Corso Italia Entry Point Sealed

Case Study: Corso Italia Rat Extermination & Exclusion

This article will analyze and recount a Corso Italia Rat Extermination in Toronto. The infestation had been ongoing our team was called in after several other pest control companies had failed to put an end to the rat problem. For years, rats were present throughout this home and in the yard. The homeowners had hired other professionals in the past but struggled to keep the rats on their property under control. Thorough investigations carried out by The Exterminators team then revealed structural issues that we could address. Our thorough inspections, continued treatment, and comprehensive rat exclusion work ultimately solved this rat problem once and for all. If you are concerned about a possible rat infestation on your property, give The Exterminators a call: 647-496-2211.

Corso Italia: A Multicultural Community

St. Clair Ave West Toronto
Rats are a very common pest throughout Toronto.

Corso Italia is an area that sits along St. Clair Avenue West. Known as Toronto’s “other Little Italy,” the neighborhood is a mix of Canadians from all cultural backgrounds, coming together in this dynamic strip south of Eglinton and North of Bloor St. The neighborhood features a good ensemble of businesses and schools, making it the perfect place for young families to set up shop. St. Clair Avenue West is renowned for its abundance of cafes and restaurants, marked by a significant Italian presence. The street is dotted with historical landmarks that can be traced as far back as the 18th century.

With age and history comes consequences. Older buildings are easier for rodents, like rats and mice, and other wild animals to exploit as they have more entry-points along their perimeters. These entry-points can be cracks, crevices, holes, and structural gaps that can be found along the foundation of the building. Not only do these entry-points give way to a wide range of rodents and wildlife, vents and pipes equally have their share in letting these intruders in. Rat burrows can often be found in Toronto buildings whether old or new. Rats will find innovative ways to find entry-points regardless.

Exterior Rat Inspection

The Exterminators’ technicians always conduct exterior inspections to identify potential entry-points. This is to find out which holes, crevices, cracks, or openings give way to the inside of the space from the exterior. The exterior inspection is crucial because it identifies the root causes of the infestation. Technicians take note of these and urge the homeowners to seal the gaps. This is completely optional, but it must be done to ensure that no more pests get inside.

Corso Italia Garden
Vegetable gardens are a prime rat attractant. As plants grow they provide cover and vegetables provide food for rats and other animals

In this case, a pipe and wall vent on the side of the house were found to be susceptible to rodents. Rats and mice can easily flatten their bodies and climb their way inside. The homeowner also shared that a relative frequently left the backdoor open while gardening, which is something rodents will absolutely take advantage of. Rats are also very much attracted to urban gardens. As omnivores, they very much enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables.

Corso Italia Rat Burrow
Rats tunnel through soil and create nests underground. Over time these tunnels grow and can reach the foundation

In the yard, another extremely important discovery was made. The technician on-site found a rat burrow, which lead him to believe that rats were tunneling toward the house. If you were wondering if rats dig holes in in gardens? The answer is yes. Rats naturally build tunnels underground and will happily dig through the foundation of the home if given an opening. Later, during the interior inspection, an interior infestation was uncovered behind the basement wall.

Interior Inspection

Having conducted the interior inspection, the technician on duty noted that the basement was heavily infested with rat activity, especially in the laundry room. Here, there were cracks in the walls and pantry goods stored. The smell of rats was abnormally pungent, signifying a prolonged infestation. Rats create a smell that is often described as rotten and rancid, which is due to the high water content of their droppings and carcasses. Given enough time, rats will perish inside the home, and the decomposition of their bodies will produce a terrible smell. Smelling the actual carcasses is a health hazard and swift action must be taken to sanitize the areas of concern.

In addition to the smell, the technician found an unidentifiable pipe beneath the basement staircase. This would need to be sealed so it could no longer be exploited by the rodents in the area. It was also noted that another pest removal company had ripped some drywall out in the past and found a rat burrow in the foundation of the home. Rat feces were found behind the kitchen’s appliances and other rooms. Together, these findings lead to the conclusion that high rat activity was prevalent throughout every floor of the home. Extermination would be needed on both the interior and exterior, along with comprehensive exclusion to keep the pests out.

Initial Measures Taken

 Snap Traps Behind Appliances
Rat activity behind appliances in the kitchen. Traps get moved around by rats and can take time before rats get caught.

Immediately after the inspection, the technician on-site placed snap traps throughout the interior of the house. These were strategically placed in areas of high activity for maximum safety and effectiveness. Snap traps are highly recommended for interior infestations because they kill the animals instantly and can be cleaned up quickly. On the exterior, the technician installed exterior bait stations. These are tamper-proof containers of rodenticide, specifically formulated to appeal to rats. Once eaten, the rats retreat into their burrows and perish out of sight. The extermination process, when combined with the recommended exclusion, would leave this house pest-free over the long-term.

Corso Italia Exterior Bait Station

On the next visit, the technician returned and took note of the snap-traps and bait-stations. The rodenticide outside had been almost completely consumed, showing a high level of activity. The technician then replenished the exterior bait-stations, and given the level of activity, placed more stations along the perimeter of the home. This would help speed up the extermination process. The snap traps on the interior of the home were re-set, and the technician recommended that the homeowner give the traps a few weeks to take effect.

Wall Vent Cover Prevent Rats From Entering
Galvanized steel, PVC coated wall vent covers prevent rats and other animals from entering the structure

Corso Italia Pipe Cover

During this visit, the pipes and the vents that were thought to be a threat to the security of the premises were also capped and sealed as per recommendations from the technician during the exterior inspection. This is completely optional, but seen the risk, the homeowner was urged to take care of these potential entry-points as soon as possible.

Follow-up: Additional Work Needed

Weeks later, the owner of this Corso Italia residence called us to report that there was still some ongoing rat activity. She suspected that there were rats in the wall behind the furnace, where the previous pest removal company had treated before. A member of The Exterminators team thus returned to the property to inspect. Baby rats could be heard squealing in the drywall of the basement and a large rat was found under a couch on the main floor. The bait boxes outside also showed lots of feeding. Roughly 7 feet of drywall would need to be removed from the basement so it could be excluded from the rat burrows outside.

Corso Italia Basement Wall

The dimensions of the exact walls that needed to be demolished were then discussed with the homeowner. The exact measurements were determined using a thermal camera that detects fluctuations in temperatures and displays it in blue hues. The cold front displayed in blue corresponded with insulation deterioration which is linked to possible rat activity.


Corso Italia Drywall Removal
Removing the drywall uncovered extensive rat tunneling and nesting behind the walls. It also helped us pinpoint the exact entry points rats used to enter through the foundation
Corso Italia Rats
Several pest rats were dispatched humanely and successfully removed.

Several technicians got to work on the day of the removal and demolition of the wall. The drywall of the basement was fully removed and demolished. Remnants of the removed drywall were then brought to an off-site location. Several interior entry-points and rat burrows were uncovered along with multiple rat carcasses and feces that were scattered all around the area. Thus, the initial observations and signs from the exterior and interior inspections were confirmed.

Corso Italia Drywall Removal 2

Rat Entry Point
Rats have used the entry point to access the basement through the foundation walls.

Given the condition of the basement wall, the technicians on-site recommended removing another 24 feet to ensure that all rats could be accounted for and all potential entry points could be sealed. The remaining walls were then demolished over the next few days, and the technicians began excluding the basement from top to bottom.

Rat Exclusion
We only use galvanized steel to secure entry points. While rats can chew through almost everything, they cannot penetrate steel.

Points of entry were sealed up and secured using galvanized steel mesh, a durable and flexible material that can withstand rodent chewing and clawing. The base of the walls were also reinforced with this mesh as rats commonly break through walls where they meet the floor. Once finished, the technicians disinfected the basement walls with a commercial-grade fogger. This would remove pathogens and any lingering odour the rats left behind.

Closing up the wall required multiple layers. First, an insulating membrane was installed to help reflect heat in the summer and retain warmth in the winter. Insulation was then applied, and a vapor barrier was installed on top. This helps keep the moisture out of the walls. After installing the vapor barrier, a 1/2 inch of drywall was put in, then it was mudded and taped shut. This complete renovation of the basement walls would keep the basement clean, dry, and rat-free.

New Appliances, New Points of Entry

Following the exclusion work performed in the basement, rodent activity decreased. The bait stations outside showed that feeding had slowed, but droppings were still being found on the second and third floors of the house. Rats were still present.

Corso Italia Hole in Drywall

Follow-up investigations pointed to possible burrowing activity under the furnace. A small hole surrounded in the back door and above the furnace were found and promptly sealed, but no holes near the furnace itself. The exclusion that was installed previously still appeared to be in good shape. Snap traps were placed around it as a precaution.

Corso Italia Furnace Entry

A few months later, another thorough inspection of the property showed that the rodents had indeed found a new way into the house. The owners of this Corso Italia home purchased a new furnace and water heater, which created a new hole in the foundation of the house. The technician who had installed the new appliance placed it on a patio stone, which gave the animals enough space to enter. Once found, the hole was sealed with mesh and monitored carefully to ensure that no more rats get inside. When the owners also purchased a new dryer, The Exterminators came to ensure that no new entry points were created.


Weeks after our last visit, the homeowner reported no rat activity. The interior and exterior extermination, along with the thorough exclusion of the basement resulted in a rat-free home. With every step, our technicians followed a process of elimination to figure out exactly where the pests were coming from and put an end to their entry into the home. This case study demonstrates just how resourceful rats can be and how important it is to continue monitoring an infestation until it stops. Feel free to browse several other pest control case studies.

No matter how severe the case may be, The Exterminators will always get to the bottom of an infestation and solve it. We provide comprehensive rat control solutions and exclusion services that keep them out. If you continue to witness rat activity during the warranty period, we will return at no additional cost. Call The Exterminators today (647-496-2211) for safe, affordable, and reliable pest control services.