Released July 14, 2021
WEYBURN – The City of Weyburn is notifying residents of current pest control measures taking place within city limits to combat the surge in Richardson ground squirrel population.
The ground squirrels, more commonly known as gophers, have increased in population and are causing damage to city and residential land. Gophers are a declared pest by the Government of Saskatchewan, which gives municipalities the power to implement control measures.
The Parks department contracts pest services to perform control measures on city property only. A contractor has been working on gopher control in several areas of the city since April. However, control has been challenging as gopher populations from outside city limits have also increased over past years.
The City typically places a pest control product such as sulfur oxide in gopher burrows, which provides immediate extermination results. However, supply and delivery have been delayed due to the increased demand across the province for this and similar products.
Currently, the City is using Rozol, a feed grain formulation placed in the burrow which the gopher ingests and exterminates the animal after a few of days. Pesticides for rodents are used as a last resort by the City; the current application is to help avoid damages and economic losses associated with high gopher population levels.
As with the use of all pesticides, pet owners should avoid sprayed areas and always keep pets on leashes when in City of Weyburn open parks, green spaces, cemeteries and along trails.
Although complete eradication of gopher population in the city is not possible, the City of Weyburn continues to do what it can to mitigate the pest on city-owned land. The City recommends residents assist in pest control on their private property. The Parks department encourages the following options:
- Eliminate food sources;
- Spray with liquid or granular repellants;
- Use of barriers such as wire mesh to keep gophers out of gardens;
- Ultrasonic spike uses electronic pulses to create irritating sounds to drive gophers away;
- Gas cartridges (a.k.a. smoke bombs);
- Use of poisons or chemicals should be used as a last resort.
Always follow directions carefully and avoid using pesticides or dangerous items around pets and children.