Ground squirrel population on rise in Calgary and area, says exterminator
Burrowing rodents ‘popping up everywhere’
It's not Caddyshack, but a Calgary exterminator is busier than ever trying to deal with the city's booming burrowing rodent population.
"They're popping up everywhere. We're seeing them in rural communities in Calgary. We were just out in Nanton recently and did a couple of big school yards," said Greg Rolfe with CRT Gopher Exterminators.
"There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason as to where they're popping up. But they're all over the place."
The burrowing rodents dine on gardens and build tunnels under lawns, which can be a liability in rural areas.
"We've had people who have had horses break legs because they step into holes."
Rolfe said he's had more calls this year than last from homeowners wanting to get rid of pesky Richardson's ground squirrels, often misnamed gophers.
He exterminates both species the same way — by pumping 60 to 70 pounds of pressured carbon monoxide into their burrows.
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No explosives necessary
David Gray, host of the Calgary Eyeopener, interviewed Greg Rolfe earlier this week. Here's an edited version of that conversation:
DG: "This isn't Caddyshack. You're not actually going after them with explosives?"
DG: "The Rodenator?!!"
GR: "You put propane down the hole. You light it and blow up the holes. It caught a fella's place on fire out in Springbank. So, we want to stay clear of that.