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Rodent & Pest Prevention and Control

Whether you own property or rent, live or work in the Township of Centre Wellington, everyone has a role in rodent and pest prevention. Proofing your home and property is the most important factor to prevent and control these pests.

For information and tips on how to help prevent and control rodent and pest infestation, please visit the Government of Canada website.

For information on Rodent control in livestock and poultry facilities, please visit the Province of Ontario website

LDD which was formerly know as European Gypsy Moth, is a non-native defoliating insect that feeds on a variety of tree species found in Centre Wellington and throughout North America. When populations are high, they can eat all the leaves on a tree in a short amount of time. The Township of Centre Wellington is actively monitoring the infestation thresholds based on the principles of Integrative Pest Management to determine if and when aggressive management strategies are appropriate. LDD is firmly established in North America and was first detected in Ontario in 1969.  Click here to learn more.

Rats are a common pest in urban areas.  

Rats nest in any safe location where food and water are available such as under woodpiles, in abandoned vehicles, between walls or under floors in garages or sheds. Outdoors they will burrow into the ground close to their food source. Rats are nocturnal animals, meaning they are most active at night. Rats will become active during the day if food and water are scarce, or if large infestations occur.

To control rats and keep them off your property and out of your home, you have to get rid of the three things they need to survive: food, water and shelter.


Risks from rats

The risk of rats spreading disease in the community is low. However, rats can be a nuisance. They can do a lot of damage to properties.

Steps to control rats

Rats can quickly increase in numbers because they are fast breeders. It is unlikely that we will be able to get rid of all the rats but we can try to control the number of them.

Step 1: Look for Evidence

Look for other clues that rats are living on or around your property including:

  • Droppings - Rat droppings (feces) are larger than mouse droppings, look like pill capsules and are often found close to garbage.
  • Burrows - Norway rats prefer to live, sleep and raise their young in underground burrows. The entrance to a burrow is a small hole in the ground. Look under shrubs, porches, decks and in long weeds and grasses for entrances to burrows. Each burrow has one entrance and one or two exits.
  • Gnaw marks - Rats can chew and gnaw through many different materials.
  • Trails - Rats are creatures of habit. They use the same pathways many times a day.
  • Grease marks - Whenever a rat rubs up against a surface, such as a wall, it leaves a grease trail.

Step 2: Clean-up

Important thing to help keep your home and yard clean and tidy to discourage rats:

  • If you store wood or other items in piles in your yard, keep them away from walls. Elevate any lumber or firewood 12" off the ground.
  • Control grasses, weeds, shrubs and bushes
  • Get rid of vines that rats can use to climb up into your roof.
  • Trim low-lying shrubs and bushes.
  • Keep the ground bare around the foundation of your home.
  • Keep gardens/lawns free of weeds and garbage.

Rats communicate and attract each other through urine and droppings:

  • Use a mild bleach solution (one part bleach to 10 parts water) to dampen droppings before you sweep them up.
  • Try to clean-up dark greasy track marks.
  • Wash down areas where rats have been with water and a mild bleach solution.
  • Get rid of garbage and clear out items

Step 3: Limit Food Source

Rats only need one ounce of food per day to survive. They need to drink every day. Do not provide food and water for rats on your property.

  • Keep garbage in a tightly sealed garbage bin made of hard plastic or metal.
  • Make sure rats cannot access your compost.
  • Clean up any fruits or vegetables that fall off trees or plants.
  • Do not use bird feeders. If you want to use bird feeder, put a catch basin under it to collect spilled seeds or clean under the bird feeder at least once a day.
  • Do not leave pet food outside.
  • Clean-up any dog feces on your property
  • Remove water sources on your property
  • Turn off and dry out water fountains, remove birdbaths and turn over containers that can hold water.

Step 4: Keep Rats Out of Your Home

Use approved traps and poison found at hardware stores to eliminate rats. Rats can get through

a space the size of a quarter.

  • Seal all holes and cracks in foundations, walls, floors, underneath doors and around windows. Use metal door sweeps under door openings.
  • Make sure rats cannot climb into pipes and other exhausts around the outside of your home.

Step 5: Eliminate Rats

Use traps and poison found at hardware stores to eliminate rats. It is important that you use caution - traps and poison can be dangerous to people and other animals. Place traps and poison in areas where children and animals cannot access them. If you have a large infestation that you cannot control, hire a licensed pest control company.

Subterranean termites are non-native invasive insects that can cause serious structural damage to homes and can be difficult and expensive to control. Termites are wood destroying insects that live in large colonies numbering several million. They forage through the soil and expand the colony’s territory as they encounter new wood items to feed on. Termites tend to spread rather slowly, depending on the availability of surface dead wood, at an estimated rate of about 50 feet per year.

Termites at a Glance

Subterranean termites are found in more than 30 Ontario municipalities and are a non-native pest that favours softwoods (pine or spruce) and faster growing hardwoods (aspen). First detected in Elora in the mid-1970s, there are now several known
Termite Management Areas encompassing many properties within Elora and Fergus. Termites are wood-eating social insects that
can cause a substantial amount of damage to a property – resulting in costly repairs. Preferred habitat for termite colonies is underground, or aboveground in damp or wet areas or sandy soils. Termites build tunnels to reach food and every spring, groups of reproductive termites fly off to start new colonies.



There are three types of termite colonies:

  1. Workers which are approximately 6mm long, light-coloured and wingless.
  2. Soldiers have elongated heads with mandibles.
  3. Reproductives are dark coloured and have two pairs of equal-length wings.

Termites can travel 500 feet (150m) from their nest, while flying termites may travel up to 3000 feet.

Termite Prevention

The best possible way to reduce termite infestation is by preventing it.

  • Store any wood on concrete or steel elevated off the ground.
  • When wood soil contact cannot be avoided, use a product treated to resist termites.
  • Elevate sheds with concrete blocks and/or use concrete for floors.
  • Remove dead trees and or any infested live trees immediately. Remove the stump by excavating or grinding ensure all chipped material is disposed of.
  • Use mulch made of 100% bark or stone. Wood chip mulches should be avoided.
  • Remove any landscaping from around buildings that may hide entry points, shelter tubes and make inspections more difficult. A clear area of 18 inches (450 mm) is recommended above the ground.
  • Keep new gardens and flower beds 18 inches (450mm) below the top of foundation.
  • Direct downspouts and rainwater barrel overflow away from the buildings so that water does not pool.
  • Maintain existing drainage. Do not create gardens or plant trees and shrubs in swales.
  • Fix all plumbing leaks, particularly in showers and baths. These often have leaks supplying constant moisture that make the wood just right to be eaten or for nesting.

Termites can enter a structure by:

  1. Tunneling through wood
  2. Building shelter tubes
  3. Entering cracks as small as 1/32 inch (.003 mm) in foundation walls

How to detect Termites

Do you think you might have termites?  Here’s some ways to detect them:

  • You can easily leave dents in your baseboards or your wooden floor
  • Wooded window frames look spotted
  • You detect narrow mud tubes inside and outside your walls and foundation
  • Wooden door jams sound hollow
  • You notice strange bits of mud or a thin gritty gray-brown film on the plaster and woodwork throughout your home
  • You notice a “swarm” inside your home in the Spring then discarded wings that resemble fish scales

Termite Inspection & Disposal

  • Inspect your property regularly for signs of termites. The best time to inspect is between April and November.
  • Lift any movable wood in contact with the ground, examine stumps by removing bark or cutting into them, look in the crevices of large trees for sheltered tubes and examine compost for signs.

If you find termites please call a licensed pest control company specializing in termite infestation.


Termite Infested Material Disposal

The County of Wellington solid waste services has agreed to accept termite infested wood and materials from Centre Wellington residences. You must identify that it is termite infested material when presenting at a County transfer station. Please take great care in the transfer of potentially infested wood products to ensure that the material is contained within the transfer vehicle.

Termites in Centre Wellington

In the fall of 2020 Termite Research Services Inc. led by Tim Myles, Ph.D. undertook a Termite Survey project in the areas of Fergus and Elora known to contain Termites. The survey was presented to Council for information.  Staff will be preparing a future Report for Council's consideration on next steps and allocation of the 2021 Termite Funding approved by Council in the 2021 Capital Budget.

To review the Termite survey report, click here

The County of Wellington has an active pest control programme at all waste sites.  Abell Pest Control provides pest control to all facilities by placing traps and pest deterrents during their regular visits, provide monthly monitoring of our sites and also supply monthly reports on their findings and activities. 

As pest management is a requirement under the Environmental Compliance Approval, The County takes pest control very seriously, and also make notes of any observed pests in staff completed Daily Log Sheets.

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