Oh rats, Toronto tops list of Canadian cities for rodent infestations

The City of Toronto has once again secured its reputation as the leading city for rat infestations in Canada, holding onto the top spot for the second consecutive year in the annual “Rattiest Cities” list.

The rankings are determined based on the number of commercial and residential rat and mice treatments conducted by Orkin Canada from August 1, 2022, to July 31, 2023. The competition for the dubious honour of Canada’s “rattiest” city saw Toronto and Vancouver, two of the nation’s most populous cities, going head to head for the top spot. Toronto, with its densely populated urban areas and widespread rodent issues, managed to maintain its position at the pinnacle of the list.

This year’s list also marked the return of Ottawa, Scarborough, and Moncton to the top 10, underscoring the increasing prevalence of rodent issues across the country.

According to the city of Toronto, rodents typically make their homes in burrows or nests situated either under or in close proximity to ground level, often in the vicinity of buildings. They exhibit a preference for compact, narrow, dimly lit pathways that wind along the sides of structures or fences. On occasion, these creatures may also establish runways through tall grassy areas.

“Rat and mice calls used to be expected primarily in the fall and winter as they sought shelter from the cold, but now they have become a year-round concern,” said Dr. Alice Sinia, a pest specialist and entomologist at Orkin Canada. “Extended summer seasons, coupled with readily available food sources, provide the ideal conditions for a significant surge in rodent populations. That’s why it is more crucial than ever to employ integrated pest management techniques to address all the conditions that contribute to mice and rat proliferation.”

The top 10 “rattiest” cities in Canada for 2023, according to the list, are as follows:

  1. Toronto
  2. Vancouver
  3. Burnaby
  4. Kelowna
  5. Mississauga
  6. Richmond
  7. Victoria
  8. Ottawa
  9. Scarborough
  10. Moncton

In light of the growing rodent population and the introduction of rodenticide bans in various regions across Canada, Canadians should adopt proactive measures to prevent rodents from infiltrating their homes and properties.

This includes sealing cracks and holes in exterior walls, expansion joints, and foundations, as well as installing weather stripping around windows and doors. Additionally, they recommend installing screens on utility openings and ducts to prevent rodent access. Trimming shrubs, removing weeds, and decluttering yards and property to reduce hiding spots for rodents is another key step. Addressing moisture sources, such as clogged gutters, is also vital. Keeping stored objects elevated, approximately 45 centimetres off the ground, and rat-proofing sheds to prevent them from becoming rodent breeding grounds is essential.

Moreover, proper waste disposal practices are emphasized, as garbage can act as a magnet for rodents. Keeping garbage and food waste away from one’s property, using containers with secure lids, and carefully managing potential garbage overflow are crucial steps in rodent prevention.