Alberta’s rat-free status
Albertans have enjoyed living without the menace of rats since 1950 when the provincial rat control program was established.
Through the rat control program, rats are not allowed to establish themselves in Alberta. Rats, especially Norway rats, are very destructive to crops. Occasionally small infestations are found in the province – but they are dealt with.
When found, the rats are isolated and eradicated through proven control methods.
- Learn more about rat control in Alberta
Why we control rats
The economic losses rats cause to stored and in-field crops, the destruction of property, and their effects on human health have been extensively documented for decades.
Losses caused by rats can be divided into 3 categories:
- losses to food stuffs – consumption and contamination
- damage caused by gnawing and tunnelling
- disease transmission – public health concerns of rat spread diseases such as C-difficile, e-coli, Lepstospirosis, Rat Bite Fever, and superbug bacteria are a few pathogens spread by rats
How we control rats
Through the vigilance of farmers, municipalities and counties, pest control officers, and the government’s rat control staff, rats have been prevented from becoming established in Alberta, ensuring that we retain our rat free status.
The province has control agreements with the participating counties and municipal districts within the rat control zone along the Saskatchewan border. Rural municipalities receive funding to deliver the Rat and Rabies Control Programs.
Alberta also purchases the bait for this program and provides annual funding to the 70 Agricultural Service Boards to enforce legislation related to weeds, pests, and soil conservation.