So I’m scrolling my Facebook feed awhile back and come across a post from a downtown Toronto rowhouse-dwelling friend about the discovery of something behind her house’s wall. The mere thought of long tails gives me the heavy jeevies quite frankly, but this story was like crack in that I COULD NOT STOP following her updates. Here’s how it went:

She hears it: a soft scratching coming from the shared wall. Perhaps a mouse. It stopped after a few days, and she thought that was the end of it.

But a few weeks later, she heard scurrying in the attic. Loud scurrying. And clawing. And when she banged against the ceiling with a broom, the creature chattered back ­– angrily. Definitely not a mouse.

 

What happens next? Keep reading. But consider this first:

If you live in an older house in Toronto, odds are high you’ll share your domicile with rodents at some point just like she did. If you’re “lucky,” it will be a mouse. Perhaps a family of raccoons makes a home in your attic. Worse case scenario (at least according to me?): a RAT. ***shudder***

One of the reasons I’ve loved condo dwelling for so long? I am freaking terrified of the prospect of such a discovery. I would never in my life have to make a call to Toronto Rodent Removal. (However, as of this past Spring, I don’t live in a condo anymore….so I’m now as vulnerable as you are or could be in the future.)

 

Back to the story:

My friend (bravely, I would say) took matters into her own hands. One morning, assuming the creature had left for the day, she found the likely entry point (a hole near the base of the house), stuffed it full of steel wool, boarded it up with bricks and sprayed the whole area with Critter Ridder.

It worked – but she was lucky.

 

In most cases it’s advisable to call in the pros as soon as possible. One squirrel is easy to deal with: a one-way “exclusion” door lets it leave but not come back in. But if you wait a couple of weeks and that squirrel has babies … then they each have to be removed by hand. What was a $300 job is now going to cost a lot more. Same with raccoons.

 

When it comes to mice, traps are the cheapest option – and allow you to toss the body before it starts to stink. But for a real infestation, you’ll have to call in the Toronto Rodent Removal pros and break out the poison.

 

Your best defence against unwanted house guests is, of course, prevention. And this is the time to do it: Once the weather cools off, critters look for warm new homes.

 

So check the outside of your house for holes (remember, a mouse can fit through an opening the size of a pencil eraser) and plug up any you find. Make sure your roof is in good shape: It’s not hard for a raccoon or even a squirrel to rip up shingles. In older kitchens, check base cabinets for holes leading into the basement. Clean up thoroughly after each meal, keep food in air-tight containers and make sure your green-bin lid closes securely.

 

If you really can’t stand the thought of Mickey and friends running around your house, get a cat. Even if you get a dud mouser, the feline smell alone is supposed to scare off the little buggers.

 

Or move to a condo.

 

 

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