case study squirrel removal and rat extermination in east york

Case Study: Squirrel Removal and Rat Extermination in East York

The following article details a squirrel removal and rat extermination service in East York, Toronto. Squirrels had broken into the attic while rats were living underneath the back deck of this single-family residence. While the homeowners originally called for the squirrels, the technician sent to investigate was able to identify the rodent problem and come up with an efficient solution. The squirrels on this property were safely removed and the rats were eliminated and kept out with a comprehensive wildlife-proofing of the house.


The homeowners in this case reached out to Squirrel Control in the summertime when they suspected that squirrels had broken into their attic, somewhere along the roofline. Squirrels and raccoons were frequently spotted in the neighbourhood and the owners often saw squirrels running around on their roof. This is common in East York because the neighbourhoods have had enough time to mature and provide these animals with food and shelter. Aging structures create openings that animals can use to nest indoors.

A technician soon arrived to inspect the situation. Inspecting the property from top to bottom gives our technicians a proper understanding of the infestation so they can provide the best solution possible. Because the squirrels were suspected to be living in the attic, the technician started with the roof. The drip line, roof vents, chimneys, and soffits were all examined closely for entry points and signs of activity. Here, the technician found two entry points along the roof’s edge. Squirrels had chewed their way through cracks in the roof’s edge that had probably formed with time.

Squirrel Entry Point in Soffit
The chew marks along the edges of the opening indicate that a squirrel gnawed its way through. Squirrels have very strong teeth that can chew through practically anything.

Along with the entry points, the technician also found that the soffits were severely damaged. This presented the raccoons and squirrels in the area with another opportunity to break into the house. Squirrels can chew through soffits and raccoons are strong enough to break them open. Wildlife can very easily climb into the attic when it is left exposed in this way.

Damaged Soffits Wildlife
Squirrels are known to break soffits open by pushing upon them with their hands or their backs. Animals can sense that the attic is warm and like that it is close to their food sources.

Once the roof was examined, the technician performed a full inspection of the perimeter. This would identify other vulnerabilities on the home’s exterior as well as any factors contributing to the infestation at hand. In this case, rats were unfortunately found nesting under the back deck. Rats are burrowers that like to dig in suburban yards and create nests under covered structures. They build underground networks of tunnels and feed on things like bird seed, garbage, and vegetable gardens.

Recommendations and Solution

The technician immediately recommended that the squirrel be removed from the attic and that the rats in the backyard be exterminated as soon as possible. Squirrels are highly destructive animals that will wreak havoc on the attic. They will chew electrical wires, contaminate the insulation with feces, and continue to damage the roof. Similarly, rats will damage the yard and risk getting inside the house by burrowing through the foundation. Rats never stop reproducing and their destruction will only get worse with time. Getting rid of the animals and excluding them from the property would put a stop to the damage they were causing.

The owners of this East York residence agreed to go ahead with the squirrel removal and exclusion, so the technician got to work right away. First, he sealed one of the entry points on the roof’s edge with galvanized steel mesh, then installed a one-way door to the other. The one-way door lets animals out of their dens without getting hurt. Once out, they are unable to get back inside because the door only swings outward. The technician also cleaned and disinfected these areas to remove odours and pathogens. Removing odours is not only good for the homeowners but makes the home less attractive to wildlife.

Roof Edge Exclusion Toronto
Unlike plastic, aluminum, and wood, 16-gauge galvanized steel mesh cannot be chewed through by squirrels. This is an excellent squirrel-proofing material that professionals have access to.

About two weeks later, the homeowners called us back to say that the squirrels were gone. The animals had left through the one-way door and found another place to live. Satisfied with the squirrel removal, the owners of this East York residence agreed to have the rats removed as well.

To remove the rats, the technician installed a one-way door on the bottom of the back deck. Just like the door for squirrels, this would let rats out of their den but prevent them from coming back. Once outside, they would consume the baits that the technician left out. Baits are placed in plastic, tamper-proof containers that require a key to open. These baits are specifically formulated to appeal to rats and require several ingestions, so it should not harm any other animals in the neighbourhood. The technician placed a few stations, around the house, in areas of high rat activity.

Along with the door, the wildlife technician excluded the deck by surrounding it with a galvanized steel mesh. First, he dug about a foot into the ground, then screwed the mesh into the deck and covered the trench with dirt. A total of 22 feet were installed.

Galvanized Steel Mesh Rat Exclusion
Galvanized steel mesh was installed along the foundation of the home to prevent an invasion into the home.

The rodents on this East York property were no longer a problem within a few weeks. Their population was suppressed, and they had all left the deck. The technician returned to the property one more time to remove the one-way doors he had installed and replaced them with mesh. This material is weather-proof and strong enough to resist animals chewing and tearing.

Squirrel One-way Door Removed
Squirrels often try to come back after being evicted. Replacing the door with mesh prevents this.
Rat One-way Door Removed
The rat one-way door was also replaced with mesh to keep rats out for good.


This case study demonstrates the importance of hiring a wildlife removal company that can handle any pest issue. One pest often leads to another, and suburban neighbourhoods are full of wildlife. The professionals on the Squirrel Control team are trained and experienced in the removal of all kinds of animals including raccoons, rats, mice, skunks, bats, and more. They can identify the species causing trouble and implement a solution that will get rid of them quickly. In this case, both squirrels and rats were permanently removed from the home. Call Squirrel Control today if you suspect some animal activity on your property or if you are interested in pest-proofing your home.

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