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Peel Region

Rat prevention

Learn the signs of rat activity and take action to prevent rat infestations on your property.

Rats are a common pest in large urban centres. Rats might carry ticks and fleas. They can also spread diseases, though the risk of disease transmission in the community is low.

Other information

We're working with the community to minimize rat populations in Peel. We've implemented pest control measures on various Regional construction projects and will continue to take preventative measures on construction sites.

The brown rat (also called the Norway rat) is the most common species of rat in Peel.

Adult brown rats weigh between 600 g and 700 g (1 to 1.5 lbs), though their thick, hairy coats can make them seem larger.

You likely have rats on your property if:

  • You find rat burrows (holes in the ground) or nests around your yard, particularly in your garden, wood pile, or cluttered areas, or under bushes and plants.
  • You find rat droppings close to waste areas, sources of food, and gardens.
  • You notice gnaw marks on wood or plastic waste bins.

Rats settle in places that give them everything they need to survive, such as food, water, shelter, and safe ways of getting around. If possible, work with your neighbours to prevent rat infestations by removing any conditions that rats need to survive. If you’re concerned about untidy neighbours or parks with litter or over-flowing garbage bins, call 311.

Your local municipality is responsible for private property offences and ensuring that residents maintain their properties. For more information, contact property standards:

Remove all food and water sources for rats

  • Rinse all recyclable containers before placing them out for collection.
  • Clean up bird seed that has spilled onto the ground. Do not fill your bird feeders until your yard is rat-free.
  • Pick up any fallen fruits and vegetables and bring any ripe produce into your home as soon as possible.
  • Clean up pet waste and do not leave pet food outside.
  • Do not feed wildlife.
  • Turn off and drain any water fountains or other water features you have on your property.
  • Remove bird baths and turn over containers that can hold water.
Waste bins
  • Ensure that your garbage, recycling, and green bin are in good condition and that the lids are always closed. You can report a damaged bin online to be fixed or replaced.
  • Remove your empty waste bins and uncollected items from the curb as soon as possible.
  • Set out all waste, including bulky items (such as couches), the morning of your collection before 7 a.m.

Remove all potential shelter for rats

  • Keep your property tidy to discourage rats from nesting.
  • Keep wood piles or other materials away from walls and at least 30 cm (1 ft.) from the ground.
  • Keep your grass short. Trim shrubs and plantings.
  • Seal all holes and cracks in foundations, walls, floors, and windows.
  • Cover pipes and vents openings on the outside of the property with fine mesh metal screening.

Dealing with a rat infestation early saves time and money.

Following these recommendations can help prevent or resolve a rat infestation on a multi-residential property.

Hire a pest control company

There are hazards associated with using pesticides and traps. If your rat infestation is already extensive, hire a licensed pest control company.

Inspect foundations, doors, and grounds every week

Inspect foundations, doors, and the grounds. Look for signs such as newly appearing rat burrows below bushes. Check if doors need repairs, pick up any animal waste, and ensure that waste is being stored properly.

Remove food sources

Hungry rats quickly start exterminating themselves “naturally”.

If the survivors still have trouble finding food, they’ll abandon a property and go looking for new spots with easy access to food (usually to the closest nearby property with accessible food sources).

Food waste must be managed properly to rid a property of rats. A rat infestation won’t be eliminated if property management and tenants don’t work together.

Rats will show little interest in a pest professional’s bait or traps if they can easily access food waste.

The secret to controlling rats is eliminating food sources consistently.

Block access to shelter

Remove piles of garbage or old equipment where rats love to nest. Keep storage sheds tidy and store materials and equipment at least 45 cm from the floor.

Get more details

Refer to the Rat prevention guide – Multi-Residential properties for preventative actions and techniques for preventing rats at multi-residential properties.

Download and print a rat prevention poster for your property.

Dealing with a rat infestation early prevents numbers from multiplying.

Rats are attracted to food odors and the large amounts of waste that industrial, commercial, and institutional facilities generate.

Once rats are repeatedly rewarded with food from the same area, they’ll try to nest as close as possible.

Spotting rats early saves significant money and time for property management compared to rats that have moved in unnoticed and are now multiplying in different places on the property.

Following these recommendations can help prevent or resolve a rat infestation at an industrial, commercial, and institutional facility.

Hire a pest control company

There are hazards associated with using pesticides and traps. If your rat infestation is already extensive, hire a licensed pest control company.

Block access to exterior shelter and garbage

Ensure that any bushes and shrubs do not become overgrown and form thick “caves” below the bushes.

Rats feel safe in these hollows because they’re well-protected and hidden from people and natural enemies.

Clean all waste rooms and building areas daily. If people are using garbage bins or compactors every day, ensure that the bins won't spill or leak or have a greasy residue.

Additional recommendations
Get more details

Refer to the Rat Prevention Guide – Industrial, commercial, and institutional facilities for preventative measures and techniques for preventing rats at industrial, commercial, and institutional facilities.