The City of Toulouse used the ferret to ratify the banks of the Brienne canal. Conclusive test.
The ferret so cute, formidable pest control … Astonishing? Not that much since this small animal was in the 15th and 16th century, used to hunt mice on merchant ships. The ferret therefore sets out again on a mission in the 21st century. “A few months ago, I found that some of the banks of the waterways were inhabited by colonies of rats,” assures Françoise Ampoulange, municipal councilor in charge of Animals in the City. Or, European directives no longer allow the spread of rat poison in a preventive (bait) but only curative manner. How then to find another innovative technique? “.
The new delegation of this use of toxic products on the soil ”. After finding a ferret breeder in the Gers, a first test was carried out at the beginning of September on the banks of the Brienne canal, where the rats took up residence in the galleries, “a frequent situation in urban areas, linked to the food debris kept. on site (picnic, walkers, etc.), specifies David Baichere, VNF regional manager. And even if the rat is not dangerous for humans, its sight is not very inviting ”.
The smell of ferrets scares away rats
As for the boatmen, the idea is positively motivated: “this initiative should also be tested on the banks and embankments of our rural or peri-urban communities, remarks Jean-Marc Cabot of Navicanal. In order to limit the inconvenience of these” friendly quadeds “with their multiple underground galleries “. For Toulouse au Fil de l’O “finally an awareness of the state of our banks, of the digging of these galleries, certainly small but which allow nesting. Besides, does not this fauna contribute to the development of colored canker? “
Appointment was therefore taken on an area of the basin where four ferrets were released into the entrance of a gallery, while the others were blocked by a net. “It’s the smell of ferrets that frightens rats,” notes Françoise Ampoulange. For the escape, they rush into the other exits where they become prisoners of the net and placed in a box and euthanized with carbon dioxide. A gentle way to eradicate them ”. Once their mission is completed, the tamed ferrets return to the provider. “In a quarter of an hour that day, more than ten rats were incapacitated. A gallery “cleaned” for a long time because the persistent smell of ferrets, dissuades the others to come “. Another test should be carried out soon on a place in Toulouse and a river.