Canadian Town in Need of Pied Piper
The rat problem in the town of Hamilton has doubled in the last year, and the city is no different than other large urban areas. Climate change and increased development are considered the major culprits.
Officials stress how important a community, or comprehensive approach, can be in dealing with the problem. All members of the community need to participate, get educated, and change their own behaviors. What the city can offer is sewer baiting, which has been used effectively in the past.
In Spring 2014, rat complaints reported to city officials numbered only seven in Hamilton, Ontario but a year later they are up to 20 and climbing.
Resident of this scenic area need to take the problem more seriously, as it will only spread due to warmer temperatures and more housing in the area. Public health officials have requested that community members not feed any type of wildlife, as food left out attracts rodents.
Robert Hall, city director of health promotion, stressed how critical it is that the community make an effort together to rid the city of its rat population.
"You can't tackle this on a one-on-one basis. This has to be a community effort," he said. "It probably will continue trending upwards for a while, but if we start putting in place more proactive communication … hopefully over the next couple of years we'll see that trend start to decline."