Another 15 dead rats have been pulled from a southern Alberta landfill that has been plagued by the pests.

The City of Medicine Hat and Cypress County are working to get rid of the rodents and have been providing weekly updates. A total of 78 rats have been discovered at the site over the last two weeks.

Jason Storch, an agricultural fieldman with Cypress County, says inspectors are continuing to see a reduction in the number of dead rats found and there is less bait being consumed.

"These are all positive signs in regards to eradicating the rats," said officials. "We will continue to aggressively bait and progress toward our eradication goal until it is accomplished."

However, Storch can't put a timeline on the situation.

The rats were spotted at the dump earlier this month after someone reported finding one in a farmyard.

Alberta has always prided itself on being rat free, but that status has been in question since August 2012 when the vermin were first found in the landfill.

At least 100 Norway rats were killed by city workers that summer after an 80-metre-long nest was discovered. It took six hours for 21 workers and two excavators to dismantle it.

The landfill has been continuously monitored since then and the city credits that vigilance for discovering the new cases. City officials said earlier this month that more poison was being put out and that staff would check bait stations daily.

Agricultural fieldmen, known by Albertans as the "rat patrol," have worked for years to target invading rats in a control zone along the province's eastern boundary.

Clarifications

  • Officials say 78 rats have been found all together at a Medicine Hat landfill in southern Alberta. They say only 15 dead rats have been pulled from the site since last week.
    Apr 23, 2014 4:17 PM MT
With files from CBC News