Victoria named second rattiest city in B.C. for second year in a row

People aren’t the only ones paying attention to the fact Victoria regularly makes the lists of livable cities and favourite destinations.

Apparently the rodent population has picked up on that, too.

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Pest-control company Orkin has named Victoria the second-rattiest city in the province for the second year running.

According to Orkin’s top-20 list of ratty towns, Victoria ranks behind only Vancouver for the number of rodent treatments — both residential and commercial — performed in a year in B.C.

Christopher Day, Orkin’s branch manager for Vancouver Island, said the company does a ridiculous amount of business due to rats and mice in Victoria.

Day said the combination of being an old coastal city with plenty of older infrastructure and space to breed — including hidden space under the streets — leads to a very healthy rodent population.

Colder weather has brought an uptick in rodent treatments in the last couple of years, he said, since cold drives the rodents to shelter in areas where they face off against people and where the killing devices and traps are located.

“A few years before that, we had warmer weather through the winter and we didn’t have any of the killing weather,” Day said.

The cold weather also ensured four other Island communities made Orkin’s top-20 list.

Duncan was eighth on the list, with Nanaimo coming in at No. 12, Sidney No. 13 and Port Alberni at No. 16.

Orkin offers a few tips for keeping rats out of your home and business:

• Seal any cracks or holes in your foundation with weather-resistant sealant. Install weather stripping around windows and doors, as well as door sweeps.

• Keep shrubbery cut back at least one metre from the exterior walls of your home to eliminate hiding spots for rodents.

• Eliminate moisture sources such as clogged gutters or water gathering in trash or recycling bins.

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