Old Toronto is a highly coveted area in terms of real estate. Homes in long-established neighbourhoods, such as Bedford Park, present an opportunity to live comfortably near the downtown core. These areas, however, are often infested with pests and wildlife.
The following article describes a full-service wildlife removal job in Bedford Park. The infestation involved turned out to be much more complicated than the residents had originally thought. The homeowners in this case study reached out to The Exterminators for what they believed was a small mouse problem, only to find out that multiple different species were living on their property. A comprehensive treatment rid the home of these pests and the exclusion work performed should protect it for many years to come.
Bedford Park: A Prestigious Suburb in Old Toronto
Bedford Park is an affluent neighbourhood with an extensive history. Just south of the 401, it sits north of midtown Toronto and borders Lawrence Park to the southeast, one of the city’s wealthiest neighbourhoods. The area began as a hamlet in the 1800s and was a popular stopover for farmers traveling to and from the markets in Toronto. It is likely to have been named after the Bedford Park Hotel, which is now a popular bakery. In 1890, the Metropolitan Street Railway expanded to Bedford Park, which led to its amalgamation with the city of Toronto in 1912.
Bedford Park is a suburban landscape of single-family homes, schools, playgrounds, and community centres. Most of the neighbourhood’s houses were built over a hundred years ago, making them highly susceptible to pests and wildlife. Mature neighbourhoods have plenty of trees, hedges, and old structures for animals to hide. Decks, porches, foundations, and attics that have deteriorated with time create points of entry. Even renovated properties are susceptible to pests when they have old pipes, foundations, and yards.
The first step of the extermination process is to inspect the area thoroughly. The owners of this Bedford Park property told The Exterminators that they had found droppings under the kitchen sink, so the technician on duty started there. Kitchen cabinets, appliances, pantries, basements, garages, and attics are hotspots of mouse activity. Mice frequently come indoors by crawling through weep vents, wall vents, cracks in the window frames, and open doors. Gaps between vinyl siding and surrounding utility lines are also common entry points. Once indoors, mice like to nest in wall voids and quiet areas near food and water.
After the interior inspection, the technician placed a few bait stations in areas of high mouse activity. These are placed strategically to maximize feeding. Putting them in other parts of the home risks drawing the mice away from their usual locations and spreading the infestation across the entire house. Bait stations are little containers of rodenticide that can only be provided by licensed exterminators. The rodenticide is appealing to mice and eliminates them soon after consumption. This is the most effective way to get rid of rodents. The technician then told the customer to wait 3 to 4 weeks for the bait to take effect.
The Exterminators team always performs an exterior inspection to find out where the infestation is coming from. Once the interior inspection was complete, and the house was treated for mice, the technician examined the exterior of the property for entry points and weak spots that animals could exploit. In this case, the property had some wall vents and gaps in the foundation that could be letting the mice in. The technician also suspected that a skunk was living under the front deck of the house. The most notable reveal, however, was the space beneath the sunroom. The sunroom was added to the house some years ago and did not sit above the foundation like the rest of the house. These kinds of extensions are vulnerable to wildlife, like raccoons, opossums, skunks, and rats. The technician suspected that raccoons and rats were living in the crawlspace beneath the sunroom. This was creating foul odours and making a mess of the yard.
Following the exterior inspection, the technician recommended a complete exclusion of the sunroom and deck. It was also recommended that the cracks in the foundation be sealed, and the wall vents be covered in a galvanized steel mesh. This would prevent any more animals from nesting on this Bedford Park property.
To eliminate the rats, the technician recommended that the homeowner invest in exterior bait stations. These would be larger than the ones for mice and would not do any harm to the other animals in the area. The rodenticides within the station are formulated to appeal to rats, and the containers require a key to open. Raccoons, for instance, would not be able to access the rodenticide inside. Chipmunks, squirrels, and other small animals do not like the taste, so they were unlikely to get sick. Because we do not exterminate skunks and raccoons, the technician vouched for the installation of one-way doors to the exclusion work to be performed. This would allow the animals to safely exit the deck and space beneath the sunroom.
Exclusion and Cleanup Performed
A few days after the inspection, a technician sealed the gaps in the foundation with concrete and galvanized steel mesh. The wall vents were also covered with mesh, screwed right into the wall. This material is strong enough that it cannot be chewed by rodents and is very difficult for raccoons to manipulate. The technician then attached a one-way door to the entrance of the skunk’s den and two other doors to the sunroom in the back. The skunk’s door consisted of a plastic flap surrounded by mesh, which the skunk would simply have to push to get out. The raccoon’s door was the same, but the one next to it, for rats, consisted of a small tube of mesh. This kind of door is easier for rats to use. Bait stations were placed near the sunroom.
In addition to the exclusion, the technician on-site cleaned up the space beneath the sunroom and disinfected it with a commercial fogger. This would remove pathogens and neutralize the smell of feces, carcasses, and other animal matter within the den. Pests create odours that sometimes go unnoticed as they increase with time.
A few weeks later, the homeowners reported that they were no longer seeing mice. They had tried using store-bought baits in the past but did not get the same results. The rodenticides we use are much more effective than those available in stores and our technicians have the training and experience to place them in the most strategic parts locations.
At this point, the one-way doors placed on the outside of the house could be removed. The wildlife on this property had exited their dens and gone elsewhere. The technician on duty removed the doors and fogged the dens once again to remove any lingering odours and germs. Once disinfected, the technician promptly covered the spaces left with galvanized steel mesh. No more animals would be returning to the front deck or crawlspace beneath the sunroom. The bait stations outside were replenished to continue suppressing the rat population.
This Bedford Park case demonstrates how vulnerable houses are to pests and wildlife. While it may seem like your home is secure, it does not take much for animals to dig under your deck or crawl their way indoors. Older neighbourhoods are teeming with wildlife – you just don’t see them all the time. Raccoons, skunks, rats, and mice are nocturnal animals that have adapted to city living and do whatever they can to go unnoticed. One pest also leads to another. The skunk and raccoon on the exterior of the property were likely feeding on the mice and rats that were also present. Animals can smell each other and will use the dens that other species have built before them.
The extermination, exclusion, and disinfection provided in this case exemplify the value of professional pest removal services. The technicians involved addressed the infestations properly and prevented their re-occurrence with high-quality exclusion. The baits and tools that licensed exterminators use are much more effective than those available to the public. As such, the mice and rat populations on the property were quickly reduced and the wildlife outdoors were safely removed. The Exterminators team is ready to go the extra mile, no matter how many pests are involved.