The rat population in Hamilton appears to be on the rise, with no signs of slowing.

The number of calls to Hamilton Public Health about rats has been steadily increasing since 2010, with the number of complaints doubling from 2010 to 2014, then doubling again from just 2014 to 2015. And the increase isn’t expected to slow down this year or next.

But in truth, it might not be that the city’s rat population is actually growing rapidly, but rather that there is an increase in activity among Hamilton’s rats.

There are several theories about why homeowners are experiencing more rat problems as of late. It could be the weather, or it could be because the rats are moving away from the bait traps dropped in the sewers.  In 2014, the city spent approximately $18,000 dropping baiting traps into sewer holes to help curb the problem.

In all likelihood, the real culprit for the increase in rat activity can be traced back to construction.  Whenever contractors break ground, the rats scatter to look for new shelter, and with the increase in development the city is experiencing, this puts a lot of rats on the move. The largest increase in calls to Hamilton Public Health with rat complaints has come from the mountain, and the north end, where there has been a lot of new development.

The best tool homeowners have against rats is prevention. Do your best to keep rats from getting into your home by cleaning the area around your home and keeping it free of nesting sites, including keeping the grass and weeds cut. You should also keep the area free of food sources, this includes storing garbage in rodent-proof containers, securing composters and keeping your property free of pet food, fallen fruit, bird feeders, grass seed etc.

If you do find a rat on your property or within your home, there are effective methods for dealing with the problem, including baiting and traps. It’s important to remember to keep your home safe for your family and pets, which includes not only keeping it free of rats but doing so safely and carefully.

For more information on handling a rat problem or how Action Pest can help, Contact Us today!