Signs of Rodents Droppings

Case Study: Mice, Cockroaches, and Housekeeping in Toronto

The following case deals with a mouse, rat, and cockroach extermination in Toronto. The initial call to the property was for a cockroach infestation of unknown extent and duration in a two-unit rental property. The cockroach species was not known by the customer but must be identified for proper treatment. While all cockroaches and commonalities, they are all different in some very big and very small ways. The most common cockroaches in North America are the German cockroach that arrived here on ships from Germany along with the Oriental cockroach from Asia which is often referred to as the oriental black beetle but it is indeed a cockroach. There are also two common native cockroaches that have been here for over thirty million years. The Brown Banded cockroach can be identified by its brown striations on the dorsal carapace. The American Cockroach is well named as it is one of the biggest cockroaches in the world and originates from South America. These cockroaches vary in where they like to live as well as how many young they can have. The German cockroach is very small but can produce up to sixty young in a single ootheca. The American cockroach produces fewer than five. This means that while they are largely an American cockroach infestation may be less difficult to deal with than a German one. Identifying the infestation is the first step in controlling and resolving it. The customers also complained about mice in the house and on the property.

Exterior Inspection

The exterior inspection found massive rat activity, no mice were found on the property but it is commonplace for most people to have trouble identifying the difference between mice and rats as to an untrained eye they tend to look the same. They were chewing through the deck and using it as an entry way into the house and were entering the home through these and other entry ways. The basement was a main source of activity but other floors experienced rat activity as well. The infestation was highly active and sever.

Utility Vent Entry Point
Mice will crawl through any gap or crack in the wall. Here, there were some cracks surrounding the vents and utility lines of the home.
Wall Vent Rodent Entry Point
Wall vents can be chewed through by rats and other rodents. These can be sealed with mesh to prevent their entry.
Openings in Deck
Gaps in the deck present pests with an opportunity to nest along the outer walls of the home. If there is a crack in the foundation behind it, they will crawl inside.

Interior Inspection

The initial inspection of the two-unit rental home revealed a vast system of hallways and bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms, mould, damaged and incorrectly installed plumbing as well as mess and clutter that could lead to a cockroach or rodent infestation of the property.   The rodents discovered were not mice but rats on the exterior and interior of the house. Cleaning issues were found as well as signs of cockroach activity in almost every room of the house. The two massive units were crammed with tenants and food was not kept properly. The rats were chewing through drywall and cockroaches were everywhere.

Hiding Spots Under Cabinets Cockroaches Rodents
Cockroaches and mice both like to hide under cabinets and other enclosed spaces near food and water.
Signs of Rodents Droppings
Droppings on the floor indicated a severe infestation.

Initial Measures

The initial measures taken by the technician included a full and complete treatment for the rats both on the interior and the exterior. The technician laid down snap traps baited on the interior in areas of high activity and then baited the outside with large tamper proof weighted bait stations containing commercial grade rodenticide to deal with the rats on the exterior. The two kitchens were treated for cockroaches as well as the bathrooms and general areas of the house where activity has been seen.

Proposed Exclusion

The proposed exclusion by the technician included the addition of a third exterior weighted and tamper proof bait station to enhance the exterior treatment. A large number of foundation gaps were sealed, almost twenty-five feet worth. Foundation gaps are a primary entranceway for rats to get into a house. Unlike mice, they do not lie in the house. They enter and leave daily. The reason for their ingress is to find food but when they go to sleep they generally prefer to be outside in a burrow underground where they feel safe. Four wall vents on the property were sealed off with rubber-coated waterproof galvanized steel cages to protect them from rodent access.


In conclusion, the process was highly effective for both the rats and the cockroaches. The customers were pleased, both the landlord and tenants. The cockroaches and rats were effectively treated and are no longer an issue on the property.

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