This roof rat was trapped in a large rat trap in Salmon Arm in December 2019. Experts say Norway rats and roof rats are typically the only rats found in B.C. (File photo)

City of Salmon Arm facilities not plagued by rats

Council responds to letters asking city not to use poison

City facilities are not being plagued by rats, but gophers have been problematic in the past.

The city received six letters from Salmon Arm residents stating the widespread use of poisons in rodent control is killing wildlife and harming greenspaces and waterways.

The letters, which appeared to be identical, said municipalities can play a key role in reducing rodenticide use and educating residents on preventative and alternative control measures.

Coun. Sylvia Lindgren asked staff if the city is using poison to kill rats.

Rob Niewenhuizen, the city’s public works director, said the city doesn’t have rat problems at its facilities and hasn’t used rodenticide. He said gophers were a problem at the airport several years ago, but the city employed a contractor who trapped, not poisoned, them.

The letters noted that North Vancouver and Saanich recently passed motions to ban rodenticide use on all municipal properties, and the writers asked the city to do the same.

The letters also stated the BCSPCA has an AnimalKind accreditation program for wildlife and pest control companies.

Read more: Rats rear their pointy heads in Salmon Arm

Read more: Resident issues warning after rats found in another area of Salmon Arm

Coun. Kevin Flynn said he found it interesting that council received a barrage of letters six months to a year ago asking why council wasn’t doing something about the rat population. He said he thinks the city should make it clear to the letter writers that the city is not using rodenticides and is not working to control the rat population.

“Obviously somebody is under some kind of misinformation that the city is using rodenticides.”

He also noted the city does not have a bylaw that prevents individuals from hiring professional pest services.

Last August the city set up an information page on rodent management which is still accessible on the City of Salmon Arm website.

A HealthLinkBC page suggests using poison only as a last resort.

WildSafe BC also weighs in, suggesting that residents contact a local, reputable pest control agent if assistance is needed removing rats.

“If trapping rats yourself, avoid using techniques that cause undue suffering or poisons that can be dangerous to pets, children and other wildlife,” the WildSafe BC page states.

Coun. Louise Wallace-Richmond made note that the letters received are all the same and she suspects are part of a provincial campaign.

She said people have taken it upon themselves to email their representatives, which they are doing “through the goodness of their heart, but it wasn’t rooted specifically in a Salmon Arm issue…”

Coun. Tim Lavery suggested that if the problem in Salmon Arm gets worse, that staff inform council members so they “can share the dilemma of what to do…”

Mayor Alan Harrison said he thinks the curbside organics program has given residents an alternative to backyard composters.


marthawickett@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Salmon Arm council

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

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Courtesy of CDC).
Interior Health reports 12 additional COVID-19 cases

The total number of cases in the region is now at 644

With snow already on the ground, preparations are underway to welcome back guests at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort for the winter season. (KHMR photo)
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort announces COVID procedures

The resort is set to open on Dec. 11.

Miri was adopted by owner Maria Scales sven months ago as she sought 
companionship during COVID. (Maria Scales photo)
‘Miri is going to be the last’; looking for answers to Golden’s vet shortage

It’s been four years since Golden had a vet of its own.

Brian Shiosaki helps his neighbours by shoveling the sidewalk near his home in Rutland during a large snowfall in Kelowna Tuesday. (Carli Berry/Capital News)
Special weather statement in effect for Okanagan Valley

The Okanagan could see up to 15 centimeters of snow on Friday

The house is located near two schools. Photo: Connor Trembley
Dog attack seriously injures young boy in Castlegar

Despite investigating the incident, city staff aren’t confirming if the dog has been put down

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (B.C. Government photo)
Kelowna Francophone school COVID-19 outbreak climbs to 5, mixture of students and staff

Health officer says situation evolving, spoke to possible closure, changes to provincial guidelines

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

RCMP detachments across B.C. are now flying Pride flags. (Submitted photo)
Man who spent 4 days injured on floor rescued by Kamloops Mountie

The man is recovering in hospital after being rescued by a police officer conducting a well-being check

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

A fundraiser for the Falkland Community Church is underway. (Photo submitted)
COVID-19 leaves Falkland Church in a lurch

Annual event/major fundraiser cancelled for first time in 34 years

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

Five people with alleged ties to the Red Scorpion Gang are facing numerous charges. (Kelowna RCMP)
5 men linked to Red Scorpion gang charged with gun, drug offences in Kelowna

Police seized a machine gun as well as 5.5 kilograms of fentanyl and carfentanil

Most Read