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Pest Control OfficersThe local contacts for pest control are:
Pest Control Officer: Kent Kozlinski (780) 209-1710
Agricultural Fieldman: Stephanie Taylor (email@example.com) (780) 753-0184 If you think you have seen a rat, or any suspected rat sign, please contact one of them, and they will be more then happy to come investigate and help out if any problems are found.
Agricultural Pests Act and RegulationThe Agricultural Pests Act and Regulation can be found here.
Rat PreventionThe best way to deal with rats is to prevent them from establishing. There are several good techniques which can help protect your farm.
Baiting:If you live within the first 3 ranges (18 miles) of Alberta you can receive rat poison from the Alberta government, through your local pest control officer. The most common bait used is Ramix, which is an anticoagulant applied to oats in plastic throw bags. By distributing these throw bags throughout bale stacks, or in bait stations, hopefully the bait will be the first available food source an intruding rat finds, and they end up poisoned before they can establish. Anti Coagulant baits take multiple feedings, so if baiting a small infestation, make certain that the bait supply is maintained. An interruption in feeding can lead to less then lethal doses, and bait shyness, making further baiting very difficult. Bait stations can be made fairly simply. Essentially they need to provide shelter, to make the rats comfortable, and they should be near bale stacks, buildings, etc. that rats may be using for cover or travel routes. Using existing materials in an area can be very effective, such as grain auger hoppers, or old tires with a board over them. Half barrels or half a 5 gallon pail can also work well. Make sure there is an entrance, even a shallow ditch dug with a heel will work. Bait stations should be clearly marked as poison, if you want your local pest control officer can provide you with poison stickers.
Reducing Food and Shelter Options: Reducing good habitat for rats is key in preventing infestations. Making certain that bins with wood floors are kept in good shape, with plenty of clearance under the floor. Bins with floors that have sank down provide excellent shelter and food sources for rats. By elevating the floor, there is less protection from predators, and no insulation to help them survive the winter. Of course cement or steel floors and hopper bottoms are better yet. In bale stacks, stacking in single rows can be very beneficial. Stacked side by side, or in a pyramid provides plenty of shelter and insulation for a rat arriving, the natural hollows in such a configuration provide security and protection for rats. To move down a single row of bales, rats must either tunnel the full length, or run along the edge, leaving them vulnerable to coyotes, foxes and other predators. Cleaning out old bins that are no longer in use, or burning/burying them is also a great step. An old abandoned bin with 6 inches of grain in the bottom is ideal rat habitat, removing any such structures that are no longer needed force rats to travel farther, and face more risks, lessening their chances of survival.
Rat SignIt's a good idea to always keep an eye out for rats, however they are highly secretive animals, consequently it's much more likely to be able to identify evidence then actual rats. Below are a collection of pictures to help demonstrate what sort of sign you should watch for, remember if you see suspicious sign, contact your local pest control officer to come investigate.
Chewing around the door frame on an old granary. Rats teeth never stop growing, so they are constantly chewing, which does considerable damage to buildings.
Another hole chewed in an old granary, also note the marks below the hole where the rats have been sliding out. This is a good indicator that the hole is active.
The inner wall of a granary that has been perforated by rats chewing on it.
Rat holes under a steel bin with wooden floor. Note how the bin has sank over time, providing the shelter the rats require. Also take note of how clean the holes are, and the way they run around the end of the stud.
A potential rat hole, nice and round and very clean. Richardson ground squirrels tend to leave a mound of dirt near an entrance, rats take more effort to conceal their entrances. Note also the size, rat holes tend to be approximately 2" across.
Another rat hole under a steel bin with wood floor. Notice the grass covering the entrance, often holes will be hidden by vegetation.
Here is an example of a very infested stack of large square straw bales. In addition to the holes, you can see where they have been sliding down and running up the bales.
Here is a bunch of garbage that has been pushed out from under the bin by the rats. Notice all the grain hulls and droppings.
An up close picture of a rat dropping for reference. Notice the length being approx. 3/4" and being fairly cylindrical with blunt ends.
This pile of boards was laying in a ditch near an infested bin. There were many rat runs under these boards. Rats love anything they can get under and use as cover. Keeping areas around potential food sources clean and tidy can do a lot to reduce the quality of rat habitat.
A potential rat hole in a bale. Note that some critters other then rats can make similar holes, however they warrant a close inspection for any other sign that can be used in conjunction with the hole to identify species. Again this is a good job for a pest control officer if you find similar holes.
Rat holes found in the ground near an infested granary.
Rat runs under where green feed bales used to be stacked. This is old sign, notice that many of the runs are packed full of straw that blew in now. Watch when feeding bales for rat runs. They will be fairly similar to the mouse runs that you may be used to seeing, only they will be larger.
This is a rat hole coming up near one granary, and you can see the beaten trail heading off in the direction of the next granary. This trail and hole were completely hidden from view by vegetation before it was folded back for this picture.
Another rat hole found in the ground near an infested granary.
Another picture of old runs where bales used to sit.
Here are rat holes under a round bale stack.
More holes under a round bale stack.
For Emergencies or Public Works call
For Winter Plowing
For Overweight Authorization call
For maintenance of paved numbered highways within the MD call Carillion
For Disaster Services call
|4504 - 53 Ave.||Telephone: (780) 753-2434|
|Box 300||or (780) 857-2434|
|Provost, AB||Fax: (780) 753-6432|
|T0B 3S0||Email: firstname.lastname@example.org|