Penticton is home to many different animals. Here you’ll find information about how you can minimize encounters with unwanted wildlife and pests. Also visit our Urban Deer page for tips about how to protect your yard and what to do in the case of a deer encounter.
Prevention and Treatment
Exclude them from Your Property
- Fill or block all openings with durable materials, such as concrete and lumber, and use heavy, welded wire mesh to cover any vents, conduits, drains or other openings that cannot be blocked.
- Be persistent in inspecting and repairing entry points that can be reopened by gnawing rats.
- Remove potential hiding places near the house: don't stack firewood, garden supplies, equipment, etc., beside the house; thin or remove dense vegetation around the foundation.
Remove Food and Water Sources
- Store cereals and dry food in glass or metal containers and keep pet food and bird seed in sturdy, covered bins.
- Stored fresh food, such as fruit that is often kept in the garden shed or back porch, is very attractive to rodents. If possible, store produce in a refrigerator or a secure room that has heavy wire screen on any vents open to the outdoors.
- Compost kitchen waste in closed bins, such as the thick, black plastic compost bins available commercially, or in other heavy, closed containers. To be rat-proof, a home made bin must be built of wooden planks and heavy ½” welded wire mesh (not chicken wire, which rats easily chew and which mice easily pass through). Do not put meat scraps or bones in the compost bin.
- Store outdoor garbage in tightly closed, metal containers.
- Make sure bird feeders are well away from the house and that the feeder prevents excessive seed from spilling onto the ground. This is very attractive to rats, which will also gnaw into a bird feeder if they can reach it. Stop them from climbing bird feeder poles by placing a wide metal collar on the pole.
- Repair any leaking plumbing, indoors or out, to remove a water supply.
The most common rat in this area is the roof rat, sometimes called the black rat. They are agile climbers and usually live and nest in shrubs, trees and dense vegetation such as ivy. If there is food and shelter, they will gladly live in proximity to humans, particularly in attics, ceilings or walls.
They are carnivorous and will eat nearly all types of food, including pet food, garbage, food scraps in compost, fallen fruit and nuts, and bird seed.
Snap traps: These are a swift, humane way of killing a rat instantly. They are also recommended for the control of rats where the use of poisons would be dangerous or where odours from dead rodents would be a problem. Excellent bait options include a piece of dried fruit or peanut butter.
Live Traps: These are also available and very effective. If using a live trap appeals to you because it seems more humane, consider what you will do with the live rat or mouse you have trapped.
Biological Control: Many cats are naturally excellent mousers, but not all cats are interested in catching mice. Some cats do catch rats, but a cornered adult rat can seriously injure a cat.
Poison: Although the most common rodent control is to use poisoned baits, this should be considered only as a last resort, if other methods fail. Putting out poison baits exposes children, pets and wild animals to the risk of poisoning from most compounds. A poisoned rodent often crawls away to die in an inaccessible place in the house. As it composes, it may smell and the decaying carcass frequently hosts an infestation of fly maggots, carpet beetles or other pests.
Ultrasound Repellers: There are several devices on the market that emit ultrasound waves to repel rodents. Although rodents will avoid the area initially, they apparenly get used to the sound and learn that there is no harm associated with it.
For further information, review Penticton’s Rat Control and Prevention brochure.