While Business Owners are Away, the Norway Rats Will…Infest
The shutdown from the COVID-19 pandemic is bringing about a number of unintended consequences. One of them that Toronto business owners shouldn’t overlook? Pest control.
Restaurants and other commercial spaces being shuttered temporarily around the city and surrounding areas create the perfect environment for pests; namely Norway rats.
With buildings across the city left dark and mostly unoccupied, these guys can find it easier to spread out and infest. The last thing you want to come back to is an overrun rat nest.
Learn how to spot a Norway rat infestation, and what you can do now to eliminate the problem so that you can reopen your doors with every confidence you’re in compliance with public health codes when the time comes.
Toronto’s Common Street Vermin: The Norway Rat
The Norway rat, also known as the street rat or sewer rat, is one of the most widespread rodents in the city of Toronto and the surrounding areas.
They are exactly what you imagine: brownish in color with scattered black hairs throughout the tops and sides of their body and a gray-to-white underside. They are the ones you see in major metropolitan areas around garbage dumps and trash cans and scurrying into drains.
Norway Rats are Actually from China
Though they are known as the Norway rat, they originated in China and were introduced to the Western world through international trade in the 1700s. These rats average around 16 inches (40 centimeters) in length and can range between 0.5 and 1 pound (200 to 500 grams).
Toronto’s Rat Problems Have Gotten Worse
Toronto business owners have been combatting the issue of Norway rats for years. Still, the last decade Canadians have only watched this issue significantly worsen. The number of complaints the city has received more than doubled in recent years.
The Damage to Your Toronto Business Can Be Significant
There are a host of issues that can be caused by Norway rats, including:
- Damage to buildings
- Holes in the surrounding landscape
- Spreading disease such as (cowpox, trichinosis, and more)
- Food contamination
For this reason, identifying and getting rid of these pests before they infest is your best defense. When a problem already exists, it’s even more imperative you call in the professionals.
Your Best Bet is Proven Pest Control Experience
Norway rats can each average 3-6 litters each year. Taking proactive measures is the only way to prevent an infestation from overwhelming you. Here at Greenleaf Pest Control, for instance, we’ve ditched the cookie-cutter approach.
Our licensed specialists assess your infestation level and help you develop an integrated pest management (IPM) plan to successfully eradicate the rodents you have, and prevent future rats from taking up residence.
Three Signs of Life: Norway Rat Infestation
Before you partner with anyone, though, your first step is identifying the signs we outline below. Roll up your sleeves, grab a flashlight, and take a look. When you find anything suspicious, give us a call.
After noticing gnaw marks around your building, one of the next things that will be easy to spot is rat droppings. Depending on the size of the infestation, this may be obvious and easy to spot or more concealed. Norway rat droppings can be identified by their blunt ends.
One of the first things business owners should look for when returning to their buildings is bite marks from Norway rats. These rodents are known for getting into walls and chewing up everything from wiring to foundational beams. They can cause structural damage which can be expensive to repair.
Damaged Food Products
For restaurants, grocery stores, and warehouses that store food, rats are a nightmare. One of the signs of an infestation is bite marks in food products. The rats will often chew through packaging and get into the food. You will usually be able to spot food that has been scattered around as well.
These are the three tell-tale signs you can personally identify in your Toronto storefront. Remember, just one can signal a bigger problem. Early detection and quick response are going to be key to protecting your business investment.
About the Author:
Daniel Mackie, co-owner of Greenleaf Pest Control, is a Toronto pest control expert and a regular guest on HGTV. He is renowned in the industry as an innovator of safe, effective pest control solutions. Mackie and business partner Sandy Costa were the first pest control professionals in Canada to use detection dogs and thermal remediation for the successful eradication of bed bugs. In his free time, he is an avid gardener.