An adolescent Norway rat alongside a mouse.

An adolescent Norway rat alongside a mouse.

Rat trapped at Stettler Regional Landfill on weekend

Stettler County is on the lookout for rats after an adolescent Norway rat was trapped at Stettler Regional Landfill on the weekend.

Stettler County is on the lookout for rats after an adolescent Norway rat was trapped at Stettler Regional Landfill on the weekend.

Quinton Beaumont, director of agricultural services with Stettler County, said it was the county’s first ever rat.

The rat, about two months old, was 14 cm (5.5 inches) from nose to butt.

Rats can grow to 17 to 25 cm (seven to 10 inches) long, not including their long tail.

For the past four decades, Alberta has had a program in place to keep rats out of the province.

Norway rats are extremely destructive. They contaminate food, undermine building foundations, floors, walls, wiring, sewer and water lines, and spread disease.

Beaumont said a landfill employee spotted a rodent that looked larger than an average mouse on Saturday morning. The rat was caught overnight in a trap.

He said the rat likely hitched a ride on a truck bringing a load to the landfill, hopefully a truck from outside the province.

Traps at the landfill since Sunday have not caught any more rats, which is a good sign, he said.

“It’s an isolated incident. We’re just doing our due diligence and we’re going to continue to monitor for the next while to be sure that we got them all,” Beaumont said on Thursday.

If another rat is discovered at the landfill, located off Hwy 56 about 15 minutes north of Stettler, the province will be called to assist.

The county will be notifying about 10 landowners with property adjacent to the landfill as a precaution.

Beaumont said if any landowner suspects rat activity, they shouldn’t hesitate to contact him at 403-742-4441.

They should be looking for tunneling in hay bales, under grain bins and outbuildings. Rats are nocturnal rodents so they are most active in the dark. People are more likely to find rat feces or the holes they make that are the size of a pool ball that they partially cover.

Norway rats are unique because they cannot survive a Canadian winter without proper shelter or food.

“Alberta has been labeled ‘rat-free,’ because we have proactively stopped the colonization of rats in our province. When the public is alert and rats are quickly identified, we are able to take care of the problem before they can colonize.”

The bulk of control by pest control inspectors hired and supervised by rural municipalities happens along the Alberta-Saskatchewan border.

Between 2,000 and 4,000 premises are inspected annually. Rat infestations are eliminated by bait, gas or traps.

As many as 200 rats were discovered at the City of Medicine Hat’s landfill last summer. The rats were spotted at the dump after someone reported finding one in a farmyard. The vermin were first spotted at the Medicine Hat dump in August 2012.

Suspected sightings should be reported to 311 or the Alberta Rat Patrol’s toll-free number 310-RATS (7287).

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Erika Fetterly, owner of EFP Studios, recently launched the Let Them Have A Voice campaign. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta photographer’s campaign aims to give youths a voice

An Innisfail photographer is giving a platform to young central Albertans so… Continue reading

The Red Deer Rebels hosted the Medicine Hat Tigers in the first game of the shortened 2020-21 season on Friday. The two teams faced off again in Medicine Hat Saturday (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Red Deer Rebels fall to Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday

Tigers 7 Rebels 2 The Red Deer Rebels have lost two straight… Continue reading

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

More than 120,000 Albertans have signed up to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the first two days of appointment bookings. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta Health Services apologizes after seniors struggle to book vaccine appointments

The CEO and president of Alberta Health Services is apologizing after seniors… Continue reading

Red Deer’s Kyle Moore, 26, will be a houseguest on Season 9 of Big Brother Canada. (Photo courtesy Big Brother Canada)
Red Deer man will be a houseguest on Big Brother Canada

A Red Deer man will be a houseguest on the upcoming season… Continue reading

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is condemning alleged vandalism at the… Continue reading

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Machin waits to appear at the Standing Committee on Finance on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. Executives who engage in so-called "vaccine tourism" show both an ethical disregard for those less fortunate and a surprising lack of business acumen, experts argue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine tourism is both unethical and bad for business, experts say

Executives who engage in so-called “vaccine tourism” show both an ethical disregard… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers' Jesse Puljujarvi (13) and Toronto Maple Leafs' Justin Holl (3) battle in front as goalie Jack Campbell (36) makes the save during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, February 27, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
No Matthews, no problem: Minus NHL goal leader, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 4-0

Leafs 4 Oilers 0 EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs knew even with… Continue reading

The Pornhub website is shown on a computer screen in Toronto on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Pornhub policies reveal legal gaps and lack of enforcement around exploitive videos

OTTAWA — Serena Fleites was in seventh grade when a sexually explicit… Continue reading

Sean Hoskin stands on a neighbourhood street in Halifax on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Hoskin was diagnosed with COVID-19 almost a year ago with symptoms that still persist. Some provinces have established programs to deal with long-term sufferers but Atlantic Canada, with relatively low numbers of patients, has yet to provide a resource to assist them. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
On East Coast, exhausted COVID-19 ‘long haulers’ hope specialized clinics will emerge

HALIFAX — On evenings when Sean Hoskin collapses into bed, heart pounding… Continue reading

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) stands in his crease as Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88), left to right, defenceman Rasmus Andersson (4), Matthew Tkachuk (19), Mikael Backlund (11) and Mark Giordano (5) celebrate a goal during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Calgary Flames beat Ottawa 6-3 to end Senators’ three-game win streak

Flames 6 Senators 3 OTTAWA — The Calgary Flames used a balanced… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough to cover the average pinky nail but is made up of more than 280 components and requires at least three manufacturing plants to produce. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
From science to syringe: COVID-19 vaccines are miracles of science and supply chains

OTTAWA — A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough… Continue reading

Most Read