War de­clared on Plim­mer­ton’s pests

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

A group of Plim­mer­ton res­i­dents are wag­ing war on pests.

Lee McLauch­lan, Linda Kerk­meester and Heather Evans have started Pest Free Plim­mer­ton, an ini­tia­tive to bring the birds back to the dis­trict.

Evans said she wanted to see the area’s wildlife im­prove.

‘‘Rats are not only eat­ing baby birds and eggs, they’re eat­ing their food sources as well,’’ she said.

The group came about when the three friends were talk­ing about pests in their own gar­dens.

McLauch­lan had spent $120 on bait­ing around her house and said the rats were out­wit­ting her.

‘‘They’re in­cred­i­bly smart. We had to get smarter,’’ she said.

Spurred on by suc­cesses in other sub­urbs, the women de­cided to tackle not just their own back­yards, but the com­mu­nity as a whole.

In 2015 Welling­ton’s Crofton Downs be­came the first sub­urb to be de­clared pest-free af­ter a year of in­ten­sive trap­ping by res­i­dents.

‘‘We need 400 traps in Plim­mer­ton to be ef­fec­tive. That’s one for ev­ery three house­holds,’’ said Evans.

It’s a huge job but if ev­ery­body gets in­volved we can do it.’’

The women are hop­ing other Plim­mer­ton res­i­dents will join their ranks and are hold­ing a meet­ing on May 7 for in­ter­ested Plim­mer­to­ni­ans.

Kerk­meester said it was im­por­tant to pro­tect the sub­urb’s bor­ders to pre­vent rats and stoats from mi­grat­ing to the area.

‘‘We def­i­nitely need keen trap­pers in those ar­eas to come for­ward,’’ she said.

Teaming with the Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion, Pest Free Plim­mer­ton will arm trap­pers with the equip­ment and knowhow to erad­i­cate the pests.

The group will also be set­ting up a ‘‘trap map’’ so peo­ple can record what they caught and where.

‘‘We want to em­power peo­ple to take ac­tion,’’ Evans said.

‘‘We need a blitz like this to give the birds a chance to get es­tab­lished.’’

The Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion has sup­plied the group with 88 traps, but more are needed.

Evans said the creme de la creme was the A 24 that tar­gets rats and stoats which it kills in­stantly.

Pow­ered by a Co can­is­ter the trap re­sets it­self so it’s good for 24 kills.

From left, Linda Kerk­meester, Lee McLauch­lan and Heather Evans have de­clared war on Plim­mer­ton’s pests.

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