Roof rat trapped in Drumheller neighbourhood
A Drumheller resident had a surprise last Saturday morning when he discovered he had trapped what appeared to be a rat.
The grey rodent, which had a tail that was eight or nine inches long and a 6-inch body was in a trap he had set to deal with another pest in his yard.
He attempted to contact Fish and Wildlife, but was unable to have an officer respond. A neighbour, who is in bylaw enforcement, took possession of the animal and destroyed it.
The Town of Drumheller has issued a press release stating that the rodent discovered was a roof rat, and not a Norway rat.
“After an investigation, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry has confirmed the rodent is a roof rat. Roof rats are not native to the prairies and do not like cold weather. This species of rat is found more commonly in the warm, wet areas of the East and West Coasts of Canada,” it stated.
“Officials believe the rat entered Alberta on a vehicle, which travelled from an area common to roof rats. These rats are usually found alone and rarely in pairs.”
Christina Bruce, spokesperson for Alberta Agriculture and Forestry said that while it is not the more worrisome Norway rat, a roof rat is still a serious concern.
Anything in the rattus rat family is a concern, roof rats are a part of that as well,” she said, adding that by all indications it is a single rat.
“The rat free status means there is no permanent popula- This rodent, deemed a roof rat, was discovered in a yard along Riverside Drive. Officials believe it is an isolated case, but are being vigilant to make sure there are not any more in the area. tions, we don’t let them establish themselves."
In 2015, the province had 24 confirmed rat reports. Of those, there were 18 single rats, two infestations and four little groups that were exterminated.
"That is pretty typical, we have between 12 and 24 confirmed in a year and two or three infestations,” said Bruce.
This was the fifth discovered in the province this year.
According to the Town, “The Town of Drumheller Protective Services Department will be proactive to ensure this is an isolated case in Drumheller. While more rat traps will be set up in the area of the sighting, the Town asks residents to be vigilant while travelling. If residents have travelled to a warmer climate in a vehicle and have questions or concerns about roof rats please call Protective Services Director Greg Peters at 403-8231363 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Further, to report a rat sighting to the province call 310RATS.