Oh rats… Bay Roberts has a rodent problem

By Craig Westcott/October 14, 2021

Bay Roberts may have to look at implementing a plastic bin system for household garbage, Mayor Walter Yetman mused last week during a council discussion of a rat infestation on Snow’s Lane.

“This seems to be a serious rodent problem when they mentioned the number they had caught,” said the mayor.

Councillor Frank Deering moved that council send the matter to its protective services committee for review.

“I talked with this lady (during the election campaign) and said the best thing you can do is send a letter to council so that it can deal with it,” Deering informed his colleagues. “She said she had caught 35 rats – not mice, rats. A couple of days after, I was talking with the neighbours across the street and they told me they were out the night before with air guns shooting the rats off their patio. So, there’s a problem there.”

Deputy Mayor Geoff Seymour said he talked with the same woman on Snow’s Lane who reported the problem. “Another lady, not far from where this person lives, voiced similar concerns about a rat infestation,” Seymour said. 

Seymour noted the woman who wrote council also referred to a neighbour who keeps hens and chickens. “We have a policy on this right? he asked.

“Yes, there is a livestock policy,” said Yetman. 

“So that is allowed?” asked Seymour.

“To a certain degree, yes,” confirmed chief administrative officer Nigel Black. 

“A lot of this – and not to take away from this lady’s problem, because it sounds like a very serious problem – people have to be educated,” said councilor Perry Bowering. “If you talk to the pest control guys, they’ll tell you the two or three drawing cards that will keep rats around. People think it’s old buildings and whatever. They’re not going to stay in an old building if there’s no free food. Your dog food, your dog poop, your bird feeders, your garbage box – you’ve really got to keep control of that stuff, or you’re in for trouble.”

“So basically, controls need to be in place?” said the mayor.

“For everybody,” said Bowering. “Because I know somebody who has the same problem just down the street from them, and she’s not really what you would call close to these people, but I know the people in the area and I know how they are handling their dogs. You can’t just leave it out and say, ‘I’ll pick it up once every week.’ That’s no good.”

Councillor Dean Franey allowed the problem is probably throughout the whole area. “This is not far from Central Street, and I live down just off Central Street and in the nighttime when I’m driving down Central Street, there are rats. I’m always seeing a rat or two running across. And I had an issue with my garbage box, actually. I got rid of the wooden garbage box and got one of the big, tall plastic ones and it solved that problem,” Franey said.

“And maybe that’s something else we should be looking at too,” said Yetman. “Those plastic ones might be a better idea, so that’s a discussion for down the road, and hopefully somebody can bring it up for discussion, and we’ll have that discussion when the time comes.”

The motion to send the resident’s letter to the protective service committee for follow-up passed unanimously.

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