Rodent Sightings and Rat Complaints on the Rise in Canada

AM800-NEWS-rat-istockphoto-Oct-2016

Rat populations are surging across Canada - particularly in big cities like Toronto.

A survey in September of Canada's Public Health Inspectors found a noticeable rise in rodent sightings and rat complaints on the rise.

But Windsor is faring a bit better than the GTA, according to Anne-Marie Albidone.

The manager of environmental services here in Windsor spoke with Patty Handysides on the Afternoon News.

Albidone credits the city's free Rodent Extermination Program with turning the tide locally.

She says the city bated 1,434 this year, that's down from a record high of 1,750 properties in 2018.

"Still quite a bit, still a lot of properties, however, it's down and that's the way we want to go and that's what we want to see," Albidone says.

Late fall is when rats normally try to get into homes or businesses for the winter with damaged door thresholds and gaps around lines entering buildings are common entry points.

She says once those entry points are eliminated Mother Nature can be the most effective exterminator.

"Normally people say 'if it's going to be cold let there be snow' but for me, in terms of the rat population, we want it to be nice and cold so that weather gets down into those burrows," she says. "We don't want a lot of snow, because the snow actually acts like an insulating blanket."

Albidone says the program does more than just set traps.

The city will send an inspector out to work with residents to help rid their property of rodents.

"We're looking at, where's the nearest food source for these rats, where's the water source, and where's the good place for them to live. Those are the kinds of things you look at and try and come up with the home owner on some ideas to deter those things," she added.

Albidone says residents can call 311 to book an appointment for a free inspection if they suspect they have rats on their property,

If rodents are found, the city will take measures to eliminate the colony free of charge.

Visit cityofwindsor.ca for more on the program and its requirements.

— with files from AM800's Patty Handysides