- Public Safety
- Skunks, Raccoons, Rats and other Rodents
Rats and other rodents
Several species of rodents are found in the Kootenays including the house mouse, pack rat, black (roof) rat, and Norway (brown) rat.
Management of rats and other rodents is the responsibility of property owners. Rat sightings should be reported to the owner or manager of the property where it was spotted. Rodent traps are available at local hardware stores. In the event that your property has an infestation not controllable through prevention and traps, contact a pest management company (links below).
If you spot a rat in a park or public space, you can contact Town Hall at 250-428-2214 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dead rodents should be double bagged, sealed, and placed in your trash for collection. Always wear gloves when handling rodents, whether they are alive or dead. Gloves should also be worn when reusing traps.
To prevent rats from living on your property eliminate potential food sources, water sources, and hiding/living places. Detailed preventative measures and control methods can be found on the following websites:
Pest control companies
- Abell Pest Control 1-888-949-4949 / 1-250-277-4030
- Cranbrook Pest Control 1-250-426-9586
- Orkin Canada 1-844-899-7144
The species of skunk found in the Kootenays is the Striped Skunk. Skunks are able to adapt to a wide range of habitats and are often found living in urban areas, where food opportunities are abundant. They are omnivores and will eat a wide variety of foods including plants, insects, and rodents.
To prevent skunks from living on your property eliminate potential food sources, water sources, and hiding/living places. Detailed preventative measures can be found at WildSafeBC - Skunks.
Raccoons are among the most adaptable animals found in BC, and can be found everywhere from forests to urban centres. They are omnivores and will eat nearly anything. Raccoons can become very comfortable in the human environment and can cause a wide variety of preventable problems, including digging up lawns in search of grubs.
To prevent raccoons from living on your property eliminate potential food sources, water sources, and hiding/living places. Detailed preventative measures can be found at WildSafeBC - Raccoons.
IH Wide – As more people head outdoors across Interior Health, it is likely they may encounter bats. Bats can carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans. This PSA provides tips on how to avoid bat exposures and when to seek health advice.
Bats and rabies
In B.C., between four and eight per cent of bats that come into contact with people test positive for the rabies virus. In 2021, 132 people in the region were treated for potential exposure to rabies. Treatment, which involves a two-week long period of vaccinations, should be administered as soon as possible after exposure. Without treatment, rabies is almost always fatal.
It is very important that people avoid handling bats with their bare hands to prevent bites or scratches. This is particularly important for children, who tend to find bats on the ground and play with them. Anyone who has been bitten or scratched by a bat should seek medical attention immediately.
Precautions to protect yourself from contact with bats:
• Do not touch live or dead bats, talk to your children about not touching bats lying on the ground as these creatures may be potentially sick.
• Make your residence “bat proof.” Keep doors and windows closed, make sure window screens don’t have any holes and keep attic vents properly screened and openings closed.
• If you find a live bat in a room of your home, open the window and close interior doors until the bat leaves.
• Seek professional bat-control advice (from a pest control or wildlife specialist) if your home is inhabited by bats.
• Avoid locations where bats are likely to be found (e.g. caves).
• Vaccinate your pets against rabies.
If you suspect you have been bitten or scratched by a bat:
• Thoroughly wash any bite or scratch wounds with soap and water.
• Contact your local public health unit, primary care provider immediately or go to the emergency department. Although less frequently, other mammals can also carry rabies. Please consult with your health provider or emergency department if you had a close encounter with a potentially rabid animal.
• If possible, safely contain the bat to prevent others from being exposed. Keep the bat in a safe location until a trained public health official can arrange to pick it up and test it for rabies.
Property Maintenance Bylaw No. 1813, 2015
In addition to improving neighbourhood aesthetics and reducing potential hazards, the Property Maintenance Bylaw acts to prevent pest attractants by:
- Prohibiting accumulation of refuse and water on properties.
- Prohibiting owners and occupants of properties from permitting or allowing the property to become or remain unsightly.
- Including Property and Boulevard Maintenance Standards
You can view a copy of the bylaw here.