A Vancouver Coastal Health inspector will be back underneath the Burrard Bridge today to make sure rats that had been plaguing a YMCA child care centre are truly gone.

Environmental Health Inspector Shelley Beaudet says she went to the site yesterday and discovered the city had removed all the food scraps from the piles of soil.

"They have taken one of those suction trucks up and they suctioned all the top area of the soil so there is absolutely no food source for rats in that particular site," said Beaudet.  

Beach YMCA daycare

(Google Maps)

Beaudet says the problem was a community garden behind the daycare that had let food scraps go into their compost bins.              

So many rats were attracted to the bins that the children at the daycare were unable to go outside.        

Beaudet says a pest control officer is also setting snap traps down for any rats that remain.

 "I actually managed to talk to the pest control operator and he indicated that he is setting snap traps out and checking them daily.  So that is certainly what we would want from public health point of view."

Beaudet says she  will also talk to the daycare operators about when the children should be allowed back out to play.

10 tips to keep rats away

Rats can be a pesky problem in the summer months, says Mike Londry, the owner of Westside Pest Control.

Londry says having compost waste in sealed bins does help, but part of the problem is the waste becomes more attractive to rats the longer it sits around.

Vancouver compost rats overrun daycare playground

A rat infestation at a Vancouver compost station forced the Beach YMCA daycare on Burrard Street to keep children indoors. (CBC)

"Scraps smell a lot better after ten days to a rat than they do after three," says Londry.

"Maybe one of the reasons why there's such a boom in Vancouver is we have some really green people that live in this city and there's not an abundance of poison that people might use domestically that they might use in other parts of Canada or the rest of the world."

Prevention is key, says Londry. Here are ten tips for rat proofing your home or business:

  • Elevate your compost container at least one foot above the ground.
  • If you have a fruit tree, pick up any fruit or nuts that may fall on the ground.
  • De-clutter your backyard to make it hard for rats to hide.
  • Keep foliage away from your house and garage to prevent rats from nesting.
  • Inspect your house and backyard and repair any holes in fences and walls.
  • Remove pet food from garage and do not leave it outside at night.
  • Put trays under bird feeders and clean spilled seeds.
  • Stack firewood away from house and 18 inches off the ground.
  • Build sheds on concrete blocks.
  • Snap traps are considered more humane than poison when it comes to exterminating rats.
With files from Elaine Chau