Rodent Pest-proofing

Case Study: Rat Extermination and Control in Parkdale

This article will recount a rat infestation case that required more than one visit in a home in Parkdale.  It will detail the steps taken in both exclusion and pest control, by the technician, to control and eliminate a rat infestation in Parkdale. This home is located between Roncesvalles Avenue and the CP rail line.

The technicians, before exclusion or treating a pest issue must first inspect and confer with the customer or customer’s on the issue and then must inspect for levels of activity. The customer’s original complaint was a mouse infestation in two units in the home. The inspection also revealed a bird’s nest and exterior rats as well.

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Parkdale: A Vibrant Community

Parkdale is a neighbourhood that is growing. It was once a village separate from Toronto but as the city grew it was absorbed. The neighbourhood is bounded on all sides by Roncesvalles Avenue, the CP rail line and queen street and Dundas. To the south is the lake which is still a part of Parkdale today. It was first founded in the 1850s and was quickly incorporated in 1879, only 30 years after its founding. It became part of Toronto officially in 1889. This was a very wealthy area with many mansions. It all changed though in 1955 when the gardener express-way was built. The rich vacated due to the noise and the ugly highway and the neighbourhood became poorer. Since then there have been great efforts to revitalize this part of town which have been very successful.

Exterior Inspection

The technician began with an on site exterior inspection for possible entry ways the rodents could use to get in. In doing so signs of rats were found and exterior bait stations were placed in areas of high activity. This exterior inspection was challenging due to a low level of activity at the time. The technician specifically looks for holes, cracks, and crevices throughout the perimeter of the house. Furthermore, the technician carefully looks for cracks or holes in the foundation of the building that would have developed over time through wear and tear. This house is very old so the structure is likely decrepit. The technician located two holes at the foundation of the house said to be home to live rat activity. The challenge in this case was that the foundational gaps could not be reached as it was sandwiched between two houses. The exterior inspection also brought attention to a bird occupying the space as well. A hole in the wall was found in the basement as well as an inaccessible opening between two homes. The was also a bird to be excluded with a one way door which allows the animal to vacate but prevents it from returning. There was also an opening at the base of the foundation beneath a large wood support beam low to the ground.

Gaps Under North York Home
Spaces beneath the home provided rats with a safe place to nest.
Holes in Foundation
Holes in the foundation may provide rats with a way into the basement.

Interior Inspection

No rodent activity was found in the interior of the house as noted by the technician. The interior inspection is always conducted in tandem with the exterior inspection to rule out any interior entry-points. The technician looks for signs of active rodent presence in the form of feces and tufts of fur as well as a general smell they can produce. Only external activity was found. The goal of the inspection if no interior rats or mice are found is to find any ways the one on the exterior can enter the house. Preventing this is a priority.

Initial Measures Taken

The technician placed two weighted tamper-proof bait stations on the property in areas of highest activity to reduce and eventually exterminate the rats on the exterior property. The process makes use of commercial grade rodenticide which causes the rats to feel sick and dehydrated. They tend to return to their burrows and die there. This helps to prevent smells on the outside. There were no internal treatments done on the property.

Refilled Bait Station
Bait stations are the most effective method of exterior rat removal.

Exclusion

Exclusion to seal possible entry ways in various places around the property was difficult. There is an opening between two homes that cannot be easily sealed. A steel mesh exclusion was placed on an entry way possibly into the crawlspace under the large wooden beam. The entry way through the wide of the house entered by the bird had a one way door attached to it which allows the animal to vacate the area but prevents it from returning. The hole in the basement wall was stuffed from the interior with steel mesh to stop possibly entry by rats on the exterior.

Rodent Exclusion
Holes can be sealed with caulking to prevent rodent entry.
Rat One-Way Door
The one-way door allows rats to leave the house, where they will consume the bait placed outside.
Galvanized Steel Mesh Exclusion
Galvanized steel mesh is a strong and flexible material strong enough to resist the chewing and tearing of animals.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the treatment was effective and the exterior rats have reduced in quantity. The exclusion in the basement as well as the exclusion used to seal off the entry way near the ground below the wooden beam. The one way door for the bird was effective in removing it and there have been no further disturbances on the property. External bait stations are placed in areas of high activity and entry ways have been sealed. The rats will die out and the people who live in the home are safe from a dangerous infestation that could have caused a large amount of money in repairs.

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