Darlene Clarke, who lives in The Village near 10th and 10th, points to holes in her garden boxes where some creature was dining on her carrots. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Unusual holes in garden lead Salmon Arm resident to uncover rat problem

City rat population appears to be more widespread

Although Christmas is drawing closer, the sounds of these particular feet are not what you want to hear on your roof.

According to the Ministry of Environment, two types of rats are typically found in B.C.

They are Norway rats and roof rats (or black rats).

Darlene Clarke lives in The Village near 10th Avenue and 10th Street SW. She has two garden beds in her yard. Because the south one ripens faster than the other, she picked the vegetables out of that one first and left the carrots in the north garden in the ground.

Rats! from WildSafeBC on Vimeo.

At the end of September, when she went to pull them, she was met with a surprise.

The green heads were poking out of the ground as usual, but that was it for the crop. Ninety per cent of the carrots were gone.

While she knew there had been something eating beets someone had given her, she thought it was voles or mice.

She took a shovel and decided to investigate. She thought she might unearth the thief. Turns out she was right. Something dashed out and hid under nearby trees. She wasn’t sure what it was but thought, maybe a gopher – or perhaps a vole?

Across the street, Mel Petersen had discovered some mysterious holes in his lawn.

Clarke dug farther and found another surprise – all her carrots, some chewed up, some not. They were about a foot underground.

“I thought, oh, I really know this guy, I got this under control.”

She set a trap and was able to catch a large mouse.

However, fast forward to October and holes in the garden began appearing again. Two weeks ago she set a trap with cheese. The cheese disappeared but the culprit was nowhere to be seen.

Clarke left the trap out and on Wednesday morning, Nov. 27, she went outside to find a rat in the trap, frozen, twice the size of a mouse. She wants other Salmon Arm residents to be aware.

This rat seemed to match the description of a roof rat, with a tail longer than its head and body combined, and largish ears.

They are so named because they nest in ceilings and attics. Roof rats are described as slimmer than Norway rats and leave 10- to 15-millimeter droppings with pointed ends.

Read more: Rats rear their pointy heads in Salmon Arm

Read more: Rat problem arises in the Shuswap

Read more: Feature Friday – The rats have moved in

In August, rats were reported to be in the Hillcrest area. Residents there shared concerns with city council. In response, the city set up an information page on rodent management.

The Ministry of Environment lists signs that can indicate you have a rodent problem:

• Droppings – check the size to determine if they belong to mice or rats;

• Chew marks on wood or food and around pipes;

• Dirty rub marks along frequently used routes;

• Noises in walls.

“Because rats and mice are prolific breeders, ignoring a problem can result in a much more damaging infestation. They can chew on materials including insulation, siding and wallboard; gnaw on wiring and start an electrical fire; consume and contaminate stored food and transmit diseases,” warns the ministry.

HealthLinkBC suggests that traps are the best way to get rid of rodents.

The Environment ministry website also recommends contacting a local pest management company for help.

Information about rats is also available at WildSafeBC .


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@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

 

Mel Petersen, who lives in The Village subdivision near 10th and 10th, would like to know what creature made these two- to three-inch diameter holes in his lawn and parts of his flower beds. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

(BC Ministry of Environment image)

Just Posted

Salmon Arm Silverbacks meet Snakes in BCHL simulated conference final

BCHL turns to video game and players from remaining teams to crown a simulated league playoff winner

Okanagan Spirits donating free sanitizer to those most at risk during COVID-19 pandemic

The Okanagan distillery has ceased spirits operations and has produced over 3,000 litres of sanitizer since March 26

Second million-dollar lotto ticket sold in Vernon

Same thing happened on March 7; somebody won Guaranteed Match Number prize

WATCH: Coldstream producer treats neighbours to live music from safe distance

Neighbours practiced social distancing as Jeff Johnson played songs from his front steps

Salmon Arm mayor supports parking solution for hungry truckers

Alternative to Highway 1 suggested for drivers wanting access to McDonald’s

First responders continue to rally in support of health care workers in Kelowna

Pandosy Street was packed with supporters for the second night in a row

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

Vehicle goes up in smoke in Okanagan garage

Fire department on-scene in 200 block of Poplar Point Drive near Knox Mountain in Kelowna

COSAR rescues two lost hikers from Okanagan Mountain Park

Two male hikers were overdue from a hike they left for on the morning of March 28

Most Read