Surrey is the fifth ‘rattiest’ city in the province.
That’s according to a list from pest control company Orkin Canada that highlights B.C.’s top 20 cities struggling with rodents.
Vancouver topped the list, followed by Victoria, Burnaby, Richmond and Surrey coming in fifth.
Orkin Canada says the cities are ranked by the number of rodent (rat and mice) treatments the company performed between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2017.
Trine Butler with Orkin shed some light on why Surrey may have made the top five.
“If there’s a lot of new construction in Surrey, that’s where you’re going to get visibly lots more rodents,” she explained. “It doesn’t mean numbers are increasing but it does mean they’ve been displaced so you’ll be seeing more rats.
“We find where there’s more construction, more population, older buildings, proximity to food and water, that’s generally where Orkin gets most of our calls from,” Butler added.
The company also sees an increase in rats in area that have composting programs going on.
“Composting is going to attract rodents, so keep those really sealed up,” she advised.
The company is reminding homeowners and businesses to take precautions to keep rodents at bay.
“They want to start nesting,” said Butler. “They do breed all year round but spring is when it ramps up.”
Butler noted rats are looking for three things — food, shelter and water.
As such, she recommended sealing any cracks or holes in foundation with weather-resistant sealant and installing weather stripping around windows and doors, as well as door sweeps.
“Even huge rats can fit through a quarter-sized hole, and mice can fit through a hole the size of a dime,” she said.
It’s also a good idea to trim trees, as landscaping can attract rodents. Butler also suggested keeping shrubbery cut back at least one meter from exterior walls to eliminate any hiding spots for critters.
“It also stops rats from climbing through trees and getting into those small holes,” said Butler.
Cutting off water and other moisture sources is also a good idea, such as clogged gutters or water gathering in trash or recycling bins.
Butler also said to ensure to pick up fruit, such as apples or plums, that fall from trees as they too can attract rodents.
“Rats produce very quickly,” she explained. “They have eight to 12 pups in a litter. They’re active at night primarily and you can tell if you have a rat, they’ll leave behind signs such as greasy rub marks on walls, droppings. Naw-marks as well, they’ll naw their way in.”
For more information, visit orkincanada.ca.