One of the nation’s largest pest control companies has laid out the Atlantic Canadian cities leading the rat pack when it comes to rodent problems.
Orkin Canada tracked their calls across Atlantic Canada for an entire year, and concluded St. John's is the rattiest city, followed by Halifax, Saint John, Moncton and Dartmouth. Coming in last on the list in 14th and 15th was Fredericton and Sydney.
“We found not surprisingly that most of our top cities were port cities,” says Sean Rollo of Orkin Canada.
The results are also not surprising to Andrew Wheelock, who built a business getting rid of rodents and other pests.
“On a daily bases we get calls about rats and we are busy, busy, busy with them,” says Wheelock.
Along with the rat hot spots, Orkin also offers rodent control tips. They recommend you inspect for droppings and other clues of rats, seal all cracks and gaps around properties larger than a half centimetre, and trim overgrown plants.
Orkin also suggest storing all food and garbage properly in sealed containers.
“We often tell people to make sure they eliminate food sources, best to put your garbage out the morning of collection not the night before. If you have a compost bin make sure it's tightly sealed so rodents can't get in or dig under it," says Rollo.
He also says it's important for city policy makers to consider how pest populations might be influenced by changes to weekly waste collection, road work or development. It's a constant battle for port cities and the people who live there.
The City of Halifax is currently preparing to debate rat control at construction sites.
“Staff is currently preparing a report to present to council to look at recommendations to pre-bait construction sites before development begins,” says Nick Ritcey of the City of Halifax.
Places are on this list often because of geography, not because they are particularly dirty cities or towns. Experts say mid to late October is known as peak rat season, as animals are looking to get in from the cold.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kelland Sundahl.