A North Vancouver man is fighting a losing battle with pesky rodents that have invaded his yard.
George Schwanke said he has lived in his fourplex in the 100-block of St. Patricks Ave. since 2011, but for the first time this summer he and the other residents in the fourplex have noticed rats in their backyard.
"We noticed in broad daylight rats coming around, out in the yard," said Schwanke. "They go into our garbage, in fact one or two of them chewed up our plastic garbage cans to get in."
He said the rats have been spotted about six to eight times amongst the residents throughout the day, usually when they are sitting on the elevated back porch of their house.
"We see them run down below us," said Schwanke. "They run right by us to our driveway."
Schwanke blames the construction on the Low Level Road, which he thinks has forced the rats to immigrate into the neighbourhood.
"When they ripped that big bank apart, that had to be infested with rats which were feeding across the road and tracks down there at the train storage," said Schwanke. "It's a perfect place for them."
Brad McRae, manager of bylaw services for the City of North Vancouver, said his department has not received any complaints to date of rats in the area.
"Traditionally we do get complaints from time to time about rats in the community. We do live near the ocean, we do live near a few things that contribute to a rat habitat," said McRae.
He said the bylaws currently in place put the onus on the resident to keep their property at a certain standard to avoid creating a nesting environment.
"The resident who had an issue with it, if where these rats are nesting is getting disturbed, if it's a park setting or what have you, if it's getting disturbed then yes he's probably going to see those things," said McRae. "But as long as he keeps his property maintained and as long as he does not create an environment to attract them to be there, they won't stay."
Schwanke said he had never seen a rat prior to the latest incident. He called the health department and has set traps baited with peanut butter to capture the critters.
"It hasn't worked so far," he said. "They also say these beggars are pretty clever, they somehow evolve."
For residents that do observe rats on their property, McRae said they could always call bylaw services that can help them determine if there is anything luring the rats in the first place.
"Things like trimming hedges, removing garbage from the side of the house, woodpiles, those types of things, which are a natural attractant to rats and other rodents, " said McRae.
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