Some residents of Chase have been dealing with an increasing number of rats this spring. (File photo)

Some residents of Chase have been dealing with an increasing number of rats this spring. (File photo)

Rat problem arises in the Shuswap

Traps repeatedly selling out as Chase residents deal with unwelcome rodents

While it is fairly common in the spring to deal with mice that have made their nests in the warm crevices of homes, sheds and vehicles over the winter months, some Chase residents have a larger rodent problem on their hands: rats, and seemingly lots of them.

The thrill of popping open the garden shed to dust off tools and get the yard ready for spring turned to shock when Cheryl Owen found the remnants of what appeared to be a community of rats that had taken up residence over the winter.

“That nest… oh my gosh! It was like a condominium, it was huge,” she says. “The nesting material filled a standard grocery store bag jam-packed full. There was everything in that nest, we had some red hazard tape that had blown into the yard and was all around the nest. It looked like they got into our lawnmower and pulled dead grass out. There was some styrofoam in there and they chewed the heck out of that, cloth from my garden that was chewed to shreds… just pretty much everything you could find in my yard.”

Read More: Feature Friday: The rats have moved in

Read More: 97 rats surrendered to SPCA from B.C. home

Read More: Rats, rodenticides and what is right

She also notes that, after consulting with neighbours, she is definitely not the only one in town cleaning rat nests out of their sheds.

“My two neighbours directly across the street have also had rats. I talked to my other neighbours just to say they might want to check out their sheds,” she says. “Some of the comments on the Chase Grapevine (Facebook) today showed there is definitely other people in town who are experiencing rats as well.”

While not her first encounter with rats in the Shuswap, she says this has been the first time they have caused her trouble. She was hesitant to use poison due to the large predatory bird population in the area, but after heading to the local Home Hardware to pick up some traps it became clear she was not the only one dealing with the rodents.

Brenda Joss of the Home Hardware in Chase says they have had a big increase in people coming to purchase rat traps, selling out of the traps twice already this spring. She says it’s normal for a lot of people to be looking for mouse traps come spring, but it’s unusual to see this much demand for rat traps.

Rats have been known to be a problem for communities on the fringes of the Shuswap, such as Vernon, Revelstoke and Kelowna.

Toni Walton of Buckerfield’s in Salmon Arm says they have had customers coming in to inquire about rat traps and prevention, but there hasn’t been an uptick in sales as seen in Chase. She also notes that Buckerfield’s hosts a rodent prevention seminar

Read more: Flying squirrel touches down inside Salmon Arm home

Read more: Okanagan man breeds surplus of snake food – advertises free mice to a good home

Joni Heinrich, CAO of the Village of Chase, says they have heard from two different homeowners encountering rats nesting specifically in garden sheds this spring. These were not formal complaints to the village, and they are not planning any mitigation at this time, but have been made aware the rodents are cropping up.


 

@Jodi_Brak117
jodi.brak@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Canada Post has moved up parcel delivery deadlines within Canada in response to unprecedented holiday demand during COVID-19 but is still telling Canadians to expect delays. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Mail suspended at Kelowna condo after mask-less residents spotted in lobby

Residents were asked to pick up their mail at Canada Post’s office on Baillie Avenue

A woman was struck by a vehicle in the Costco Parking lot just before 12 p.m. on April 28, 2020. (File)
Kelowna council expedites road improvements in anticipation of new Costco

Highway 97 and Leckie Road improvements to cost $1.14 million, costs split between the city, Costco and the province

Third Space Charity Executive Director, Karen Mason (middle) with Garry Wittich (Director of Giving and Projects) and Melissa Hunt (President) from West Kelowna Daybreak Rotary presenting a cheque. (Photo contributed by Third Space Canada)
Mental wellness support for young adults in West Kelowna

Third Space Life, West Kelowna Daybreak Rotary provide young adults mental wellness support

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
Alleged drug-impaired driver cruises down Kelowna sidewalk

Kelowna RCMP take an impaired driver off of city streets after a tip from a concerned citizen

Cash seized in a 2018 RCMP drug bust in the Lower Mainland. (Contributed)
Kelowna RCMP-led drug investigation nets charges for 4 in Lower Mainland

Cops seized 12 kilograms of MDMA and $380K executing several search warrants in the Lower Mainland in 2018

Volunteers at the West Kelowna Salvation Army were celebrated with a special treat on Monday. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Central Okanagan community organizations celebrate volunteers

It’s Volunteer Appreciation Week and non-profits are highlighting the people who put in the work

A lit cigarette tossed from a passing car is believed to be the cause of a grass fire which was only held to a ditch by the quick action of passersby in Salmon Arm on April 19. (Pixabay image)
Passersby fight Salmon Arm roadside grass fire believed started by flicked cigarette

Dry conditions prompt warning from resident, fire department

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Police are seeking the public’s assistance identifying a man who allegedly robbed a Vernon business the evening of Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (RCMP photo)
Police search for man who allegedly robbed Vernon business with weapon

The suspect is said to have threatened an employee before running off with two bottles of liquor

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

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

This cougar alert was posted near Chilliwack after a cougar was reported in the area on April 10, 2021. (Black Press - File)
Dog killed by cougar near Penticton

The band issued a warning to keep an eye on children and pets in the area

The city asking the public if they want to pursue legal action against the province and their decision to override the city on the Victory Church issue. (Jesse Day Western News)
Penticton to sue province over homeless shelter

City council voted unanimously to go forward with legal action

Most Read