Forest Hill Exclusion

Case Study: Forest Hill Rats in Basement Walls

This case study details a rat extermination and pest-proofing job in Forest Hill, Toronto. Rats were living in the walls of the basement of this Toronto home despite having been treated by another pest removal company a few months prior. Using our latest tools, the technicians at The Exterminators found exactly where the pests were nesting and removed them all. The basement was then excluded so that no more rats would return.

Forest Hill

Forest Hill is a beautiful neighbourhood in midtown Toronto. A well-known affluent area of the city, Forrest Hill is home to many entrepreneurs, doctors, and lawyers.

The village of Forrest Hill was incorporated in 1923 and became part of Toronto in 1967. With Eglinton Avenue and Bathurst Street as its main arteries, the neighbourhood has become more vibrant over the years as development takes place along these roadways.

Although these days, the ongoing construction of the Eglinton CrossTown LRT project and the closure of many businesses due to Covid-19 has put a halt to many of the activities in the neighbourhood.

Englinton Avenue West Construction
Construction on Eglinton Avenue West in the Forrest Hill neighbourhood of Toronto.

This case will look at an ongoing rat problem in a home in Forest Hill that has persisted for a few months after a different pest control began working on it.

Inspection

Our certified exterminators visited the home after the homeowner contacted us concerned that rats were in the home. We were also informed that a pest control company had attempted to exterminate the rodents a few months prior, but that they are still present in his basement.

We preformed a thorough inspection of the basement area or the rear addition, and with our thermal camera, were able to identify a few points of activity behind the walls. A thermal camera is an extremely useful tool that when pointed at a surface, it allows us to map hot and cold areas. A cold area on the wall may indicate that insulation had been destroyed by rodents to create paths of movement or even a nesting spot.

Rat Inspection of the Walls Using Thermal Camera
A thermal camera was used to look for cold spots, indicating rodent activity.

Our technician concluded that penetrating a section of the wall where activity was visible and protecting with galvanized steel mesh would be the best course of action.

Sump Pump Showing Rat Activity
The sump pump area was identified as a potential point of entry for the rats.

An enclosed sump pump in the same area also showed activity, with rat droppings present. Many holes into the ground appeared to be wide enough for rats to maneuver in and out of the basement from underneath. We advised the homeowner that blocking the entire area would prevent the rodents from coming in.

Exclusion

We returned to exclude the areas identified during our inspection. Our technicians accessed the areas behind the wall and installed galvanized steel mesh to prevent the rats from moving through the walls.

Forest Hill - EXCLUSION3

Pest-proofing of Basement Walls
Area of basement extension was protected with galvanized steel mesh.

They then blocked all access from the underground through the holes surrounding the sump pump pipe work with the same galvanized steel mesh. This durable and strong mesh is dense enough to prevent rats slipping through and from gnawing through it.

Sump Pump Mesh Exclusion
Sump pump area was completely secured with galvanized steel mesh.
Rodent Entry Point in Laundry Room
A small hole was discovered in the laundry room next to a sewage pipe.

While we worked in the basement extension, the homeowner pointed us to a small hole on the laundry room floor next to a sewage pipe. As extra precaution we decided to come back a week later and work on protecting a section of the laundry room wall as well as the floor surrounding the pipe.

A 3ft. stretch of mesh was installed on the wall near the hole, and sheet metal flashing was placed along the bottom of the walls to seal off the laundry room. The bottom of the mesh and flashing were then sealed with concrete.

Pest-proofing Exclusion of Laundry Room
The wall and floor near the laundry room hole were secured with mesh and sheet metal flashing.

During this visit we were also informed by the homeowner that a rat had been caught in a snap trap since we had done the first exclusion work. This indicates that the point of entry had been successfully excluded and the rat was unable to vacate the home. Rat droppings were also present by the sump pump, an indication that the rat was likely looking for a way out prior to being caught.

Conclusion

There seems to be an increased amount of rodent activity in this home’s neighbourhood. We are certain that the construction work being done along Eglinton Avenue has promoted this increase. Rodents will disperse during heavy construction as their habitual sites are disturbed. That, along with the closure of many restaurants in the area will certainly push rodents further into residential areas in search of nesting sites as well as sources of food.

The persistence of rats in this home points to the stubbornness of these animals when it comes to finding enclosed, warm spaces. When we do not find obvious entry points from the exterior of the home, it usually means that underground access has been gained.

In this case, we were able to block off every entry point from underneath the basement and ensure the rats stay out. Our exclusion work is guaranteed for two years, and if the rats return within that period, we will return to repair or replace any of our installations.

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Joe The Exterminator

Joe is a professional pest control exterminator with over 15 years of experience and enjoys sharing his knowledge about different pests and how you can deal with them.