Rats in Kelowna are apparently not limited to the Glenmore area, but have also been reported in a number of other parts of the city.
However, neither the city, nor the regional district has plans to help reduce their numbers by producing any educational materials for residents or taking other action.
James Avery, president of the Friends and Residents of the Abbott Street Heritage Conservation Area Society, or FRAHCAS, part of the Kelowna South-central Association of Neighbourhoods, says he’s received a number of reports from people who have seen rats between Knox Mountain and the hospital.
He has even seen one himself near Abbott Street and Harvey Avenue, running across the road.
Following a weekend meeting between city officials and the presidents of residents’ associations, Avery said the city suggested anyone seeing rats report it on the city’s website, under service requests, pests.
“We should be ringing the bell at city hall. That will help quantify the issue and will provide some data on numbers,” he suggested.
“It’s incumbent on local government and Interior Health to do something,” he added.
As well, he said residents have to take responsibility for their own property.
Instead of denying it’s an issue because it’s unpleasant, he said people have to take their heads out of the sand. “The issue is not just in the Glenmore area,” he said.
He noted that garbage containers in city parks do not have lids on them, which could be attractive to rodents.
Kim Dodds, president of the Glenmore Valley Community Association said the city has not been very helpful to residents in that area who are trying to deal with the rat problem.
“It’s not good promotion for the city, but we need to deal with it. It’s up to the city to help educate people,” he said.
It’s important that people pick all their fruit and nuts up from the ground, as well as cleaning up around bird feeders and not leaving out pet food. Trash should be removed and stored material not left on the ground. Openings should be screened to keep them out of buildings.
Glenmore resident Nancy Kummen says she has trapped nine of the roof rats or black rats in the past couple of weeks, after they destroyed her tomato crop.
She has also found hundreds of hazelnut shells and rat droppings under her deck from a neighbour’s tree, and says another neighbour’s wood pile is full of rat droppings.
These rats are not native to the Kelowna area.