City attacks unprecedented rodent population - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

City attacks unprecedented rodent population

Posted: Updated:
SPOKANE, Wash. - Ground squirrels, groundhogs or gophers, oh my! Neighbors of Finch Arboretum in West Spokane say this year's rodent population is the worst they have ever seen and the City of Spokane is tackling the population with unprecedented firepower.

A spokeswoman for the City identifies the animal as ground squirrels and confirms the City is attacking a growing population of at least several hundred.

Several explosions in the Arboretum Thursday prompted calls to 911 from neighbors concerned there might be a gunman in the area; it was just the City of Spokane using a tool known as the 'Rodenator' to exterminate the rodents.

A City spokeswoman said the device pumps propane and oxygen into tunnels, then ignites, sending a shockwave through the area that kills the animals and collapses the tunnel.

The City says the rodents and their tunnels destroy tree root systems and jeopardize the plant life in John Finch Arboretum.

"It sounded like dynamite," said one neighbor who identified himself as Nathan. The father said he moved to the area three years ago so his daughter could play in the park, but the rodent population is so large this year he worries about letting her near the area.

"The thing I worry about is her getting her foot stuck in a hole and breaking an ankle or something," he said.

A KHQ news crew counted dozens of rodents in the park while taping a story Friday morning.

Neighbors debated whether the creatures were ground squirrels, groundhogs or gophers. The City identified them as ground squirrels.

The City says they plan to continue using the Rodenator through at least next week.

Several viewers called KHQ expressing concern at the death of the animals.

The City stresses they think this is the most humane way to rid the area of the animals that leave feces in the park and create a health risk.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Spokane Father's Day fight goes viral on social media

    Spokane Father's Day fight goes viral on social media

    Wednesday, June 21 2017 11:02 PM EDT2017-06-22 03:02:56 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A dad's plan to pick up his daughter for a Father's Day outing turns into accusations of assault and an arrest. Now a Facebook post is going viral because of what the dad didn't do when confronted. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A dad's plan to pick up his daughter for a Father's Day outing turns into accusations of assault and an arrest. Now a Facebook post is going viral because of what the dad didn't do when confronted. 

    >>
  • Mothers describe witnessing attempted child luring near Glass Park

    Mothers describe witnessing attempted child luring near Glass Park

    Thursday, June 22 2017 10:58 PM EDT2017-06-23 02:58:25 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Do you know where your kids are? Thankfully, two women say they were around after a man tried to lure their kids into his car. It happened Wednesday morning in North Spokane near Glass Park off of Hoffman Street. Spokane Police say they are calling this an attempted child luring and they are actively searching for the man. Misty Coleman-Woods says a man in a Subaru pulled up to her home around 10:30 a.m. on 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Do you know where your kids are? Thankfully, two women say they were around after a man tried to lure their kids into his car. It happened Wednesday morning in North Spokane near Glass Park off of Hoffman Street. Spokane Police say they are calling this an attempted child luring and they are actively searching for the man. Misty Coleman-Woods says a man in a Subaru pulled up to her home around 10:30 a.m. on 

    >>
  • PHOTOS: $450,000 home in Seattle vs. $450,000 home in Spokane

    PHOTOS: $450,000 home in Seattle vs. $450,000 home in Spokane

    Wednesday, June 21 2017 7:33 PM EDT2017-06-21 23:33:56 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Location, location, location.  You may have seen a post making its way around social media of a house listing in Seattle for nearly $450,000. That sounds about right for the area, right? Well this house is a bit of a fixer upper. The kind with lots of potential if you invest the time and money.  Currently, however, it is shown on the real estate site Redfin in less than perfect condition. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Location, location, location.  You may have seen a post making its way around social media of a house listing in Seattle for nearly $450,000. That sounds about right for the area, right? Well this house is a bit of a fixer upper. The kind with lots of potential if you invest the time and money.  Currently, however, it is shown on the real estate site Redfin in less than perfect condition. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/