Neighbours help form pest free halo

Deborah Colson

Neighbours of Shakespear Regional Park are being offered an opportunity to contribute to “a halo” of pest control around the edges of the park.

Shakespear Open Sanctuary Society Inc (SOSSI) volunteers have been working on this next line of defence beyond the sanctuary’s pest-proof fence for a few months already, but recently Army Bay resident Deborah Colson stepped forward to run the Shakespear Backyard Project.

She has begun door knocking in the area to provide information, talk with residents about pest control, answer questions and listen to any concerns.

Free traps will also be available.

She figured the best approach is a personal one, and door knocking also gives her an opportunity to meet her neighbours, after she moved to the area recently.

“The project complements the traplines in the park, and those run by Forest and Bird in local reserves, as well as on golf courses,” Deborah says. She says with so much trapping going on, the only safe haven left for pests is the home garden.

Initially Deborah wanted to trap rats on her own property and then offered to do more.

“I’m a big fan of the open sanctuary and understand the importance of providing safe habitat for wildlife that expands outside the pest proof fence. If I could see bellbirds and saddlebacks in my garden, I’d be over the moon.”

“Trapping predators isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time and taking part is totally their choice. I am telling people about my own experience – if you told me six months ago that I’d be trapping predators and dealing with them, I would have said ‘no way’.”

Deborah began trapping rats at her place last December and had first kill after three days and one more since then.

“I can tell people what to do with the dead animals from personal experience. I put mine in the compost and in a few days they had vanished. No maggots, no smell, no decomposing carcass. People can also bury them in the garden or put them out with the rubbish.

“We have got a supply of free traps, as well as boxes (to keep the traps away from pets) that were made by SOSSI volunteers. No one will have to handle poison.”

Info: phone Deborah, 028 414 2505.

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