This case will look at a rat extermination and pest-proofing job in Forest Hill. The problem had persisted for a few months after a different pest control began working on it. A complete extermination and pest-proofing of the property carried out by The Exterminators team has rid the property of rats ever since.
Forest Hill, Toronto
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.
An aerial view of the Forrest Hill neighbourhood of Toronto.
Our customer initially contacted us with concerns that rats had been active in the home after seeing a rodent under a sink. We were informed that this was ongoing issue that occurred sporadically.
We asked one of our licensed exterminators to visit the home and do an inspection of both the exterior and interior of the home for rat activity. We quickly confirmed that rats had indeed been present inside the home and seemed to be more active in the basement area where droppings were found.
An inspection of the perimeter of the home revealed some potential entry points into the house. One area of primary concern was the rear deck which appeared to be breached as large holes were clearly visible on the skirting.
Our technician placed snap traps in the most active areas of the home in hopes to catch any animals still inside. Our snap traps are baited with various foods that are irresistible to rodents, such as bacon or peanut butter. These traps are remarkably effective in killing the rats quickly and humanely.
Our technician placed various bait stations near the exterior entry points. Bait stations are filled with commercial grade rodenticide and are tamper-proof to prevent other animals or children from accessing the poison. They are locked with a key that only our technicians have access to.
We verified that that animals had been present under the deck. Holes were visible on the deck skirting as well as rat and raccoon feces.
We recommended to our customer that a full exclusion of the deck be done as it appeared the rats had been primarily active in that space.
The exclusion work consisted of the installation of nearly 40ft. of fine galvanized steel mesh around the deck structure. This mesh is durable and strong enough to withstand gnawing by various wildlife and pests. It is buried approximately one foot underground to prevent animals from burrowing under the skirting.
One raccoon and one rat one-way-door were installed to allow any animals that may still be hiding under the deck to leave. These special doors prevent animals from re-entering the space. One of our technicians will return after a few weeks to remove the doors and patch all holes.
Finally, we disinfected and deodorized the deck and surrounding areas. This step not only removes any lingering pathogens and odors but will ensure that animals are no longer attracted to the space by following odors of previous wildlife activity.
A few months after our initial work, the customer called to inform us that noises were being heard under the kitchen sink and in the basement bathroom. A visit by one of our technicians showed no sign of activity in the house. We moved some of the snap-traps and installed additional ones. On the outside, an inspection of bait stations also showed no sign of activity.
After persistent noises coming from the basement, we returned to further inspect. The customer pointed us to a basement bathroom wall where he heard the noises. After cutting out a 6” x 10” section of the drywall, we noticed a strong smell emanating from behind the wall.
At this time, we added snap-traps to the basement and kitchen area. The idea is to catch any rodents that may be trapped inside the home and not able to exit due to the exclusion work done outside. The one-way-doors have been removed and sealed.
A subsequent visit found that some of our snap-traps had caught baby rats. We continued with our aggressive plan of catching every rat inside the house by re-baiting the traps and placing additional ones throughout the house.
As the activity persisted in the home, we decided to further inspect behind some of the walls where noises were still being heard. We discovered potential points of entry into the home through visible gaps and holes. Rats are notorious for creating pathways through walls and insulation. They can easily maneuver through a three-storey home without ever being seen.
Because gaps are often near pipes and electrical wiring, it is never a good idea to simply plug the hole when high activity is still present, as rats will destructively chew through the wires.
The customer called us back a few months concerned that rats were back in the home. Upon our visit, our technician observed a rat in the kitchen, but was unable to catch it. We once again placed snap-traps throughout the home in hopes to catch the returning pests.
Upon further investigation, we discovered that the subbasement was filled with lose soil. We decided to inspect under the bathtub are in the basement bathroom where most of the activity and noises were heard. We discovered a burrow hole under the tub with access to the wall structure.
We recommended to our customer that an inside exclusion be done in the bathroom area.
We proceeded to install fine galvanized steel along the floor underneath the tub so as to prevent rats from infiltrating the house from the ground.
To further prevent the rats from returning, we also conducted a through disinfection and deodorization of the area. This step will not only clean the infested area but also kill any possible pathogens and odors.
Rat activity in the home eventually subsided. We continued with maintaining the outside bait stations as they showed some activity. This preventive course will keep most rats away from the house and eliminate the possibility of them infiltrating the home again.
Persistent rat challenges are not uncommon. These pests are well known to evade even the best pest control practices. The key to a continued problem is patience. As different strategies are implemented, the rats will adapt and often move around. Some will be caught while others will find other hiding spots or food sources.
In this Forest Hill home, we were able to continuously catch some rats with our snap-traps and eventually zero in on their entry point- a burrowed hole under a basement bathtub. Rats are quite capable of digging holes through lose dirt in search of access to structures. It is important to identify these entry points and effectively eliminate them.
Because of the extensive construction work that is being done along the Eglinton Avenue corridor and the closure of restaurants due to Covid-19, a lot of rodents in the area have moved closer to residential areas in search of food and shelter. This has become a common problem along this stretch of the city.
Our rat extermination work is backed by a six-month warranty. If rats persist throughout that period, we will continue to work in order to get rid of them.