Giant lizards, giant alligators… fish mutating after being flushed—we’ve all heard the tall-tale stories of what lives in the sewers below our city and we all know they’re just that—tales. There is something very real living in our drain though, crawling their way across the highway-like pipes and taking the exits right into our bathroom: rats. The filthy vermin! They know all the best ways to get in and out of our homes, get the goods and dash like master thieves. And let’s be honest, seeing those beady little red eyes look up at you from your toilet bowl in the middle of the night could be downright terrifying. There is a serious problem with rats in many Toronto drains, and it can feel like war. So what can you do about it?

How to Prepare for War:

  1. Keep your food in proper metal or glass containers and not lying about the house
  2. Keep your house clean
  3. Keep your outdoor garden areas free of clutter—don’t give them a chance to set up camp anywhere!
  4. Keep your garbage in metal bins with lids that actually secure, otherwise you’re just giving them ammo
  5. Make sure you put away pet food and store it in a secure location
  6. If you have a compost, try to keep organic food waste out of it or find a way to make sure they can’t get into it

How To Secure Your Home

It’s not just your drains that can get infested with rats (or other wildlife), either. Your home is a prime target, so you have to take precautions to prevent them getting in anywhere.

  1. Entrances

Now, you need to ensure that you keep all entrances secure. Those enemy rats can squeeze their way through almost anything. So make sure you’ve fastened weather strips to the bottom of doors to close any narrow gaps. If you have pets that go in and out of pet doors, make the investment to get the doors that unlock to your pet’s collar and remain locked otherwise.

  1. Exterior Walls

There can be no secret points of entry. All holes, small openings and pipes need to be filled with stainless steel wire wool, caulking or even concrete. Show no mercy, be ruthless! Get your mind in the gutter and think like the rats haunting your Toronto drains! Rats can jump, too, so keep a 4-foot height perimeter in mind.

  1. Roofs

Obviously rats can climb. Their little claws act like grappling hooks and they can access any secret entrance better than James Bond. They can shimmy electrical cables or overhanging branches like sad-tail squirrels—nowhere is safe. Repair any roof damage to seal any broken tiles and use some wire mesh to cover any gaps (like a chimney!).

  1. Drains!

Here’s the biggie: rats like to use the sewers like we use highway and your toilet is the exit to the hottest spot in town. They can get around those tricky u-bends in toilets, pfft! That’s child’s play to them. Keep your lids closed and do try to use metal grates or screens wherever you can. On a regular basis, like monthly, check your pipes and make sure nothing’s been broken or chewed through. If so, fix it. Also, consider having your all your drains inspected.

This is war, people. You are in charge of your camp. You must keep the enemy out of your Toronto drains and that requires commitment, it takes dedication! You must be fearless in the face of rat-danger! Vigilance, determination, bravery and wittiness is all that will save you from the rats.