While the recent drop in temperatures means seeing less of the pesky bugs that have bothered Canadians all throughout summer, it means the opposite for one of the most troublesome household pests – rodents. Mice, rats, and squirrels are expected to invade homes in droves this winter, searching for a warm place to spend the frosty season.
In order to raise consumer awareness regarding the health and property risks posed by rodent infestations, the Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA), part of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), has designated the week of November 15-21, 2015, as Rodent Awareness Week. Greenleaf Pest Control is proud to take part in this campaign by educating homeowners and businesses across Canada about the threat of rodents and the importance of adopting a proactive approach to rodent management in the following months.
Although rodents are active all year round, the months of October and November are especially problematic, with declining temperatures forcing them indoors to nest and forage for food.
The four-year renovation of Toronto’s Union Station, partially completed earlier this month, has displaced many of the city’s long-time colonies of rats, forcing them out of their burrows and on the lookout for new places to live. Thousands of rats that have lived in relative peace in the dark tunnels beneath the transportation hub spilled over into nearby buildings of the downtown core, getting into turf wars with existing rat populations and pushing them further out into the city.
This isn’t a new problem for Toronto or other large cities where construction and expansion are commonplace, nor is it exclusive to the renovation of Toronto’s Union Station. In fact, many large ongoing construction projects, such as Metrolinx’s new Eglinton Crosstown light rail line and the Spadina subway extension, are upsetting many of the established rat colonies, sending rodents out in the open until they find a new spot to build their nest.
Only a handful of creatures inspire more dread and fear than rats. When they think of rats, most people conjure images of creepy, filthy five-pound, red-eyed creatures that lurk in the dark and feast on human flesh. And while some of the negativity and bad reputation surrounding rats is undeserved – they are, after all, one of the smartest animals on earth and an essential component in scientific research – they are purveyors of disease and one of the most horrifying house pests. Here are five good reasons to be scared of rats, if you aren’t already.
Cat urine regularly acts as a repellent for rodents, who are naturally fearful of felines and keen to keep their distance. However, rats exposed to the urine of cats infected with toxoplasma gondii may suffer a change in their brain chemistry that paralyses brain regions governing fear and activates those regions involved in sexual attraction.
Thinking of doing a spot of gardening this season and turn your lifeless backyard into a relaxing and idyllic retreat? Perhaps you’ve already started planting seedlings, refreshing old pots, supplementing nutrients, and keeping pests away from budding fruit and flowers. For a passionate gardener, there’s almost nothing that could ruin the dream of luxurious, thriving, colorful, and textured gardens in the summer – unless it has sharp teeth, a long tail, gray fur, and an insatiable appetite for devouring anything green.
The rat, because he’s the potential destroyer of everything you’ve built so far and able to trash your dreams of lushness and growth in a second, is a common occurrence for Canadian homeowners during the warm season. A recent news report revealed that backyard composting bins in the parking lot under the north end of Burrard Bridge in Vancouver have been attracting rats on the premises of a local daycare.
As if the disease-carrying, stomach-churning rats invading our homes weren’t enough, a new breed of ‘super rats’ is now threatening to take over entire cities and towns. This new type of rodents is already overrunning most British towns and cities, and the prognosis is not favorable at all: it seems that they have developed resistance to traditional rat poisons, and there is currently no known remedy to guarantee their extermination.
While scientists warn about the new capabilities of this new species – deeming it ‘fitter, faster, and almost impossible to kill’ – pest control professionals are doing the best they can to keep up with the staggering number of inspection requests received on a daily basis. Since the rats do not react to conventional pest control methods, the only solution seems to be a stronger generation of poisons capable of putting them to sleep, although it would surely be difficult to make such potent poison and still adhere to current health and safety restrictions.