Victoria ranks 3rd according to pest control company.
Orkin Canada released its annual top 10 list of the shabbiest cities in British Columbia, and Victoria hit the top 3 again.
It’s not a list a city would want, and this year’s ranking is actually an improvement over last year.
“We actually slipped, we slipped in the rankings,” said Christopher Day, Vancouver Island branch manager for Orkin Vancouver Island.
“Last year we were number two, this year we are number three in the province.”
The list was compiled in a somewhat unscientific manner by Orkin Canada Pest Control. The numbers are based on the number of calls the company received in each city.
This year Vancouver ranks first, followed by Burnaby and then Victoria.
Elsewhere on the island, Duncan dropped from 14th place last year to 18th place, and Sidney fell off the list entirely.
“I think COVID certainly played a role in the rodent spread in the area,” said Matt O’Neill, vice president of sales for Pest Detective.
Due to the pandemic, the cores of the inner city were relatively empty, so that rodents could live undisturbed.
On the living side, more people are preparing food at home. A recent survey for Dalhousie University’s Agri-Foods Analytics Labs shows Canadians are producing 13.5 percent more food waste during the pandemic. That means more food for rodents to get their paws on.
“I think you are 30 meters from a rat anywhere in town,” said Adrian Madrianmaddaloni, chief control technician for Pest Detective Victoria.
Madrianmaddaloni says rats make up 50 to 60 percent of his business this time of year. It’s getting colder outside and rats are looking for a warm place to hide.
“They are used to going upstairs, looking and finding access points to our homes,” said Madrianmaddaloni. “You will take advantage of every vulnerability in your home that you have.”
He says the best defense to protect your property is to take away the food source for the rats. Block any access points to areas where rodents might nest and remove tall bushes next to your house.
“These are little furry ninjas,” said Madrianmaddaloni. “You’ll find your way there if you really want to.”
Because of our mild, humid climate, we are stuck with these little creatures just like they are stuck with us.
“The challenges will always be that we want to live in this climate, and that is what they do,” said Day.