Rats are no problem around when you have cats
If rats are the problem that pest control companies say, more people should get themselves a cat.
The Star reported Wednesday that exterminators attribute a growing rat population to backyard gardens, composters and milder winters, saying rat calls have increased 10 to 15 per cent every year for the last five years.
A Forest Hill homeowner said she’s afraid to sit by her pool because she’s seen at least six rats in her back yard.
Toronto public health doesn’t track the rat population, but pest control operators say their
observations are often the first sign of a problem, as was the case with bedbugs a few years ago.
I think they may be on to something, based on complaints about rats from readers, and something I saw earlier this summer, which curled my hair.
I was pulling into a gas station on the east side of Warden Ave., south of Highway 401 and glanced in the direction of a fast food chain restaurant next to it, with a parking lot bordered by a knee-high hedge.
Out of the hedge scurried an enormous rat, easily as big as a fat squirrel, with a long white tail to ensure I didn’t misidentify it.
The rat casually waddled towards a garbage dumpster before I lost sight of it, but I was unsettled by its size and lack of concern about traversing a busy parking lot in broad daylight.
We’ve never had a rat problem around my house, even though the leafy green habitat in which the exterminators say they flourish is all around us.
They stand no chance against our cats, all of whom were abandoned in the country and had to hunt to eat, until they were adopted by my wonderful wife, who falls in love with every kitten she meets.
One of our cats, who finally passed on earlier this year at age 17, was so adept at catching mice that she’d hop up on the kitchen windowsill with them dangling from her mouth, eager to show us her trophies.
She eventually eradicated them, and I’ve never seen one again, likely because they’ve moved on, no doubt encouraged by the younger cats patrolling our yard.
It’s the oldest and probably the best way to get rid of rodents.