Toronto’s rats and mice on the move

By Richard Southern

Vermin in the GTA are staging a major migration, ditching commercial dwellings for our homes and you can blame the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Rats and mice need food, water and shelter. If they have all those three things, there is no need for them to move, but if you stress them by taking any of that out of the equation, they will move,” explained Dale Kurt, regional manager for Orkin, a pest and wildlife control service.

Rats and mice loved Toronto’s alleyways behind restaurants and bars. The dumpsters and garbage bags supplied a steady supply of food for generations of the critters.

But, restaurants either closed or scaled back hours during the pandemic, leaving those dumpsters empty and the vermin looking for a new home.

Kurt said they have migrated from commercial structures and alleyways to our homes and adds the company has seen a big uptick in calls from homeowners.

“People who have lived in a neighborhood for 20 or 30 years and have never had a rat problem and all of a sudden, their flower beds and lawns are full of burrows, rats running everywhere!”

He says its very likely that when eateries do fully reopen, the vermin will return to their favorite dwellings next to restaurants.

The pest removal company also released its list of the top 25 rattiest cities in Ontario Tuesday, with the GTA accounting for four of the five top spots.

Toronto is home to the most rats in the province followed by Mississauga, Scarborough, London and Etobicoke.

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