A decision by the City of Cornwall to save money by not cutting grass on the west side of Menard Park has had an unexpected ripple effect. Residents of Ivan Crescent have noticed many field rats in their backyards since the grass in the park adjacent to their properties has been allowed to grow out.
The city chose to stop cutting the grass on one side of Menard Park last year, a decision that the neighbourhood has not been happy with. After calling and emailing members of city council, a tractor was sent to cut the grass and weeds once this summer, but otherwise the area has been left to grow wild.
“I have a large deck with a swimming pool in my back yard and always keep the rodents in control since I don’t want to have them getting in the house,” explained Jody Bilmer, who has been a resident of Ivan Crescent for 7 years, “My neighbors were sitting on their deck and noticed something in my BBQ and mentioned it to our daughter. I assumed it was a mouse and checked my security cameras to find a very large rat running across and living under my deck. I purchased a couple of rat traps and caught 2 large rats the first night.”
After speaking with her neighbours, Bilmer realized that he was not alone. Other residents of Ivan Crescent have noticed an increase in the number of rats on their properties, only since the grass stopped being cut. After more calls to city council a city worker was sent to bait sewers and storm drains, however residents believe that these are not dark sewer rats but lighter field rats.
The City of Cornwall website states that cutting tall grass and weeds is one of the primary ways to control rats, in addition to cleaning trash and debris.
Because of the rat problem and the fact that kids often run through this park, residents of Ivan Crescent feel the grass should be cut regularly. The money being saved by not cutting the grass is not worth the problems being
faced by residents who pay thousands in property taxes each year.