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Vernon  

Rats are everywhere

Chantelle Deacon

"The rats are moving in and you have to be prepared for them one way or another."

A Vernon man is extremely concerned after a mother rat and her babies made their way into the hood of his brand new vehicle.

"I initially ended up with some error codes showing up on the dash of the car and I made an appointment at the dealership to get them diagnosed thinking it was a problem in the car," said Vernon resident Clive Bunning."

"They [the dealership] had the car for about half the day and the final resolve was the problem was caused by a family of rats that had moved into the car."

Bunning says he has never had issues with rats before where he lives, but he thinks they could be coming from a nearby business.

"The location that they [neighbouring business] used for a garbage bin and the fact that there were flies around it,  which leads me to believe there was some dead animals or food of some sort that a rat would partake in," he said.

"Rats, from what I've been able to find, only travel 20-feet from their food source and that would be right where the area that my car was."

Rats never used to be a major issue throughout the Okanagan but that's not the case anymore, says the owner of a local pest control company.

"I can tell you there has been a huge increase in rats over the last five years," said Steve Ball, owner of BugMaster Pest Control. "There are a number of causes that have increased the rats' population."

Ball has noticed over the years that the rats are starting to spread from the South Okanagan to the North Okanagan as well.

"I think they started off in Penticton, maybe even a little south of Penticton area and they've been migrating north ever since. [There are] not lots in Vernon at this point but tons in Kelowna and there is no specific area. They're just everywhere."

There are many precautions Okanagan residents can take to avoid rats intruding into their home, for instance, composts bins should be left far away from the house.

"Dealing with rats is a little bit hazardous and not all rats do but some can carry diseases," said Ball.

If you think you might have a rat problem do not try to get rid of them yourself. It's important to contact a professional pest control company.



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