There has been an apparent population boom on the North Shore – but no population.
The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and local residents have noticed an apparent increase in the number of rats in the area.
At Lions Gate Hospital (LGH) in the Lonsdale area, rodents have prompted health authorities to take action. Officials attribute the apparent increase in rats to nearby construction work.
“Due to construction in the surrounding area, there has been an increase in rodent activity around the LGH campus,” a Vancouver Coastal Health spokesperson said in an email.
“To remedy the situation, LGH hired a professional pest control contractor to help declutter potential accommodation spaces, conduct proactive pest control several times a week and remind staff and visitors to keep the safe food products.
Coastal Health also said it has a “comprehensive infection, prevention and control” plan in place to support its facility maintenance programs.
Local health authorities aren’t the only ones noticing the increase in rat numbers. Residents also faced the problem. In fact, one cat in North Vancouver has experienced a wave of depopulation.
“Day after day he brought us a rat,” Lyndsay Wrightson said.
In the past three weeks, Wrightson said Leon, her cat, has k**led more than 20 rats, bringing them all home as trophies.
The cat’s owner said the likely source of the rats Leon was catching was Victoria Park, where there is a rat problem.
City of North Vancouver crews focused on the green space, located near Lonsdale and Keith Road, and set up traps and signs.
“I’ve seen (a lot of) rats and I feel like it’s getting worse – maybe it’s an illusion, but it seems like they’re getting bigger,” said David Alano, a resident who lives near from Victoria Park.
“In the last two months it seems like the situation has gotten worse.”
In fashion now
A pest control expert said he is receiving an increasing number of calls about rats in the Lower Mainland.
Mat Neale said the recent ban on second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides means there is one less tool to manage infestations.
“The ones we have are not as effective in this role. They have their role, but for large-scale population control, they are just not effective in that way,” he told PKBNEWS.
Neale said warmer winters lead to a longer breeding season and education is key to managing increasing rat numbers. He said all community members, businesses and residents, need to start by securing their waste.
“Bird feeders are very common and ones that most people don’t think about. When you feed one species, you feed them all. What birds don’t pick up during the day will attract rats at night,” Neale said.
As for Victoria Park, if the city’s rat traps don’t work, Wrightson said she knows what will happen.
“They should hire cats like Leon,” she said.
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