Abell Pest Control says construction at Union Station ‘has displaced a large rat colony.
Downtown business owners are bracing for a rat infestation after a pest control company warned that “the demolition and construction of several underground structures at Union Station has displaced a large rat colony, forcing its migration to new areas of the downtown.”
But the exact location and size of the rat colony remain a mystery along with other facts about the alleged rats.
How big is the colony?
Nobody knows. Mike Heimbach, spokesman for Abell Pest Control, which sent out the news release, said the company does not service Union Station but has received “a lot more calls” about rats from residents and business owners in the area. He also said that it’s not a “colony” but a “population” of rats.
What do Metrolinx and the TTC say?
“Nope, haven’t seen a single rat,” said Metrolinx media relations manager Anne Marie Aikins, who works out of Union Station. She added that rats aren’t usually seen on the Metrolinx level and are generally found underground.
“We have no reports of any increased activity in rats,” said TTC spokesman Brad Ross.
Where in the station were they living?
Nobody knows. Rats are common in any city, especially in underground areas like subways. Since Abell doesn’t service Union, none of its workers have gone in to look for rats, Heimbach said.
Where are the rats going?
No one really knows. Heimbach said the station rats are pushing out other rats in the area, which in turn causes those rats to spread out through the city. As well, since it’s getting colder, more rats will try to get indoors.
What’s the city doing about it?
“It’s not an issue for us right now,” said senior communications co-ordinator Bruce Hawkins. He said the number of rats in the city has not changed and that it’s common for rats and mice to move around during construction.
Should anyone be worried?
No. Abell quality assurance manager Steve Graff said the volume of rats leaving Union Station isn’t “any more severe than when (construction) started.” Graff said the point of the news release was to raise awareness about prevention measures and to get local residents to contact a pest control company.