Rats are infesting parts of Kelowna

Although not native to the Okanagan, rats are moving in to some areas, attracted by available fruit and nuts.

After rats devastated her tomato crop this year

With a clang and a roar on the street outside her house, Nancy Kummen’s fresh ripe tomatoes, stripped from the vines, were taken away in the garbage truck this week, instead of being sliced into a salad on her counter.

What she’d seen when she went out to her overflowing vegetable garden to pluck the ripe fruit last week, was tomatoes that had been eaten on the vine, still oozing juice and dotted with rat droppings.

“I couldn’t believe it when I saw the destruction,” she said sadly.

She admits she used to live in North Vancouver so she should have known better than to keep a compost pile to recycle onto her garden, but she knows better now, and she vows to change her ways. Compose can attract rats.

In the meantime, she wonders what she ought to do to recycle compostable materials from her kitchen and her garden, or whether she’ll have to continue to put it into the garbage instead.

She picked up rat traps from Buckerfields, but says the rats have been eating the bait off them and not setting off the traps.

She hasn’t had any luck so far in trapping the rodents, but she saw one of them the other day, and she believes they are the roof rat, or black rat, not the Norway rat common now in the Lower Mainland. It was a slim rat with a pointed nose.

Kummen’s neighbour, Yvonne Herbison, has had more success in her trapping efforts, and said she has been doing so for the past year.

She’s concerned about using poison because of the harm it could cause secondarily to owls and kestrels in the old Glenmore area they live in.

Her grapes have been stripped by rats.

Neighbours with fruit such as cherries which have been infested with Spotted Wing Drosophila and left on the tree, have helped to attract them, she believes, along with nut trees.

Bird feeders are another issue, as feed left out for birds can also attract rats.

Rats are not native here and occur uncommonly.

The City of Kelowna has received several calls from residents in that area of town, but it does not have a rat control program. Instead, it advises residents to contact a pest control company, as does the regional district.

However, the City of Penticton has a rat control pamphlet on its website which advises residents to work with their neighbours so everyone is taking the same measures to control them.

It advises you keep food and garbage tightly covered and rat-proof the property. Bird or pet food should be removed immediately after feeding; trash removed and stored material elevated.

Piles of debris or lumber provide cover for them, as do thick vegetation.

They only live for a year or so, but in that time, one pair can produce up to 50 young. Often they live and nest in attics, ceilings and walls, so screen any openings to keep them out.

In recent years, rat infestations have been reported in Summerland as well as Penticton and there have been reports from the Glenrosa area as well as from the Mission area of Kelowna.



Just Posted

UPDATE: Kelowna man given 4 year sentence after creating pimp operation on dating site

In court the details of how Simon Rypiak lured 4 women into prostitution revealed

Recovering Kelowna addict rises above her past

Victimized by systems suppose to help, a woman tries to fix her life

Plugged in: Kelowna teen thriving with professional eSports U.S. team

Russel Van Dulken turned his love and skills of gaming into a career

Okanagan College names new fundraising director

Helen Jackman will join the college as executive director of the Okanagan College Foundation and director of advancement

Olympian Andi Naude retires from freestyle skiing

Penticton native skied in 62 World Cup single and dual moguls events in her career

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

Okanagan experience for the Blue Man Group

The world tour of the Blue Man Group came to Penticton this week for two shows.

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Okangan author shorlisted in B.C. historical writing competition

The BC Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing will be awarded together with $2,500 to the author whose book makes the most significant contribution to the historical literature of British Columbia.

Most Read