The presence of rats in Toronto is hardly unheard of, but this is something else. A North York neighbourhood's residents have been left disgusted and terrified by a persistent Toronto rat problem in the area. Some people have even admitted they're getting scared to go outside.
According to CTV News, recent local construction has spawned something of an infestation of the rodents in the area of Dufferin Street and Eglington Avenue West.
Local resident Loreto Marchione said he's dedicated far too much time in recent days to setting up rat traps around his home and the houses of neighbours. In a pretty gross illustration of the extent of the problem, he says he has caught 19 rats in a matter of weeks since sewer repairs were carried out by the city.
"I did my best, I caught 19, but I don't know what to say anymore," the longtime resident told CTV. "Everybody is scared. I've never had anything like this in my life. I've been here 47 years. We've seen little mice once in a while, but nothing like this, this is unbelievable."
Marchione's neighbour Sylvia Simone said the rats started surfacing in the summer.
"They're just everywhere, it's a mess. I'm worried about them getting into the house when it gets colder. It's a big problem, it's not just us, it's all the neighbours on the street.
"I'm frustrated, I can't come out of my backyard because I'm scared," Simone said. "I don’t want a rat infestation in our neighbourhood."
The problem of rats in the 6ix is hardly a new one, but the scale of the issue in this particular area sounds pretty grim, tbh.
A study released back in May suggested that the number of rats in Ontario's largest city has doubled in the space of seven years.
One Twitter user thinks he may know where this particular sudden influx is coming from, though. "It's election season. They are everywhere."
Marchione and his fellow residents in the area contacted their local councillor Mike Colle and Toronto Public Health in an attempt to solve the issue, and they were reportedly told the issue would be addressed in some capacity on Friday.
"Everybody is complaining, it's not a joke, it's serious, and that's why we want some action," said Marchione.
A fact sheet, two years out of date, on the City of Toronto website says the city addresses rodent complaints but does not investigate all of them unless they relate to rodent infestations in food premises and institutions like hospitals and schools. It advises that residents should store garbage correctly, reduce clutter, eliminate potential food sources to prevent infestation. If an infestation occurs, it suggests seeking private oest control services.
It can be really difficult for residents to deal with troublesome animal invaders. Leave the pitchfork out of it, though.
Narcity has reached out to Toronto Public Health for comment.