Tag Archives: rat removal

How to Keep Rodents Out of Your Home this Winter


Fall is a beautiful season in Canada, but as the temperature drops your home becomes very attractive to rodents who are seeking a warmer environment in which to spend the winter. Mice and rats will be particularly persistent in trying to enter your home. Check out the video below in which Shawn from Terminix Canada takes us through the telltale signs of rodents in and around the home and identifies common ways they may enter the home.

How to Identify a Rodent Problem 

Just because you haven’t seen a rodent in or around your home doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Many rodents such as rats and mice are nocturnal and will only come out when you’re not home or are sleeping. This is why it’s so important to know the other common warning signs of a rodent problem such as signs of rummaging in the garbage or compost bin, burrowing in the yard, or holes that have been chewed in the walls or floor. Additionally, chewed food packaging, small rice-shaped droppings or unexplained musty smells are all strong signs rodents have already set up shop in your home. You will also want to pay special attention to any scurrying sound you may hear in the wall or ceiling at night as they can help you locate these pesky critters. 

Are Rodents Dangerous? 

Rodent infestations are quite hazardous not only because they can be territorial, but because they often carry a variety of diseases. Rats and mice are notorious for leaving toxic droppings around the home and spoiling food. Rodent teeth also continuously grow and they must frequently chew to grind them down to an appropriate length. This is why they often chew through wires and cause structural damage to the home. It is because of these risks that rodent prevention and exclusion methods are so important to keep you and your family safe. 

rat in bathroom

How to Prevent a Rodent Problem

The number one thing that attracts rodents to the area is a food source and they are not picky about what they consume! Open garbage cans, bird feeders, food scraps on counters and pet food all look like tasty meals to these animals. It’s very important to clean up and seal food properly to prevent attracting these pests. 

Rodents also need shelter, particularly during winter to avoid the worst of the cold. To prevent them from finding their way into the warmth of your home you’ll want to close any holes in the side of your house. Even small holes should be treated – mice have been known to fit through holes as small as a quarter inch round or about the size of a pencil! Large holes or cracks should be stuffed with steel wool or wire mesh before sealing with caulk or foam, otherwise, rodents could chew through and enter. Thick weather stripping should also be installed on the bottom of all doors to create a proper seal. 

rat eating seeds

How to Treat a Rodent Infestation 

There are a couple of options when it comes to traps we recommend – there are live traps that can be used to humanely remove these rodents from the home or standard traps that provide homeowners with a permanent solution that minimizes suffering. 

However, as mentioned earlier, dealing with these rodents is quite hazardous and not something we recommend inexperienced homeowners attempt. Don’t risk the health of you or your family- call on a licensed professional to get the job done quickly and safely. 

Terminix Canada offers expert pest control services for both residential and commercial properties. We have local pest control experts at locations across Canada including BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Call us today to learn how we can help.

Do I have rats? – How to Identify a Canadian Rat Infestation


Roof Rats vs Norway Rats

There are two main species of rat that bother Canadian homeowners: the roof rat and the Norway rat. The two have very different habits and habitats so it is crucial to identify which rat you’re dealing with to properly remove and exclude them from your home. 

Roof rats are only found in cities along the west coast of British Columbia such as Vancouver but Norway rats can be found in suburban and urban areas across Canada including Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax. Neither are native to Canada – the Noway rat is thought to have originated in Nothern China (oddly not in Norway as the name would suggest), and the roof rat likely originated in India. However, this was long ago and for centuries rats have thrived off human civilization, following us around the world populating all continents (except Antarctica). 

Norway Rat vs Roof Rat

The Norway rat is also called the brown rat as they are generally brown or grey in colour. Whereas the roof rat is also called the black rat since they are darker in colour ranging from black to brown. Roof rats are also smaller, growing to about 20 cm long (excluding the tail) whereas Norway rats can grow to about 30 cm long. 

With all that said, Norway rats and roof rats can still be hard to tell apart visually, the easiest way to identify them is based on their habitats. Roof rats as the name suggests are strong climbers and enjoy living in tree tops, attics and roofs. Norway rats, however, are burrowers living in tunnels they dig in the ground and making their way into basements or garages. 

Did you know?
Alberta has been essentially rat free since 1950 when their provincial Rat Control Program was established.

Do I have rats?

Just because you haven’t seen a rat doesn’t mean they’re not around. Rats are nocturnal and will come out when you’re not home or are sleeping, that’s why it’s important to look for other signs of infestation.

Possible signs of a rat infestation:

  • Pellet-shaped droppings 
  • Damaged food packaging 
  • Chewed holes in walls 
  • Scurrying sounds in the walls at night 
  • Unexplained musty smells 

Are rats dangerous?

A rat infestation is a health hazard as rats are known to carry a multitude of diseases, leave toxic droppings in their wake and spoil food. They can also cause significant structural damage by chewing through walls, wires and ducts. 

Additionally, rats reproduce at rapid rates, meaning a small rat problem can quickly become a major infestation. Rats continue to mate and give birth year-round but their biggest breeding seasons are in the spring and fall. The average Canadian rat will give birth to 3-6 litters a year of 7-8 young! They will go only to live for 6 months to a year, becoming sexually mature only a couple months after birth. 

Did you know?
Rats can move each one of their whiskers individually. They use these whiskers to sense their environment similar to how humans use their fingers. 
Brown rat

How do I prevent a rat problem?

As the temperature continues to drop throughout the fall and into the winter many rodents and other creepy crawlies will be driven inside Canadian homes. To prevent rats and other wildlife from moving in it’s important to inspect the outside of your home and close any holes. As well as eliminate any possible food sources by cleaning food preparation stations immediately after use, cleaning up spills or crumbs, and sealing garbage bins. 

The garage should not be overlooked in this inspection as it is a prime location for Norway rats to nest. Make sure to declutter and close boxes to dissuade nesting, seal garbage bins, and ensure there is a good seal between the garage door and its frame. For more information on how you should be preparing your garage for winter check out this article

How to prevent rat problems - infographic

How do I get rid of rats?

If you already have rats living in your home, it’s crucial you call rodent pest control professionals like Terminix Canada to take care of the problem and properly sanitize your space. 

Terminix Canada offers expert pest control services for both residential and commercial properties. We have local pest control experts at locations across Canada including BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Call us today to learn how we can help.

Quit Making The Same DIY Pest Control Mistakes & Learn Proper Pest Control

If you’ve encountered a pest control problem in your home, it’s likely you’ll try and control the problem yourself using DIY pest control. Well, after you shake your fist and ask, “how could this happen to me?!” like you’re the main character in your own Shakespearean Tragedy.

We hate the be the bearer of bad news, but sometimes DIY pest control can cause more harm than good. Especially if you’re treating pest control as a one-size-fits-all solution.

To help you avoid falling at the first hurdle, we’ve gathered the most common mistakes. This way, you can learn from other’s errors and become a master of proper pest control.

Mistake #1: Squish And Move On

The litre of orange juice you drank earlier is wreaking havoc on your bladder. So, in a hurry you dash off to the basement bathroom. There, you encounter a handful of cockroaches casually strolling along the bathroom floor. Nature is urgently calling, so you quickly squish them and continue to take care of your own business. Once done, you wipe the roaches’ remains off the floor with a paper towel.

“Goodbye cockroaches!” you say smugly as you toss them in the garbage. However, if you thought that was going to be the last time you encountered roaches, you’re sadly mistaken.

Without finding the original source of cockroaches, spiders, ants, or any other household pest problem, you’re likely to have a new problem pop up in a couple days. Until you discover how those buggers got into your home in the first place, you’ll be dealing with a whole new group of creepy-crawlies on the bathroom floor tomorrow or the next day.

Once you’ve discovered how they entered your home, it’s important to seal any cracks, gaps or holes surrounding your windows, doors, seams, and foundation.

From there, it’s a good idea to spend some time researching the proper pest control methods for your pest. This could mean setting pest-specific traps, utilizing insecticide, or hiring a pest control company like Terminix Canada.

Mistake #2: One Trap Doesn’t Fit All

Just like bigger critters, each pest is unique. As much as you may hate them all equally, wants, needs and desires differ from pest to pest. You wouldn’t use honey to attract horses or a mouse trap to catch a dog, so why are you using the same traps for all pests?

Buying a generic trap for all pests is one of the most common mistakes made by homeowners. In order for your traps to be successful, and not just a waste of money, you’ll have to investigate exactly what kind of penny-sized monster you’re dealing with. This will allow you to successfully buy the necessary traps, insecticides, or other insect deterrents.

If you are unable to decipher what kind of pest is wreaking havoc in your home, now is a good time to put the traps down and pick up the phone. Consult with a local pest control company that can identify the pests that are plaguing you, and help you sort the problem out effectively and efficiently.

Mistake #3: Know Your Enemy

Even once you’ve determined exactly what pest has invaded your home, do you really know the best way to wage war? It’s important to truly understand who and what you’re up against.

Many homeowners place traps where their pest adversaries aren’t hanging out. For instance, you won’t find rodents in the middle of a room. Instead, you should be placing rodent traps along walls, behind the refrigerator, and in other dark corners.

Additionally, you may catch a few adult mice in a couple of days with your traps. However, odds are that there are still young mice lingering around. Therefore, it’s best to leave rodent traps out for a few weeks, so you can catch the remaining runts of the litter.

If you don’t get rid of the entire infestation, then they will simply multiply back to the levels they were at when you first discovered you had a problem. Two mice is all it takes to soon create a mischief of mice. 

Mistake #4: Don’t Neglect Your Pet

We know you would never purposely neglect your pet. However, it can be easy to do when trying to remove an unknown infestation from your home. If you think you may have a flea, tick, or parasite infestation, you must also treat your pets for the potential problem.

If you leave your pet untreated, you risk causing them prolonged health problems. Additionally, you’ll never fully be rid of the infestation until your pet is pest-free. Your loveable fur-ball is the perfect vessel to smuggle pests into your home or provide them a safe shelter to continue to procreate in.

Mistake #5: Not Calling The Experts

Sometimes you’ll be tasked with a pest infestation too great to handle on your own. In these circumstances, it’s best to swallow your pride and call in the pros!

If you are looking for tried-and-tested pest control services in your home, contact Terminix Canada today for a free consultation. We can help you get to the root of your pest control problem and implement effective, efficient, and affordable pest control solutions.

Find your local Terminix Canada branch today, so you can stop waging a losing war against pests.