Cat finds rat in Medicine Hat; could be pest from last year's nest

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. – An Alberta county spokesman says a dead rat turned up by a cat near Medicine Hat could be a pest from a large nest discovered last summer.

A Cypress county woman reported that her feline found the rodent last week on property near a landfill where an infestation was uncovered in August.

An 80-metre-long nest was destroyed in September and at least 100 Norway rats were killed by city staff.

Agricultural fieldman Jason Storch says pest inspectors were sent out to investigate the latest sighting, but didn’t find any other vermin.

“The only evidence of rats we had was the dead rat itself. Upon investigating, we didn’t find any other signs,” he said Monday.

Storch said some stragglers from last year are to be expected as temperatures warm up.

“There’s always the chance that one or two may have been missed, and … they’re going to be looking for a new place to go this spring,” he said. “And with the nice weather we’ve had, it only make sense that they would be moving.”

Alberta prides itself on being rat free, but that status was put into doubt with last year’s discovery.

Officials are asking residents who think they have seen a rat to call the county office or Medicine Hat’s bylaw department.

“It’s important for all of us to remember that there will be stragglers from last year’s infestation,” Storch said. “We want everybody to stay vigilant. We want everybody to keep their eyes open.

“We’re going to stick at it and make sure this gets dealt with.”


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