Large pack of rats invade Commercial Drive community garden (VIDEO)

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If you are a gardener at the community garden located at the intersection of Commercial Drive and East 12th Avenue, it might be a good idea forego harvesting this season’s vegetables or even forego the area altogether.

Local videographer Bruce Causier says rats have completely infested the garden, crawling and eating their way through the vegetables and fruits from the growing plots. Over the summer, someone has been helping them flourish by spreading birdseed around the area.

A playground is just across the street from the community garden: rats were also seen crawling around under the slides and ladders, where children would normally be playing.

Scores of the rodents can be seen during nighttime, but they are not shy about making an appearance during broad daylight either. In one video frame alone, Causier counted at least 17 rats at the garden.

Nothing has been done about the rats at this time, but they will likely pose a problem for nearby residences and businesses when the weather becomes cold and wet. The rats will be looking for warm indoor places near food sources for shelter and continued breeding.

The problem community garden is located just two blocks south of SkyTrain’s Commercial-Broadway Station.

The City of Vancouver advises residents to hire professionals to deal with mice and rat mischiefs, but they have also offered the following do-it-yourself tips for managing and eliminating infestations:

Take away the places they like to hide, sleep, and nest

  • Remove clutter and rubbish from your yard, garage / carport, and basement.
  • Move bushes, shrubs and mulch away from the building’s foundation.
  • Store firewood and piled lumber away from walls and about 1 foot off the ground.
  • Keep the grass trimmed, and do not pile grass clippings under shrubs or trees.
  • Cut back overgrown or densely planted bushes and trees.

Keep them outdoors

Rats and mice can chew their way into buildings, or can squeeze through very small cracks or holes. In order to keep them out, you can:

  • Seal all holes and cracks in the foundation, walls, floors and roof.
  • Install sheet metal kick plates on the exterior of doors.
  • Install metal flashing between foundations and the ground.

Take away their food and water

  • Practice proper composting techniques.
  • Remove any fallen fruits or nuts from your yard.
  • Clean up any leftover food when your pet is finished eating.
  • Do not place food outside for stray animals.
  • Remove spilled bird seed from beneath bird feeders.
  • Repair leaky pipes or taps that might provide water.
  • Use proper garbage cans with tight fitting lids to store garbage.

Take away traces of other rats / mice in the area

  • Wash away urine stains, rub marks, and tracks with a mild bleach solution.
  • Remove droppings and wash down the area.
  • Put dead rodents in plastic bags and put them in the garbage.

Control them with traps or pesticides

Rodents can be controlled by:

  • Snap traps
  • Multiple catch traps
  • Glue boards
  • Pesticides

Feature Image: Bruce Causier YouTube screencap

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