This Ottawa woman caught more than 100 rats in three months

OTTAWA rats are becoming an increasing problem in some residential areas in Ottawa.

They suddenly seem to appear out of nowhere in places they haven’t seen in years, and that is exactly what Heron Park resident Melanie Giroux is doing this summer.

“Over 100 since May,” says Giroux when asked how many she caught.

Giroux had been on a mission for the past three months, setting rat traps in her yard every night in hopes of getting rid of the rodents.

“On average two a night,” says Giroux, “and I think I got a maximum of eight, maybe nine in one night.”

A rat infestation in their neighborhood has worried residents and wondered where these creatures could have come from.

“There has never been a rat colony in this neighborhood,” says Giroux. “This is a whole new problem.”

Between January 1 and August 6, the City of Ottawa 311 line received 576 service calls related to rats, compared to 645 in the entire previous year and only 410 in 2019.

“For me, I have to ask myself what’s going on. Why do we suddenly have them? ”Asks Julia Driedger from Heron Park.

Some local residents believe that the closure of downtown restaurants has forced rodents to move to the suburbs, desperate for new sources of food.

“In this quarter, at least here, we have four garbage cans,” says Giroux. “Well, it’s a freeway between four garbage cans. We’re just right in the middle of it. “

Pest control expert Todd Babin is the owner of Nature’s Way Property Services and has over 20 years of rat trapping experience. He says it’s not just trash they’re after.

“I think we caught over 1,000 rats this year,” says Babin. “Almost 98 percent of all of the calls we receive are either the homeowner or one of his neighbors has a bird feeder.”

Babin says food is the main attraction for rats to survive, so eliminating this option can help control the spread.

“Make sure you don’t have any trash,” says Babin. “Clean it up when you do. Put it in containers that you cannot reach. “

For Giroux, she will continue to capture and eliminate as many rats as possible, but she says it seems like a never-ending fight.

“We come out at night and can hear them fight each other. It wasn’t fun; it was really no fun. ”

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