Halifax is Atlantic Canada’s fourth ‘rattiest’ city

By Meghan Groff

It's probably not a distinction we'll want to brag about, but Halifax is Atlantic Canada's fourth rattiest city.

That's according to pest control company Orkin, which based its list on treatments it carried out on rats and mice at commercial and residential properties from August 1, 2021 through July 31, 2022.

Dartmouth, which the company ranks separately from Halifax, is eighth.

Both had the same ranking last year.

St. John's tops the list — Canada-wide it places tenth — followed by Moncton, then Dieppe. Saint John rounds out the Top 5 in Atlantic Canada.

When it comes to the rattiest cities in Canada, Toronto, Vancouver and Burnaby are the Top 3.

Orkin said its staff noticed “aggressive behaviours” from rats and mice during lockdowns, including “cannibalism, 'street fights' and territorialism.”

Now that businesses are back up and running, food sources are more abundant, which Orkin believes will likely decrease these behaviours, but the pest control company expects an increase in rodent sightings.

“With more available food, there will be exponential population growth,” said Alice Sinia, Ph.D. entomologist with Orkin Canada in a news release. 

“Food availability favours population growth since there will be less competition for food, which also will result in high reproductive potential, high survival and healthy thriving populations.”

Orkin cautions, with the temperature dropping, rats and mice are looking for a nice, warm spot inside.

They recommend taking the following steps to rodent-proof your property:

  • Seal cracks or holes in your foundation, in walls, and in expansion joints
  • Install weather stripping around windows and doors
  • Screen open vents and repair worn out window screens
  • Where possible, keep shrubbery at least a metre away from exterior walls of your home
  • Remove moisture sources such as clogged gutters
  • Practice proper garbage storage, be diligent in keeping garbage and old food away from your house, use tight-fitting lid containers and do not overflow
  • Do not store objects near exterior walls, instead store them distanced away from the wall and about 18 inches off the ground
  • Rodent proof shed if present. Sheds can be major breeding and harbourage spots during the winter

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