The following article tells the story of an interior rat removal job in Roncesvalles. This case will look at a rat infestation in a home closer to the train tracks and commercial properties, both of which can attract rodents due to abundant food sources.
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Roncesvalles: Main Street, Smalltown
Home to the largest Polish Festival in North America, Roncesvalles has become a vibrant neighbourhood in the west end of Toronto. Its “Main Street, Smalltown” appearance welcomes visitors from all over the city and beyond to enjoy the many restaurants and browse through various small shops.
Bordered to the west by High Park and to the east by the rail tracks, this century old neighbourhood was once home to one of the city’s busiest transportation hub where a bus depot meets with a streetcar loop and a train station. Today, it’s century homes are susceptible to pest entry, such as the home in this case.
After the homeowner contacted us, we dispatched one of our technicians to perform a detailed inspection of the property. We were informed that rat activity had been observed both in the upper and lower units of the home.
The interior inspection revealed that a rat was present in the basement. One point of entry was identified as hole in the wall where the gas pipe entered the home.
After conducting a thorough inspection around the outside of the property, the technician was able to discover another potential entry point on an extension wall. Potential entry points were also found under the front porch.
It was recommended to the homeowner that galvanized steel mesh be installed around the pipe and the walls in order to prevent the rodents from breaching the home. A one-way-door was also recommended to increase the speed in which a home becomes rat free.
To eliminate the interior infestation, our technician installed snap traps in the basement. Snap-traps are amazingly effective. They are used to humanely kill rats and the results are immediate as opposed to poison traps which may take weeks to kill rats.
Outside the home, and as a first line of defence, bait-stations were strategically placed to eradicate the rats roaming around the house. This is a particularly important step because any outside rats will eventually become potential intruders in the home. These bait-stations are filled with commercial grade rodenticide placed in skewers. The box is tamper-proof so that other animals, pets, or children cannot get inside. Our licensed exterminators are the only ones who can access the bait-stations with a special key.
Patience is the key after this initial step, as it may take two to three weeks for results to be seen.
Prior to performing the exclusion work, the technician inspected all bait-stations which were found to be empty. This discovery suggested that there was still an active population of rats. All bait-stations were re-filled.
We then proceeded to install approximately four feet of galvanized steel mesh around the pipe in the basement. This mesh is firmly secured to the floor and walls and can withstand any gnawing that rats may attempt.
On the outside of the home, 21ft. of galvanized steel mesh was placed around the wall below the front porch and nearly six feet around the rear extension. This amount of mesh coverage ensures that all entry points are covered.
A one-way door was also installed in what appeared to be the primary entry point on the sidewall of the extension. This door allows any rats that remain indoors to exit the structure and not be able to return. This step is crucial because as effective as snap-traps are, rats are cautious creatures and may take time going for them. The one-way-door is therefore a way to expedite the process.
One month after the exclusion work was completed, we returned to assess the results. No rat activity was found inside the home and bait-stations were found to be full, meaning no consumption of the rodenticide had taken place and therefore the rodents had been eliminated.
This infestation was a textbook case where we were able to quickly identify both interior and exterior points of entry. It is crucial that an outdoor inspection is performed to assess the extent of the infestation as well as the source. Because this particular stretch of the Roncesvalles neighbourhood is close to rail tracks and to a strip of commercial properties including restaurants, it is prone to increased rodent activity.
With age homes will eventually be susceptible to cracks, eroded bricks, and other structural deterioration that will allow rats to penetrate inside. It is critical to address these before infestations become severe.