Rats have been making their way into homes and headlines in Toronto recently, but it’s not just Ontario that’s seeing a rise in its rat population. The once “rat-free” Alberta has new claims of sightings and Vancouver was just named the most rat-infested city in all of British Columbia. With rats getting bigger and smarter every year, it’s important to know how to properly protect your home from them. Learn how they get in so you can keep rats out of your home.
Rats love major cities, so it’s really no surprise that places like Vancouver are infested. With its large population, substantial shipping industry and a mild climate, Vancouver has everything rats are looking for. What is more surprising is the fact that Toronto is known as one of the cleanest large cities in the world, yet it continues to see a rise in its rat population. While there is no one cause to blame for the increase in rodent occupancy, the constant construction in Toronto could be to blame. As condo developments and other construction projects continue throughout the city, the rats will continue to look for shelter in our homes.
How Rats Get Inside Your Home
Rats are very clever creatures and aren’t afraid to chew their way through any material (you name it — wood, cement, stucco, even steel!). Sometimes they wait for an opportune moment and scurry in while the garage door is open, while others will squeeze in through a tiny crack in your foundation. The smallest opening in your home’s exterior might as well be a giant “vacancy” sign for a rat.
Rats can enter your home through small cracks, dryer vents, pipes and drains. Some people have even reported rats swimming up through their plumbing and into their toilets. If that nightmarish image isn’t enough to get you to take action against rats, we don’t know what is. Remember that any opportunity a rat sees to get inside, they will take. This is why it’s so important to be hyper-vigilant in your defence against rats.
Damage Caused By Rats
Rats are pests for a reason. Besides the obvious, they spread disease and are dirty, rats are also potential fire starters. Rodents need to constantly be chewing to keep their ever-growing teeth at a manageable length. This incessant need to chew means they will eat through virtually anything, including electrical cords. Because of this, rodents are one of the most common causes of electrical fires. Remember that rats will chew through anything they can get their tiny claws on and will wreak havoc in your home if left there.
Another way rats can damage your home is by caving in your floors. Rats are burrowers and love making tunnels, sometimes right through your home. Your driveway and concrete basement floors are particularly susceptible to tunnelling rats who can cause your driveway and basement floors to crumble and cave in. If one rat can tear up your floor, just think what two or three (or more!) could do to the rest of your home…
How To Keep Rats Out Of Your Home
It is your responsibility to keep pests out of your home. If you’re concerned about them getting in, be sure to follow these preventative measures and hire the right pros to help you out.
Eliminate Food Sources
One of the best ways to defend against rats is to remove any potential food sources. Your garbage and compost bins look like a buffet to neighbourhood rats. Make sure they are clean and securely shut so that rats and other pests cannot get inside of them. If you have bird feeders or leave pet food outside, consider eliminating these so rats are not tempted. Also, be sure to pick up after your fruit trees and remove any fallen fruit.
Block All Entry Points
Any small cracks and holes in your home should be sealed shut. Look out for small cracks in your foundation and siding, install wire mesh over dryer and HVAC vents, and make sure there are no holes where rats can squeeze through. Your roof is another spot that is susceptible to rodent invasion. If you’re concerned about rats coming in, you can always have a roof inspection done to ensure there are no entry points.
Maintain Your Landscape
Rats love unkempt yards with tall grass to hide in. They also love it when you have shrubs and trees close to your house as these make great jumping off points to launch onto your home. If you’re concerned about what could be lurking in your yard, schedule an appointment with a landscaping company who can best maintain your yard for you.
Eliminate Water Sources
Bird baths aren’t just for attracting mosquitos, rats also love standing water. Leaving water in buckets and garbage bins is enough to attract thirsty pests to your property. To ensure they won’t stay for more than a drink, be sure to get rid of this excess water. Clogged gutters are also a common drinking source for rats. If you haven’t had your gutters cleaned in some time, hire a pro to clean them and eliminate the possibility of turning your gutters in a rat watering hole.
Have The Pros Inspect
The best way to ensure you do not have any potential rat entry points is to have a pest control pro inspect your property. Only a pro who specializes in rodents will know exactly how rats can get in and they will know the best methods to prevent it from happening. If you’re concerned you already have a rat or two in your home, a pest removal pro will know the proper way to locate and remove the pests. When in doubt, it’s always best to have a pro inspect and deal with the situation.
Below are the average costs of Pest & Animal Control services across different cities in Canada:
*Costs based on 9231 verified Canadian homeowner reviews as of March 2022
While you may not be able to control the environment and amount of construction near your home, you can take preventative measures to ensure rats do not find their way into your home. By maintaining your landscape, removing food and water sources, and eliminating any points of entry, you can ensure you’re doing everything you can to prevent rats from moving into your home. If all else fails, you can always try this author’s tried and true method of pest prevention, owning a cat.
Article Updated June 2022