Mississauga residents can now get financial help with rodent infestations

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Published March 23, 2021 at 4:26 pm

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Mississauga residents who have been dealing with unprecedented rat infestations can now access a Region of Peel-wide rebate program that will help them cover some of the cost of pest control services. 

The program, available for residents in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon, provides a 50 per cent subsidy up to a maximum of $200 for qualifying residents. Those who are interested in the program will have to submit invoices from licensed pest control vendors.

On its website, the region says it’s following the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) method, a method that works to eliminate infestations at the source through education. According to the region, IPM relies on a combination of practices, including using approved pest control vendors, providing financial support to residents through the subsidy and educating residents on how to prevent infestations from occurring. 

Businesses, institutions, apartments, and apartment-style condominiums are not eligible for the subsidy program.

The move to implement the program came after Mississauga Ward 3 Councillor Chris Fonseca pleaded with the region to help residents handle the financial burden brought about by an influx in rat infestations in several Mississauga neighbourhoods.

Fonseca introduced a motion calling for financial support for impacted residents at a Sept. 10, 2020, regional council meeting. According to the motion, the city and region have increasingly been hearing concerns from residents regarding “a significant increase in the rat population” throughout the region and in the Applewood Hills, Applewood Heights and Applewood Acres communities in particular. 

Fonseca’s motion, which was seconded by Ward 1 Councillor Stephen Dasko, attributes the increase in rodent sightings to ongoing residential, commercial and industrial infrastructure projects, adding that the urban landscape “creates an environment for rats to thrive by providing an ample supply of food, water and shelter.” 

According to the motion, rats have been spotted on private property, in public parks, around construction sites and on the streets, something Fonseca argues is a health and safety issue that should be addressed by Peel Public Health. 

At a Mississauga general committee meeting, Fonseca said that rats are behaving strangely, telling other council members that she’s received photos and videos of dozens of rats acting aggressively and eating each other. 

At the Sept. 10 regional council meeting, Peel Public Health staff members said that the health agency has received 74 complaints about rats in Mississauga this year, up from 54 complaints in 2019 but down from 94 complaints in 2018. 

Staff said that there are have been no recorded instances of rat-related illnesses in Mississauga as a result of the increased sightings, adding there have been no cases of the bubonic plague in the region since 1939. 

The pilot program will be available from March 22, 2021, until March 31, 2022, and will reimburse eligible homeowners for 50 per cent of the cost in hiring a Region of Peel-approved pest control vendor, up to a maximum of $200 per calendar year per residential Peel address.  

Ther region says that if a resident spends more than $400 in the calendar year, they will receive the maximum subsidy amount of $200. If they spend anything less than $400, they will receive 50 per cent of the total cost.

To be eligible for the program, a resident must determine that the exterior of their property has a rat infestation, hire a Region of Peel-approved pest control vendor and complete the application and submit all applicable documents including invoices. 

To prevent infestations, residents should ensure their external property is free from food, water, shelter and points of entry that are attractive to rodents. 

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