Sydney last in list of Atlantic Canada’s top 10 ‘rattiest’ cities

SYDNEY — It’s one rat race residents are happy to lose.

While the rat population in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality has risen dramatically in recent years, Sydney finished last in pest control company Orkin Canada’s list of the top 10 “rattiest” cities in Atlantic Canada.

St. John’s NL, has the dubious distinction of having the worst rodent problem, followed by Moncton, Dieppe, Halifax and Saint John. Charlottetown, Mount Pearl, Dartmouth and Summerside round out the list.

Toronto, Vancouver and Burnaby ranked the top three rattiest cities in the country based on the number of commercial and residential rodent (rats and mice) treatments Orkin Canada carried out from Aug. 1, 2021, to July 31, 2022.

According to Orkin, rodents that migrated to residential neighborhoods during the lockdowns are now reappearing in urban areas where dumpsters provide an abundant and reliable food source.

“With more available food, there will be exponential population growth. Food availability favors population growth since there will be less competition for food, which also will result in high reproductive potential, high survival and healthy thriving populations,” said Alice Sinia, an entomologist with Orkin Canada, in a media release.

According to Orkin Canada, aggressive behaviors such as cannibalism and “street fights,” that were noted during the lockdown will likely decrease. The growing population means there will be an increase in sightings.

CB-19102022 Council Rankings - cc
CB-19102022 Council Rankings – cc

The pest control company also warned that mice and rats will be searching for a comfortable place to spend the winter months. It offered these rodent prevention tips:

• Trim the trees: Landscaping can be a big-rodent attractant. Keep shrubbery cut back at least one meter from the exterior walls of your home to eliminate any hiding spots for rodents and to avoid giving them a “jumping off” point.

• Cut off the water: Eliminate any sources of moisture, necessary for pests’ survival, such as clogged gutters or water gathering in trash or recycling bins.

• Take a look: Inspect both inside and outside your property for rodent droppings, burrows and rub marks along baseboards and walls. The more quickly rodents are detected, the better.

• Close the gap: Look for possible entry points outside the home, seal all cracks larger than 1/4 of an inch and install weather strips at the bottom of exterior doors.

• Keep it clean: Clean up crumbs and spills as soon as they happen to avoid leaving food residue or sugary substances that can attract rodents. Store all food (including pet food) in tightly sealed containers like plastic bins, and never leave food or dishes sitting out overnight.

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