Salmon Arm is responding to increased rat populations with a public information campaign (Pixabay).

Information campaign to address rat concerns in Shuswap

Staff recommends providing tips to halt rat or mouse infestations on website and social media

In response to increasing complaints about rats in Salmon Arm, the city plans to distribute information on the harm the rodents can cause as well as preventative options.

A report from city staff received by council at their Sept. 9 meeting states Salmon Arm is not alone in seeing an upswing in rodent populations, particularly rats. Staff note many jurisdictions in the Lower Mainland and the Interior have experienced rat issues, and the problem has recently expanded to smaller cities such as Salmon Arm and Vernon.

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Staff recommend a similar approach used by other communities experiencing rodent issues: that the city provide information to assist residents with pest management .

The report recommends engaging with the public on the rodent control issue through the city’s website and social media channels, providing tips to eliminate rodents or prevent their encroachment onto private properties as well as the appropriate staff contacts for rodent issues in city parks or public spaces.

The report notes many of the other government websites contain information from a HealthLinkBC document which educates on the possible health risks a rodent infestation can create for people, including the spread of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome and ticks and fleas carried by rodents. The document recommends people keep all garbage in pest-proof containers, remove water sources and other cover external vents with metal screening among a host of other pest-control measures.

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