War declared on Plimmerton’s pests
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.