Nova Scotia

Rats find new homes after Sydney flood — but they sure aren't welcome

Rodent expert Richard MacDonald said while rats and mice will seek out warm places during colder months, many homeowners are now seeing them for the first time.

Rodent expert says many homeowners finding rats and mice for the first time

A rodent expert said rats are becoming more common in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. (CBC)

Four-legged critters are finding new homes since the Thanksgiving Day flood in Sydney, but the welcome mats are definitely not out for them. 

Rodent expert Richard MacDonald said while rats and mice will seek out warm places during colder months, many homeowners are now seeing them for the first time.

"Probably what happened it that a lot of the critters got displaced from their homes and they need somewhere to go," he said.

"That's kind of what happens and unfortunately they get into the cracks and crevices around your foundations and into your home."

'Head for higher ground'

MacDonald, who owns MacDonald Pest Control, said the force of the water that washed through Sydney during torrential rain on Thanksgiving Day would have meant any shelters built by rodents were instantly evacuated.

"They would have their burrows along the streams along the different areas of the city," said MacDonald. "And as the water comes in and the rodents they got to get out of town, so to speak.

"They head for higher ground just like anybody else. All they need is shelter, a little warmth this time of year, and just move, unfortunately, into people's homes."

Green bin contents delicious

MacDonald said rats are becoming more of a problem in recent years in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality and are now on par with mice in terms of the number of calls.

He urged people to check the air vents on their green bins, as homeowners often unknowingly serve a regular feast for rats and mice.

"And if it goes unnoticed and you're constantly putting table scraps or whatever in your green bin, you're providing an excellent food source for the rodents and they're able to multiply very quickly with a food source like that."

Bird feeders are also guilty culprits, he said, providing food for unwanted guests.

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