Weed and Pest Control
The Town does not do this work in-house and usually hires professionally certified experienced professionals when maintaining parks, trails and public open spaces of priority. There are no restrictive policies on these kinds of weed and pest controls at the municipal level at present.
Selective Herbicide Use
A qualified professional local area contractor is hired for some of our higher traffic open spaces annually. This work is part of our regular annual parks and open space maintenance. A selective herbicide typically works by fertilizing grass while being present in such concentration as to kill other plants like dandelions.
Ground Squirrels/ Gophers
The Town typically hires a professional firm for Richardson’s Ground Squirrel/ pocket gopher control. They are fully licensed and certified to do this work. They follow manufacturer’s directions for how it is distributed into the burrow entrances. This is not something done in house by our staff in any way. At present, a product called Rozol RTU is used (0.005% chlorophacinone). The regretful purpose of doing it is as a preventative measure so that gophers don't start creating holes in public spaces that cause safety concerns (e.g. trip hazards and landscaping damage).
We annually treat the: Dry Pond, Dave Wallace park, Westview Wet Pond, Lion's Grove Park, Cemetery and a public lot near Subway. In 2021, we understand that about 800 holes were treated.
While citizen concerns about this and secondary poisoning are understandable, the product is applied underground in the burrow (with signage put up) and monitored for a couple of weeks by the Operations department for carcasses, etc. As long as it is directly consumed where only the pests can access it, it does not pose a threat to pets. It is used in much larger jurisdictions than ours, frequently on golf courses, and is not known to pose a significant risk to pets if applied by the professionals. Accidental secondary poisoning, if it ever happens, is treatable with Vitamin K.