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This Ottawa ward has the most complaints about rats so far in 2024

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Residents in Ottawa's east end and downtown are raising concerns about rats roaming around the neighbourhood this year.

Bylaw and Regulatory Services received 119 service requests for rats on private property so far in 2024, after receiving 779 service requests in 2023.

Statistics provided to CTV News Ottawa show Rideau-Vanier had the highest number of service requests for rats in the first four months of 2024, with 16 requests. There were 83 complaints about rats in the ward in 2023.

Somerset was second on the list for most complaints about rats in 2024, with 15 requests, followed by 11 in Somerset ward and 10 in Orléans East-Cumberland.

Five wards in the city of Ottawa have zero complaints about rats so far in 2024.

The city says Bylaw Services investigate services requests for rodents on private property, primarily under the Property Standards Bylaw.

"BLRS does not engage in live trapping or other removal activities. Rather, based on an inspection, and as warranted, an order is issued under the Property Standards Bylaw requiring the property owner to remedy the situation accordingly, including making repairs that would prevent the entry of vermin," the city said.

"Alternatively, a Notice of Violation may be issued requiring the property owner to cut long grass or remove exterior waste and debris from the property that may serve to attract rodents."

In 2023, Rideau-Vanier had the highest number of complaints about rats, with 83 complaints. There were 69 complaints about rats in Orléans East-Cumberland, 61 in Capital ward, 48 in Somerset ward and 46 in both Rideau-Rockcliffe and Kanata South.

Ottawa resident captures hundreds of rats

Mel Giroux has been dealing with rats for several years. She tells CTV News Ottawa she decided to take matters into her own hands, catching hundreds of rodents in the process.

"I started keeping track with an Excel sheet in August 2021. And between that time and November, there was 224 between myself and one of my neighbors. And there's at least that many between May and August. So over 500," she said. 

"Every one I take out, I know we'll keep 300 more from being born. So I think, potentially, I'm making a difference. But it's a small, small, small drop in the bucket."

Pest control experts say it is hard for a homeowner to get rid of rats on their own.

"Rats, actually when they want to try a new food, they send the weakest or the oldest member of the family to go try it. So that's why they're one of the biggest survivors on Earth," said Auday Eden of Pest Patrol.

Here is a ward-by-ward breakdown of rat complaints filed to Ottawa's 311 service between Jan. 1 and May 7, 2024. (Full 2023 year stats in parentheses)

  • Orléans East-Cumberland – 10 (69)
  • Orléans West-Inness – 1 (34)
  • Barrhaven West – 4 (28)
  • Kanata North – 0 (11)
  • West Carleton-March – 0 (0)
  • Stittsville – 0 (18)
  • Bay – 5 (18)
  • College – 7 (42)
  • Knoxdale-Merivale – 3 (36)
  • Gloucester-Southgate – 3 (20)
  • Beacon Hill-Cyrville – 8 (29)
  • Rideau-Vanier – 16 (83)
  • Rideau-Rockcliffe – 7 (46)
  • Somerset – 11 (48)
  • Kitchissippi – 5 (28)
  • River – 6 (40)
  • Capital – 15 (61)
  • Alta Vista – 5 (41)
  • Orléans South-Navan – 4 (19)
  • Osgoode – 0 (4)
  • Rideau-Jock – 0 (1)
  • Riverside South-Findlay Creek – 2 (10)
  • Kanata South – 4 (46)
  • Barrhaven East – 3 (36)

-With files from CTV News Ottawa's Dave Charbonneau.

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