Rodent Control

Halifax Regional Council will look into cause of rat problem

Halifax’s rat problem may be the worst it’s ever been

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The large number of rats and mice in Halifax has been a major problem for a while. The Signal has looked at this issue in the past, and while no permanent solution has presented itself, Halifax Regional Council accepted a plan on Feb. 7 to try to help.

“I am receiving more calls on this than I ever have,” Coun. Tim Outhit of District 16 said near the start of the meeting.

The recommendation, which was originally put before the Halifax and West Community Council on Jan. 17, was to “continue to bait for rodent control, as required, on municipal property,” and for “construction site management to include rodent control in the form of pre-baiting for a period of 10-14 days prior to demolition or major construction.”

During the meeting at City Hall, most councillors agreed that Halifax Water was part of the problem. When asked during the meeting how long it’s been since Halifax Water baited traps regularly, Coun. Russel Walker of District 10 said “they’ve stopped the practice for about two years now.”

“We seem to be suffering from a dearth of information,” said Coun. Richard Zurawski, Ditrict 12, who worried that a full solution would be difficult to reach without all the facts. “I would like to see why Halifax Water stopped baiting because we didn’t stop being a port city.”

Also of some concern was the higher temperatures, which makes it easier for the rats to thrive. Coun. Waye Mason of District 7, Halifax South Downtown, said that “if we keep having mild winters, this will continue to be a problem.”

While it was agreed that it was not a perfect solution, Walker said that, during the Halifax and West Community Council, he “did not support this motion because I did not feel it goes far enough.”

Zurawski proposed a study to “look into the scope of the problem.” The study would examine why Halifax Water stopped baiting, and learn what other places have done to solve rodent problems. The proposed study was agreed to and will be undertaken soon.

The bill passed without any opposing votes.