A Peterborough pest control expert, Andrew Golloher, says these days, he’s getting residential and commercial calls for rat control from Peterborough, Lindsay, Omemee, Millbrook, and Marmora, while before, his calls would mostly come from farmers seeing the rodents in the barn.
“What I’ve noticed is a huge increase in rat calls, typically in the fall, you’ll get a lot of rodents trying to move into a home just to try and stay warm and usually my phones are pretty heavy with mouse calls but for the past year, it’s just all steady all throughout spring, summer and fall and even into the winter,” said Golloher, from Andy’s Pest Control.
Golloher says while there isn’t one main reason for the increase, a lot of new developments in the region could be a factor. As areas are bulldozed to make way for new homes, natural habitats are being disturbed, forcing rats out of the country and into the city.
“Rats are very intelligent, sometimes, it’s not a one-shot deal. If they set off a snap trap and it didn’t kill them, well, they’ll learn from that. They will learn and they’ll say, ‘OK well, that snap trap is dangerous and never go near it no matter what bait’s on it,” said Golloher.
Another pest control company in the region says that when they started their operation 15 years ago, they received about five rat calls within the span of 10 years, but in the last five years, they’ve been getting three a week.
However, not everyone is calling pest control to deal with the ratty problems. They’re putting it in their own hands by going to their local hardware store to buy rat traps and warfarin.
“Probably over the last two years, this last year specifically, our sales have probably tripled with rat products,” said Drew Merrett, owner of Merrit Home Hardware Building Centre.
If you see a rat, Golloher suggests trying to find out where it’s coming from, look for things like trails in the snow, and if you have any pet food out, remember that could be a big draw.
READ MORE: Okanagan rat problem here to stay
A rise in the popularity of composting is also attracting more rats, so make sure to check your bin.
“Being proactive, early detection is always the best, and that’s the fast elimination of them and that way, you don’t have to worry about further damage inside your home,” said Golloher.
He adds, nobody is immune to wildlife and insects.
“It’s one of those things where there is a negative stigma attached to it, a lot of people assume if you have rats, you’re dirty, you’re you know, just not keeping a sanitary household or anything like that, and I’ll tell you, I’ve been in million-dollar homes and been in you know, million-dollar cottages that just have rats,” said Golloher.