Toronto’s rat problem is well-known, but recently residents have suspected a population boom. Councillor Ana Bailão wants to know whether rats have simply become more brazen, or if their numbers are increasing. She put forward a motion requesting a report on what measures the City is taking to improve rat control.
Because rats can be disease carriers, it is important to control their population. The city of Toronto has established policies and implemented several services in an effort to address the issue. Here are a few examples of what the city does:
- Puts bait in the sewer system when there is a complaint regarding rat presence, or if their numbers have visibly increased.
- Empties garbage bins and bags at City facilities regularly.
- Regularly cleans David Pecaut Square and Nathan Phillips Square.
- Investigates all complaints regarding rat infestations in schools, facilities (including senior care providers, daycare centres, and hospitals), and food establishments.
- Acknowledges wildlife as a part of routine park maintenance, and has an action plan should such creatures create problems for nearby residents. Pest control services are called when rodent (especially rats) population increases.
- Addresses complaints about debris or garbage that attracts rats to rental properties (if the issue is not addressed by the owner/landlord within a reasonable time).
- Retains the services of a pest control company to monitor and fill bait stations at City facilities.
What Can You Do to Get Rid of Rats?
- Keep both the inside and outside of your home clean and organized to eliminate hiding spots.
- Eradicate food sources by immediately cleaning crumbs and spills. Store leftovers in airtight containers.
- Keep pet food and bird seed in containers with secure lids and place them above ground, when possible. Clean up outdoor bird seed debris.
- If you have an outdoor compost bin or heap, do not use organic food waste — it can attract rats.
- Cut tall grass around your property.
- Seek help from a professional pest control service if you suspect that there are rats living on your property.
Signs of a Rat Infestation at Home
Rat Droppings and Urine
Droppings and urine are two of the most obvious signs there are rats living under your roof. If you find this evidence on your property, clean and disinfect the area immediately. Remember to wear gloves when handling rat waste because it can be a source of bacteria and disease.
Rats can chew through your walls and create burrows. Rat holes are dangerous because they provide an entrance for other pests and gives animals access to the wires within your walls, which they can destroy by gnawing.
Squeaking, chattering, and hissing are noises that rats make. If you hear these sounds from your ceiling, attic, or roof — you may have a problem on your hands.
Rats can be dangerous creatures that cause harm to your property and health. Have rats removed as soon as you suspect an infestation.