Rodent Control

Got Rats? Discouraging and Eliminating Rodents is the Responsibility of All Residents

With its variety of land uses, an abundance of farms and ranches, and recently cleared properties, it is not uncommon to find rats and mice throughout the Township of Langley. Rodents can cause significant property damage, contaminate food, and potentially spread disease - and their population can multiply rapidly. Getting rid of rats and mice is a responsibility that lies with all property owners, and residents must do their part to reduce the rodent population.

Whether rodents are seen on private or public property, the public should take the following steps to discourage them quickly and efficiently:

  • Get rid of food and water sources:
    • Garbage should be removed frequently, and stored in pest-proof containers with tight fitting lids.
    • Follow good composting practices for rodent control, and use a pest-proof compost container.
    • Remove pet food right after feeding, and do not leave it outside overnight.
    • Remove fallen fruits and nuts from your yard.
    • Repair any plumbing leaks to remove a water source.
  • Eliminate hiding and living places:
    • Keep building perimeters clear of plantings, stored lumber or junk.
    • Trim plants near buildings so that 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 inches) above ground is clear. Trim branches of trees or shrubs to prevent access to roofs or balconies.
    • Remove unused piles of lumber and old sheds.
  • Pest proof buildings:
    • Cover crawl spaces, fresh air and attic vents with 6mm (1/4 inch) metal screening or steel mesh.
    • Seal any possible entry points in the building exterior that are greater than 6mm (1/4 inch). Pay close attention to door jams and gaps between the siding and the house foundation. If you have roof rats, don’t forget to check for holes in areas of the roof.
    • Repair cracks in cement footings and foundations.
    • Build sheds on concrete slabs.

Trapping

The best way to get rid of rats or mice is by using traps. When using spring loaded traps for rats, start by baiting three of them in a row without setting them. Bait with dried fruit, peanut butter mixed with oats, or cheese. Set the traps at right angles (90 degrees) to the walls where the rodents are known to travel, with the bait side of the trap toward the wall. When the rodents get used to feeding, set the traps. Make sure the bait is securely attached to the trip pedal so that the trap springs when the food is removed. Wear gloves when handling a dead rodent and the trap. Double bag the dead rat or mouse, seal the bags, and place the bags in the trash. The trap can be reset if gloves are worn.

Poison

It is not a good idea to use poison or baits to control rodents. Poisoned rodents can crawl away and die, and their bodies can be hard to find and result in unpleasant odours. Poisons can also accidentally harm pets, wild animals, or even children. Ultrasound repellers, although effective at first, are expensive and do not have long-term success at eliminating rodents.

If the rodent prevention or control strategies are not effective, or the problem is out of control, residents should contact a licensed pest control provider.

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