Nancy Rutledge is doing her best in a war she knows she won’t win.
The resident on 236B Street in central Maple Ridge the last several weeks has taken it upon herself to trap and kill as many rats that venture on to her property as she can.
“I got three last night,” she said.
She says the rats come from surrounding areas with one attraction being by a nearby bird feeder that dispenses sunflowers for feathered friends. But the rats also like the seeds and carry them to a cozy spot beside a shed in her back yard where they nibble away to their hearts content, the empty husks the only sign they were there.
Rutledge admits, she could get an anti-rodent noise device that sends out a sound signal to discourage rats but that would only end up forcing them on to someone else’s property.
She’s called the City of Maple Ridge but didn’t get anywhere and has also contacted Fraser Health but can’t connect with anyone who deals with the issue.
Rats have always been around the area but this year she said the seem to be worse than previous years.
Other residents in the quiet neighbourhood also are also concerned. It takes a whole community to try continue to keep the rat population in check, even though he knows that rats will never be eradicated, said neighbour Malcolm Goodman.
“It’s a little disturbing.” He also tries to trap or poison rats but says other residents in the area are not doing anything to deter the pests. “We have to do our best to keep the population down.”
According to Health Link BC, rats can gnaw through building insulation, siding, wallboard and wires. People can also get sick by eating food contaminated by rodents or if they’re exposed to areas contaminated by rodent urine or droppings.
Health Link BC says the best way to get rid of rodents is by trapping. However, gloves should be worn went setting a trap or collecting a dead rat. The dead rat or mice should be double bagged and then buried or put into the garbage, following local bylaws.
Properties should be kept clean and tidy without piles of garbage, water or food sources.