COQUITLAM, B.C., July 7, 2021 – Coquitlam will be promoting safer and more humane rodent-control methods on private properties after successfully piloting alternatives to poison bait at City facilities.
Rodenticides – poisons used to kill rats and mice – often unintentionally kill other animals, including owls and other wildlife that feed on them. To address concerns about the impact of rodenticides, the City’s pest control contractor stopped using poison bait last December and switched to mechanical snap traps coupled with increased inspections.
Poison Alternatives Prove Safe and Effective
Coquitlam hires a pest control contractor to protect civic properties from rodents and mice, which can spread disease and damage buildings.
Prevention is the primary approach, including sealing off access points, clearing away vegetation, removing food sources and educating building users and occupants. Prior to the pilot, and only when required, the contractor followed the industry practice of using poison bait traps outdoors and primarily snap traps indoors, except in cases of severe infestations.
Staff began investigating options to rodenticides in November, after a recommendation from Coquitlam’s Sustainability and Environmental Advisory Committee.
Since December, poison traps have been replaced by mechanical snap traps enclosed in secured bait boxes with appropriately-sized holes – a method endorsed by the BC Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA). Because snap traps must be inspected more frequently, service visits have also increased.
Coquitlam’s move away from rodenticides on civic properties is in line with more than 20 other B.C. municipalities that have either implemented or are considering similar bans.
Protecting the Community
Coquitlam also helps prevent infestations in the community at large by:
- Requiring anyone demolishing a building to provide a professional inspection report certifying the site is free of rodents; and
- Enforcing and educating the public about the Wildlife and Vector Control Bylaw, which prohibits private properties from allowing conditions that attract rodents.
The City will add to these measures later this year with a new public education campaign promoting safer and more humane rodent control methods, in alignment with Coquitlam’s draft Environmental Sustainability Plan.
Tips to Keep Rodents Away
To protect the community, residents, businesses and other private properties in Coquitlam are responsible for not attracting wildlife, rodents or pests.
Further information can be found at www.coquitlam.ca/pests. Tips include:
- Watching for rodent signs such as chew marks, droppings, noises, footprints and urine;
- Taking away hiding and nesting spots by removing clutter or garbage from yards and garages and keeping grass and vegetation trimmed;
- Sealing holes and cracks that can serve as access points
- Using a Green Cart or rodent-resistant compost bin for all food scraps;
- Eliminating other food and water sources by removing fallen fruit or nuts, feeding pets indoors, removing spilled birdseed daily, keeping barbecues clean, fixing leaky taps or removing containers outdoors that might hold water; and
- Contacting a licensed pest control company that uses humane and wildlife-friendly ways to deal with persistent rodent or pest problems.
City of Coquitlam