The City of Castlegar has received reports of rats in the community for the first time ever.
City chief administrative officer Chris Barlow said while rats aren’t native the province, they’ve recently been expanding their habitat in urban areas across B.C.’s Interior. Barlow said the furry creatures also thrive in areas where winters are mild and food is accessible.
With rats now living in town, the city plans to do whatever it can to prevent them from damaging buildings and from chewing electrical wires.
The city is asking residents to help prevent the rat population from exploding by managing attractants around private property.
Reports of rats have primarily been coming in from the north end of town, between Third Avenue and Seventh Avenue. Preliminary indications are leading to composting as a major contributing factor.
If anyone stumbles upon or catches a rat, the city asks that they send an email to WildSafeBC and provide a photo and any necessary information on the rodent. The information will be used to create a database to see what kind of action is needed to handle the local rat population.
The city has also engaged an exterminator to survey the area and suggest a plan of action.
Given the opportunity, the city warns a pair of rats can produce more than 1,000 new rats in a year.
Rats can also spread bacteria that causes common human diseases like pneumonia and salmonella.
For more information on how to mitigate the risk of rats, visit WildsafeBC’s website.