BC's 'rattiest' cities

Rob Gibson

UPDATE: 3:45 p.m.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan says it has never had a rat problem at the old Westside landfill off Asquith Road.  

And it doesn't at the Westside Residential Waste Disposal and Recycling Centre which currently occupies the site.

Spokesman Bruce Smith called it an "urban myth."

"There have not been rats at the Westside landfill, either when it was open prior to July 2010, or since then when it was closed and we stopped burying garbage," said Smith.

"We still accept garbage there, and there are no rats."

ORIGINAL: 5 a.m.

Orkin Canada has just released its second annual list of the rattiest cities in British Columbia – and Kelowna is now in sixth spot, up one from last year.

Port cities Vancouver and Victoria were one and two, followed by Burnaby, Richmond and Surrey.

Roof rats are on the rise in Kelowna. Unlike Norway rats, which tend to stay on the ground, roof rats get up into treetops and attics, and they particularly like fruit.

According to Mathew Wright, service manager with Orkin Canada in Kelowna, "I would say the downtown area is getting worse, the Mission area has got some problems and the Glenmore area, too."

Wright says the rat problem is relatively new to town. We didn't have them until eight years ago," he said. 

Wright speculated the rats came from the Westside landfill a few years ago, after its closure.

"These guys like to get up high. They come off trees or any kind of structure that could be leaning against the building," said Wright. "Once they get in, they are very hard to get out."

Roof rats will get up into attics and crawl spaces, and they can cause a great deal of damage when they start chewing.

Pest control companies use poison or traps, depending on the situation.

The Orkin study ranks cities by the number of rodent treatments the company performed from Jan. 1, 2017, through Dec. 31, 2017. The ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.

A few rodent prevention tips:

  • Close the gap: Seal any cracks or holes in your foundation with weather-resistant sealant. Install weather stripping around windows and doors, as well as door sweeps.
  • Trim the trees: Landscaping can be a big-rodent attractant. Keep shrubbery cut back at least one meter from the exterior walls of your home to eliminate any hiding spots for rodents.
  • Cut off the water: Eliminate any moisture sources, necessary for pests’ survival, such as clogged gutters or water gathering in trash or recycling bins.

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