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LETTER: Langley Township lagging behind neighbours in rat control

Aldergrove resident wrote about rat problem in 2017 and said nothing has been done
A local resident would like Langley Township to do more to control the rat population. (Files)

Dear Township mayor and council,

[Re: Rats: friends, foe or both in Langley?, Langley Advance Times, Jan. 26]

I do understand that you are newly elected and working hard to correct a number of inadequacies in the Township of Langley. However, the rodent problem in the Township is a serious problem that needs to be addressed as well.

For a number of years, I believe beginning in 2017, I made several contacts with the Township of Langley including phone calls, emails and a delegation to council regarding the need for putting measures in place to control rodents. Langley Township did implement the requirement for a pest control company to inspect and treat buildings before a demolition permit is granted. While certainly a good measure, more obviously needs to be done.

The Langley Advance Times Jan. 26 edition featured articles on the rise in the rat population in the Township of Langley.

Years ago letters were written from the Aldergrove Community Association and from Bertrand Creek Enhancement Society asking the Township to take a lead on this. There were a couple of responses from Township councillors back in 2018 agreeing that something needed to be done, but this is now 2023 and I know of no public engagement or any further bylaws implemented to help with this problem.

One of the strategies that I suggested at that time was to treat an area for rodents before excavating for new development. This was not done and now it is the new areas of Langley which have some of the highest reported incidents of rodent problems.

There are many methods for this rather than just pesticides. Check out ways Alberta treats the problem in fields. This could be done in areas to be excavated for new developments. There are also ways of keeping rodents out of sheds with the use of rodent mesh and metal flashing placed into the ground around the bottom of sheds.

The following is a quote from my delegation to the Township of Langley council on May 29, 2017;

My request tonight is to have Langley Township do their part in controlling rats by passing bylaws and policies that exterminate and stop their spread. Also, to have a public education campaign to encourage the use of rat-proof bird feeders and other rat deterrents.

I have sent letters, emails and phoned the Township with requests for leadership from council and Township staff on this issue to only be referred to Fraser Health. When I contacted Fraser Health they told me they only supply information on their website on ways to deter rats and that if I wanted anything further I was to contact my municipality.

Councils in other Lower Mainland municipalities have shown the initiative to pass bylaws and policies, but Langley has not. Delta, Maple Ridge and other municipalities with farmland and residential areas have passed bylaws.”

Rats are not just a dirty inconvenience. They spread disease and destroy property such as electric wire harnesses in vehicles. As stated in the letter of Feb. 19, 2017, to council from Bertrand Creek Enhancement Society, a park in Tsawwassen was shut down for cleaning when leptospirosis was found. The disease is spread by the urine of rats. There is an expensive inoculation available for dogs but wildlife can be affected as well and inoculating them could be more of a problem.

Children and dogs play in our parks and streams. We need to have policies in place to protect them.

There also needs to be more public education. In Delta if rats are reported, flyers are sent out to the area encouraging people to check their yard for areas that may attract rats. If the problem continues, the area is checked for the sources of the problem and the property owner or owners are encouraged to fix the problem areas and use pest exterminators.

Due to the lax attitude of council, continually sloughing off the problem, the problem is growing. The Township of Langley needs to take the initiative now to pass some basic bylaws and policies or the cost to the Township and its citizens will only increase. We need some leadership from council and staff to protect our property and waterways.

Please consider this email seriously and stop the rodent problem in the Township of Langley from growing.

Diane Kask, Aldergrove


• READ MORE: ‘Hordes of rats’ rampage through neighbourhood, says resident


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