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

Creating accessible art in unusual places

Phase two of Art Alleries in the works for Revelstoke

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Feb. 13

120 years ago: Revelstoke Herald, Feb. 13, 1900 Ten Revelstoke men left… Continue reading

What’s in a name? The story of Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic Revelstoke peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Celebrating more than the love of fresh powder at Revelstoke Mountain Resort today

Couples married or renewed their vows for free on Feb. 14

Kelowna’s Family YMCA opens doors on Family Day

The entire day was free for the community

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

South Okanagan woman reflects on prestigious win at Westminster dog show

“Polly” the Scottish deerhound was crowned best in breed and reserve best hound.

RCMP report woman arrested after ramming police cruiser

Suspect wanted for crimes allegedly committed in Kelowna, Salmon Arm and 100 Mile House

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Most Read