Albertans now have a new way to report potential rat sightings.“Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) has a new easily remembered phone number, 310-RATS (7287), for all Albertans to report possible rat sightings,” said Bruce Hamblin, rat inspector, ARD, Olds. “It’s not a replacement for the current system of reporting rats, but it is an addition to it.”
Currently, municipalities are responsible for rat control in their jurisdictions, and have phone numbers available to contact by-law officers, agriculture fieldmen or pest control companies. “310-RAT is an extension to this network for someone who thinks they saw a rat and isn’t sure who to call,” said Hamblin.
The caller to 310-RATS is connected to ARD. The call will be answered immediately during normal business hours. If the call is on the weekend or after hours, the caller can leave a message which will be responded to as quickly as possible, usually the same day and within 24 hours at the most.
The new number is in response to some of the time delays people were getting when trying to report possible sightings said Hamblin.
“We talked to people who couldn’t find an easy number to call. Sometimes calls were going to fish and wildlife officers and some of the other agencies before finally being directed to ARD which is the agency for rat control. The new 310-RATS phone line is just a more efficient tool to help ensure Alberta remains rat free.”
For more information on Alberta’s rat control program, go to ARD’s homepage.
Animals mistaken for rats
We have native species of rodents that are called rats, like the Bushy Tailed Wood rat (or pack rat) and the Ord’s Kangaroo Rat, that are not of concern. Other animals often misidentified as rats include muskrats, pocket gophers and squirrels.
What is a Rat?
A rat is a domestic rodent of the Rattus species. There are more than 12 species of rattus, but only the Norway and Roof rats threaten Alberta’s rat free status.