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Proliferation of rats in Montreal | The opposition calls for a concrete fight plan



The municipal administration must take measures to control the rat population in Montreal, for example by introducing closed containers for domestic garbage and municipal garbage cans, by improving the cleanliness brigades and by systematically exterminating rats during work on the public transport network. sewers, according to the opposition at City Hall.

“With the issues of cleanliness, Montreal has become an all-you-can-eat buffet for the 5 to 6 million rats that we currently have in the city,” denounced Aref Salem, leader of Ensemble Montreal, Tuesday at a press conference. “The rats come out of the sewers without us having any control. They now frequent our homes, our universities, our parks. »

This is why the opposition is asking for a concrete plan for the City to tackle the problem before it gets out of control. Mr. Salem will table a motion on this subject at the next meeting of the city council, on February 20.

“We are dealing with an animal like no other,” explained Nathaniel Leavey, co-owner of the extermination firm Les Entreprises Maheu, who participated in the opposition press conference. “A female can have about 6 litters per year, about 6 to 12 babies per litter, so 50 babies per year. A couple of rats could generate 5000 individuals per year, if the descendants in turn reproduce. »

Mr Leavey reports a huge increase in calls from customers struggling with rats in 2022.

This increase coincides with the ban on the territory of Montreal, for environmental reasons, of 36 pesticides, including 7 rodenticides used by exterminators to poison rats.

Recently, at the request of the pest control industry, the City decided to remove one of these poisons, diphacinone, from the list of products prohibited outside. Exterminators will therefore be able to start using it again from February 20.

“There is a lot of letting go”

According to the opposition, the banning of these products by the City should have been accompanied by measures aimed at preventing the proliferation of rats.

We must act in prevention on several fronts: exterminating rats as soon as there is work on the sewer system, raising awareness among the population and traders and improving the cleanliness of the streets, underlines Stéphanie Valenzuela, spokesperson for the opposition in environmental matter.

“Cleanliness is an extremely important issue in Montreal right now,” she says. There is a lot of sloppiness on the part of the Plante administration on this subject. Rats can find overflowing garbage cans very easily. We therefore propose to review the waste management system, in particular by putting closed garbage cans everywhere, including in public places and parks. »

The opposition is not necessarily against spacing waste collection every two weeks, as is done in the borough of Saint-Laurent and in certain districts of Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, but closed bins should then be required, since trash bags can be easily torn by rats.

If the proportion of composted waste increases, there should in principle be less odorous organic matter in the bins. But Aref Salem points out that some smelly garbage can’t be composted, such as baby diapers, cat litter and some food wrappers.

Mayor Plante “open”

In the office of Mayor Valérie Plante, they say they receive the opposition motion with “great openness”, while affirming that the City is already acting to counter the rats.

“A strategy is currently in place and involves the use of various means, including mechanical means, the installation of closed garbage cans, the application of standards surrounding construction sites and efforts for cleanliness on the public domain, among others” , says press officer Marikym Gaudreault.

She adds that complaints about the presence of rodents downtown are down, but that the administration “is not letting its guard down.”

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