters also stated the BCSPCA has an AnimalKind accreditation program for wildlife and pest control companies.

Read more: Rats rear their pointy heads in Salmon Arm

Read more: Resident issues warning after rats found in another area of Salmon Arm

Coun. Kevin Flynn said he found it interesting that council received a barrage of letters six months to a year ago asking why council wasn’t doing something about the rat population. He said he thinks the city should make it clear to the letter writers that the city is not using rodenticides and is not working to control the rat population.

“Obviously somebody is under some kind of misinformation that the city is using rodenticides.”

He also noted the city does not have a bylaw that prevents individuals from hiring professional pest services.

Last August the city set up an information page on rodent management which is still accessible on the City of Salmon Arm website.

A HealthLinkBC page suggests using poison only as a last resort.

WildSafe BC also weighs in, suggesting that residents contact a local, reputable pest control agent if assistance is needed removing rats.

“If trapping rats yourself, avoid using techniques that cause undue suffering or poisons that can be dangerous to pets, children and other wildlife,” the WildSafe BC page states.

Coun. Louise Wallace-Richmond made note that the letters received are all the same and she suspects are part of a provincial campaign.

She said people have taken it upon themselves to email their representatives, which they are doing “through the goodness of their heart, but it wasn’t rooted specifically in a Salmon Arm issue…”

Coun. Tim Lavery suggested that if the problem in Salmon Arm gets worse, that staff inform council members so they “can share the dilemma of what to do…”

Mayor Alan Harrison said he thinks the curbside organics program has given residents an alternative to backyard composters.


marthawickett@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Salmon Arm council

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

Just Posted

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Approximately 2,500 teachers, school staff vaccinated in Central Okanagan

Central Okanagan Teachers’ Association said teachers are thrilled

City of West Kelowna. (Phil McLachlan/West K News)
City of West Kelowna puts more than $35M into infrastructure projects

Sizable investments into road and active transportation network projects

A hummingbird gives its wings a rare rest while feeding in a North Okanagan garden. (Karen Siemens/North Okanagan Naturalists Club)
Hummingbirds back for another Okanagan season

North America’s littlest birds return, and they’re hungry

Two cyclists traverse a closed Bernard Avenue in downtown Kelowna on June 29, 2020. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Kelowna recognized as bike-friendly city

City earns bronze in nationwide Bicycle Friendly Communities award program

A COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Lakeside Medicine Centre Pharmacy in Kelowna on Sunday, May 2, 2021. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
Almost 9K more COVID-19 vaccinations administered in Central Okanagan within a week

Close to 70,000 Central Okanagan residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine

FILE – Pharmacist Barbara Violo shows off a vile of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the Junction Chemist, an independent pharmacy in Toronto, Friday, March 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Looking for the nearest COVID shot? Tech entrepreneur creates texting software in B.C

Zain Manji says app took just one or two hours to create

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

George Ryga, considered by many as Canada’s most important English playwright lived in Summerland from 1963 until his death in 1987. He is the inspiration for the annual Ryga Arts Festival. (Contributed)
Summerland archive established for George Ryga

Renowned author wrote novels, poetry, stage plays and screen plays from Summerland home

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Grizzly bear. (File)
Malakwa man bitten by grizzly bear on dog walk

The man and dogs were not seriously injured

Mary Kitagawa was born on Salt Spring Island and was seven years old when she was interned along with 22,000 B.C. residents in 1942. (B.C. government video)
B.C. funds health services for survivors of Japanese internment

Seniors describe legacy of World War II displacement

Most Read