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Winning the rat race: Montreal rodent population on the rise

Rat race in Montreal
WATCH ABOVE: A mild winter created good breeding conditions for rats and mice, and as Global's Kelly Greig reports, the hardest hit areas are in the western suburbs of Montreal.

MONTREAL – A mild winter has created ideal breeding conditions for rats and mice across the island of Montreal.

The hardest hit areas: Verdun, Côte Saint-Luc, Westmount and NDG, where row housing and older buildings allow the rodents plenty of space to explore.

Chris Grabas, with Skedaddle Humane Animal control, said there are more rats and mice in Montreal this year.

He’s been in the business for six years and said the company has never gotten so many calls before.

“We had a mild winter, which permits the animals to survive,” he said.

“What happens is you have bigger litters come spring. Like most rodents, mice can reproduce every 21 days.”

Grabas said he’s seen rodents get in anywhere: through pipes, small holes and even one that got stuck in a printer.

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A rodent caught in a printer.
A rodent caught in a printer. Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control
“[The] construction of [the] homes is old stone foundations, some of them have very big gaps,” Grabas explained.

“Some of these pipes haven’t been changed for who knows how many dozens of years.”

Tips to avoid an infestation?

  • Make sure there are no holes in your home’s foundation
  • Close the garage door so rodents can’t easily get in
  • Don’t leave food lying around

By one estimate, there are two rats for every Montrealer – that mean about four million rodents call the city home.

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Grabas thinks that’s too low.

“I was just walking around in the back alley and there were rats everywhere. So, I think one person to two rats is a little low. I think it’s closer to 4 or 5,” he guessed.

Montreal pales in comparison to the rat capital of North America: New York City, where there is an estimated eight rats for each of the 8.4 million residents living there.