Under the Skunk Trap Requests Policy, skunk traps are loaned to County residents out at no cost. There is $75 Deposit (cheque or cash). The traps must be returned in 2 weeks and brought back clean and undamaged.
The Alberta Government offers instructions on how to construct your own magpie trap.
Alberta maintains rat free status as a result of a vigilant rat control program that has been in place for many years.
If you think you have seen a rat, try to take a picture if possible and call Lacombe County Agricultural Department or 310-RATS (7287).
Richardson Ground Squirrels
Ground Squirrels--locally referred to as Gophers--are a naturally occurring rodent species in Lacombe County and play an important ecological role as a food source for many predators. But when populations expand and disperse rapidly they can pose a significant economic threat to agriculture as well as severely impact natural ecosystems.
For this reason, Lacombe County recommends an integrated pest management approach to maintaining gopher populations below threshold limits. A combination of population monitoring, cultural controls, as well as lethal control measures can help agricultural producers in reducing population numbers. For more information on the biology and control of Richardson Ground Squirrels check out this informational factsheet from Alberta Agriculture & Forestry.
One lethal control measure, 2% Liquid Strychnine Concentrate is currently being deregistered by the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). As such the manufacturer will be able to distribute the product up to March 4, 2021, and municipalities/retailers will be allowed to sell this product up to March 4, 2022 (please note, Lacombe County has sold out of strychnine for 2021 and is ending its strychnine retail program permanently). Landowners have until March 4, 2023, to use up their strychnine supply.
Some other options to aid farmers in the control of gophers are:
- Raptor platforms, nesting boxes, and perches to encourage natural predation
- Reduce preferred habitat by maintaining healthy pastures and use of rotational grazing
- Rozol, for the control of Ground Squirrels and Pocket Gophers in rangelands, crop, and non-crop areas.
- Rocon, a poison-free rodenticide registered by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency for the control of rodents.
Northern Pocket Gophers
These pests are particularly hard to control. To date, the only effective method has been trapping which is time-consuming. Traps are available at agricultural retail outlets throughout the county.
In some cases, we can assist producers with problem coyotes. pdf AG(04) Coyote Control Devices and Chemicals (33 KB) provides for the use of registered coyote control products in cases where coyotes have been harassing or there have been confirmed kills of livestock.
It is important to remember that these devices are non-discriminate and will only be utilized in situations where the Manager or Assistant Manager of Environmental and Protective Services feels they are safe to do so. The legislation governing the use of these products is specific to livestock predation and cannot be used in the case of harassment or predation of pets.
Beaver activity in Lacombe County can have a major impact on roads and the associated drainage works. Under pdf AG(05) Beaver Flood Control (30 KB) , Lacombe County will carry out control of beavers if there is flooding on county right-of-ways from beaver activity on county land.
If the flooding is from private lands then we will trap on those private lands if there is written permission from the landowner. If there is flooding from beaver activity and is not affecting county property, please call the Manager of Agriculture and Environmental Services for names of local trappers that can assist you.
Environmental and Protective Services assists both the Provincial and Federal Governments with several pest surveys each year, including Grasshoppers, Bertha Armyworms, Lygus Bugs. In addition, we undertake a Fusarium survey and assist with the Provincial Crop Report each summer.