A Salmon Arm resident is urging city council to clamp down on uninvited guests.
Council recently received a letter from Thea Verwijst, demanding the city take action to rid the city of rats.
“Before we are completely overrun by these filthy vermin, you, the City of Salmon Arm, need to take aggressive actions to bring this disgusting problem under control.”
He and his spouse Janet, who live in Bayview Estates, have caught one rat in a trap and are hearing more and more accounts of rats in the area. He said the rodents are also known to be residing in Hillcrest.
Verwijst said the city should send out letters urging residents to stop composting in their backyards now that curbside pickup is available, and for those who have gardens or fruit and nut trees on their property, to get rid of excess produce and not leave it on the ground.
“You need to tell the residents of Salmon Arm to start putting out traps and poison in their yards to catch these filthy pests. If need be, educate people on how to set poison out without endangering pets and wildlife,” he wrote.
He spoke to how successful rats are at entering residences through small holes and chewing through almost anything.
Around the train tracks is another area Verwijst asked council to address.
“The rats ride on the train cars from other communities up or down the line and get off in Salmon Arm when the train has stopped. You need to work with whomever owns and oversees the trains coming and going and put out poison for the rats in that area…
“You MUST address the rat problem now. It is not going to go away on its own. We have to work together as residents and city hall, to alleviate the problem of these critters.”
Verwijst also suggested council read about how Swift Current, Sask. addressed its rat problem.
In response to the letter, Coun. Sylvia Lindgren said she understands it’s not the city’s problem to eradicate the rats, but to educate about them.
Mayor Alan Harrison said information has been posted on social media, but perhaps the city could make a more concerted effort there.
Staff told him that’s possible and information has since been added to the city’s website.
Lindgren asked if there would be money in the budget to hire someone to go door-to-door, letting people know if there are issues in their yard.
Harrison suggested she bring up the idea during upcoming budget deliberations.