Q: Why is SARM administering the province's rat control program?

A: SARM is interested in moving from rat control to rat eradication. In order to accomplish this goal, SARM will require the cooperation of the province and its municipalities. SARM is considered to be in the best position to lead a program to eradicate rats.

Q: My RM has an ADD board that administers rat funding. Are we supposed to get rid of our ADD board system?

A: No. If your RM has an effective rat control program in place and it is functioning well, we encourage you to keep that system in place. However, RMs are responsible for submitting the Statement of Compliance in order to receive their grant.

Q: How does one become a licensed pest contol officer?

For more information, download PREP's How to Become a PCO info sheet. In order to be eligible for the grant, your PCO must be licensed as a pesticide applicator for rat control.

Q: Can I hire more than one pest control officer?

A: Yes. If your RM feels that it is necessary to hire a second PCO please do so. It won't affect the amount of money you receive from the PREP program, but it will take Saskatchewan closer toward its goal of being rat free.

Q: How much money can my RM receive for rat control in 2015?

A: The maximum amount of grant payable to an RM will be 50% of actual expenses reported for the year to a maximum potential grant amount based on $13.50 per farm site plus $70 per township.  Farm sites are based on Statistics Canada 1976 Census unless the use of a more recent Census is requested and justified by the RM.  A copy of the township and farm site numbers that PREP references is available by following this link: PREP - List of RM TWPs & Farm Sites by Statistics Canada 1976 Census.

Q: How can I get the money?

A: A municipality must do three things:

  1. An RM must have a Pest Control Officer (PCO) with a valid Pesticide Applicator’s License.
  2. Each site within an RM where agriculture produce is (or was) stored or where livestock or poultry are housed (or have been housed) must be inspected by the licensed PCO at least once a year. This includes both occupied and abandoned sites.
  3. The RM must provide reports as required by SARM, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Federal Government under Growing Forward 2.

Once these conditions are met, the RM simply completes the Statement of Compliance and submits it to the SARM office. Please note that the RM administrator's signature must appear on the form.

Q: Who receives the money?

A: The rural municipality.

Q: Are we supposed to provide free rat bait to our ratepayers?

A: The Fieldworker Policy stipulates that all RMs should provide rat bait to their ratepayers upon request but it is not a requirement.  If an RM charges for bait to ratepayers, that recovered cost IS NOT considered an allowable expense under this program.

Q: How do I insure the RM's PCO?

A: For PCOs working in RMs which have SARM liability insurance, your PCO already has coverage. This is true whether the RM employs the PCO, or the ADD board. If an RM does not carry SARM liability insurance, they should consult with their insurance provider.

Q: Do I have to register our PCO each year?

A: Yes. Each year the PCO's name, address, and contact information must be submitted to: Director, Crops Branch, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, Room 125, 3085 Albert St. Regina, S4S 0B1; Fax: (306) 787-0428 (fax of original, signed letter); or email crops@gov.sk.ca (scan of original, signed letter in PDF format). If you have any questions, contact Scott Hartley, Provincial Specialist, Insect and Vertebrate Pests at (306) 787-4669 or Rich Wilkins, Provincial Specialist, Pesticide Regulatory at (306) 787-5207.

Q: Why is the PCO required to visit unoccupied sites?

A: Abandoned sites where livestock was housed or produce stored are still areas of concern. It is even more important because these areas, if unchecked, can lead to major infestations. If the safety of your PCO visiting abandoned sites is a concern, PREP advises the PCO report such sites to the RM. A council member or the landowner should then accompany the PCO on the inspection.

Q: Why do we need Regional Pest Control Officer Supervisors?

A: Regional supervisors ensure that the policies of the PREP board are carried out uniformly at the ground level. The supervisors ensure consistency in inspection procedures and baiting processes. They provide assistance during outbreaks. They also meet with municipal councils when requested.

Q: What kind of education does a licensed PCO need?

A: To become a licensed PCO, the person must take one of two classes from Saskatchewan Polytechnic (formerly SIAST). These courses include either:

1) The Rat Control Pesticide Applicator course (#177); or
2) The Structural Pesticide Applicator course (#174).

The PCO will also be required to take a certain number of courses over the subsequent five years to maintain his or her standing as a licensed PCO.

Q: How much should the RM be paying our Pest Control Officer?

A: How much you pay your PCO is up to your individual council and municipal budget. Wages vary throughought the province. In 2011, PREP conducted a survey of rural municipailties to find out what they pay. Read the PCO Remuneration Survey results.

Q: Who should I contact for help with rat infestations, prevention baiting and public education?

A: Contact PREP's Provincial Co-ordinator, Grant Peeling at (306) 631-7141, to co-ordinate support in your area.

Q: Who can I contact about having a PREP presentation at our conference and/or tradeshow?

A: Requests for PREP presentations and trade show booths should be directed to PREP's Program Manager, Annette Ellert at (306) 761-3744.