Toronto’s growing rat problem – Toronto Star

Toronto’s growing rat problem – Toronto Star

SOS Wildlife Control was recently featured in the Toronto Star! Sherwin Baghani, owner and field manager of SOS Wildlife Control, shares insights on Toronto’s rat problem. Many residents are seeing more and more rats around their neighbourhoods and are looking for solutions from the city. From January to July, the city had received 914 complaints related to rodents. Baghani explains that they’ve had many customers call for help after numerous attempts with the city. The current rat problem is likely due to ongoing construction forcing rats out of their nests and dated infrastructure, such as sewers. If you or someone you know is experiencing problems with pests and wildlife, call SOS Wildlife Control today. Be sure to check out our latest feature in the Toronto Star!

27 Things You Didn’t Know about Termites

You may know termites for being pesky pests that will destroy your home, however there is much more to them than that. Though termites can be pesky and unwanted, the facts surrounding these insects are incredibly fascinating as well as impressive. Here at SOS Wildlife Control we have compiled a list of interesting and fun facts about termites. Continue reading if you are interested in knowing more about termites or just want to hear some impressive facts about these insects. 

Not All Termites are Pests

There are around 2800 species of termites in the world! In fact, only 28 species of termites are known for eating infrastructures. Most species of termites are not interested in eating your home. Unfortunately, the ones that do destroy your home are certainly the pesky kind! 

They are Beneficial for Ecosystems 

Termites can be beneficial for ecosystems as they aerate soil with their tunnel systems and promote plant growth. Additionally, they clear the dead wood that is found in their surroundings. It has also been found that in dry climates such as savannas termite mounds can help prevent effects of climate change in these climates due to the nutrients and moisture found in these mounds. 

Termites do not only Eat Wood 

Not all termites only stick to wood in their diet. Some species of termites have been known to eat items such as fabrics and plastics as well. 

There are More Termites Than People 

One single termite mound can be host to millions of termites. The queen of the termite colony certainly work hard and lay around 30 000 eggs in one single day! These queens can lay 15-25 eggs per minute. That is a large number of termites. 

Termites are Large in Numbers Compared to Other Insects

As mentioned, the queen termite can lay an incredibly high number of eggs and produce massive colonies. Termites are so large in numbers that they make up around 95% of all insect and soil biomass found in tropical regions. 

Termite Queens Have Long Lifespans

Termite queens can outlive any other insect in the world. In fact, queen termites have the longest life span compared to any other insect on earth. It has been found that some termites queens can live anywhere between 30 – 50 years. 

Termites Promote Crop Growth 

Termites are helpful for the growth of crops. This is because their poop is rich is nitrogen and acts like a natural soil fertilizer. Additionally, their tunnels help aerate the soil and allows water to penetrate the soil deeply allowing plants to readily soak up more water. 

Termites are like Architects 

These insects are incredibly strong and hard workers. They build tunnels, move dirt and can build mounds up to 30 feet high. The colonies are able to create intricate tunnels and massive mounds cohesively in order to help their queen and colony survive and thrive. 

Termites Bite Faster than a Cheetah Runs

Termites can move their mandibles at 157 miles per hour, whereas a cheetah runs at 76 miles per hour. Their bites are incredibly fast and are certainly effective in order to create their intricate tunnels. 

Termites are Rich in Gut Bacteria

Gut bacteria is becoming increasingly more important in research concerning human health. Termites are host to as much as 1400 different species of bacteria in their hindgut – with 90% of this not found in other species on Earth. Scientists are incredibly intrigued by this and strive to harness these microbes to potentially make biofuel from plants. 

Termites have been used for Health 

In some areas people use termites as a part of a nutritious diet, such as in Singapore. People in the Amazon also burn termite nests and breathe in the smoke in order to care for the flu. 

Termites can Build Their own Air Ventilation 

Termites are able to keep their nests at a comfortable temperature through the intricate system that is their nest. They create a large chimney that is central to their nest and build a large mound that is above ground. This mound has tunnels that surround the main chimney, this then acts as though they are breathing air in and out, allowing air to flow through their nest. 

Termites are very Social 

Termites are very social and view their colony as a family. In fact, this “family colony” typically stays together for a minimum of two generations. The family works together to take care of the young and each other. They also work together to protect the nest. 

Termites Clean One Another 

As we know termites are very social and take care of each other. They spend a lot of time caring for one another which include grooming and cleaning each other. This way they prevent the spread of disease in their colony. 

Termites have Roles 

Every colony has a caste system. This system includes a queen, king, worker termites and soldier termites. These roles are determined by the queen and her pheromones. The queen feeds her young her feces, which has pheromones in it. Depending on the pheromone that is found in the feces and consumed by the babies, this will determine what type of role the babies grow into. 

Queen and King Termites are Winged 

When queen and king termites reach sexual maturity, they develop wings. They use these wings to fly away from their nest and colony in the search of finding a new area and new mate to produce their own colony. Once they have found the area in which they want to reproduce, they lose their wings. 

Queens are Largest 

In the colony, Queen termites are significantly larger than all of the other termites found in the colony. In fact, the largest termite species have queens that can grow up to 4 inches long! 

Worker and Solider Termites do not have Eyes 

Although queen and king termites have both wings and eyes, many of the lower caste termites such as worker and soldiers do not have either. Worker termites are responsible for building tunnels, foraging and feeding others. They are the smallest caste of termite. Soldier termites are bigger than worker termites and they are responsible for protecting the nest. They have larger and sharp mandibles in order to execute and cause damage to any foreigners that may invade the nest and threaten their colony. 

Soldier Termites Cannot Feed Themselves 

Solider termites have one role, to protect the nest. This means they are unable to forage for food and feed themselves. Therefore, they rely on worker termites to provide them with sustenance. Worker termites do so by regurgitating cellulose that they have extracted from food sources into the mouths of the solider termites. 

Termites Release Pheromones 

Pheromones is not only a way to assign roles to termites, but it is also their form of communication. They use different types of pheromones in order to communicate what is going on in the nest, where there may be food, where there may be threats as well as other information. The pheromones are secreted from grands that are found around their chest. 

Termites use Vibrations 

Termites not only use pheromones as a form of communication, but they also use vibrations. If there is a threat to the colony termites will create vibrations in order to warn the others of the threat. They do so by tapping or banging their heads against the colony tunnel walls. 

They Have Sensory Organs 

As termites use vibration in order to communicate, they have sense organs in both their tibiae and the base of their antennae which allow them to feel any vibrations. 

They Sense Food Sources through Vibrations 

Termites are able to sense which food sources to search for and infest based on vibroacoustic signals that are sensed. The ability to sense vibroacoustic have been found to be specific to only some species of termites and not all termites possess this ability. 

Termites do not Sleep 

Termites do not sleep!  In fact, they work 24 hours a day until their death. This brings a whole new meaning to worker termites! 

Termites Have Competition 

Termites and ants do not get along, in fact ants are not only competition for termites but are also their predators. If termite and ant colonies are found near each other, both colonies may even go at war in order to claim their territory and access to food. In these wars the soldiers castes of both species invade each other colonies. 

 Termites Produce Gas 

Termites produce methane gas as they digest the wood that they have eaten. In fact, it is has been found that termites may release around 150 million tons of methane gas per year. 

World’s Largest Termite Colony 

The largest termite colony that has ever been recorded in history had over 3 million termites. This is the size of a large city! 

Although termites certainly get a bad reputation, they certainly aren’t all bad. In fact, they are quite impressive creatures, and their work ethic is certainly unmatched!  Although they are impressive insects, they can definitely become a nuisance in your life if you are affected by the wrong type of termite – the infrastructure eating kind. As mentioned, termites work 24 hours a day and will not stop to rest or sleep. Simply imagine what that would do to your home if they got their way into your infrastructure. If you are concerned about an infestation in or around your home, it is always best to contact the professionals before the situation gets worse. If you already have an infestation, here at SOS Wildlife Control we can eliminate the problem for you in a safe and responsibly manner. We always keep you and your family’s health and safety in mind.  !  If you are concerned that you may have a termite infestation in your home or your office, contact us for safe elimination that does not jeopardize your health and safety. 

If you have questions about your termite problem call us at (647) 994-9453 or 1-800-981-0330, we will do our best to help.

8 Things Attracting Rats to Your Home

Rats are certainly unwelcome house guests; however, they can be sneaky and nestle their way into your home without you even noticing. You may not know it, but your home may be attracting rats to it. It is important to be aware of what things in your or around your home may be attracting rats to your living space. Read our list to find out what may be attracting rats to your home and what precautions you should be taking.


Leaving your garbage cans out without proper securement can attract rats to your home. Rats have a very good sense of smell, if they smell food around your home, they will find their way. When you leave out waste in a garbage can that does not have proper securement rats can easily make their way into them. Rats are sneaky and they will make themselves comfortable near your waste, especially if it is easily accessible. We highly recommend getting a secure garbage can in order to avoid rats being attracted to your home.

Unsecured Food

As mentioned, rats have a great sense of smell and when it comes to food they are determined to access it in any way possible. If you have a lot of food in your home that is not secured well, such as sitting in a plastic bag, unwrapped, or sitting in opened boxes, rats will make their way to it when they can. Rats do not discriminate when it comes to food, they won’t only go for human food they will also go for bags of pet food or bird seeds. Seal your food and put them into containers whenever possible.

Pet waste

If your pet uses your yard as a bathroom, it is important to clean it regularly. Even though waste may not seem like food to humans, to rats it is still considered a meal. Leaving pet waste in the yard will attract rats. Not only will they easily be able to follow the sent to your home, but they also will find this as a simple and accessible meal. Likely rats will hang around your home in the hopes of a new meal. They may even become brave enough to venture into your home

Holes and cracks – even small ones

Make sure your home does not have any holes or cracks that a rat can enter through. Be mindful that rats can enter your home through cracks as small as ½ of an inch. They are very good at squeezing through small spaces. Though we may be quick to seal large holes or cracks in the house, we may be slower to seal smaller ones. However these cracks are still accessible for rats, and you ignoring them will not do you any good – however the rats will appreciate it.


Rats like clutter as it provides a safe and hidden shelter. If it is outside in your yard or around your garage, they will use it as a shelter from the weather. Clutter in your home is also a great hiding place for rats. They may quickly make this their home and start breeding – increasing your infestation. If you have a lot of clutter in your home, this could certainly attract rats and allow them to stay since it is an inviting place and easy for them to hide from you. If you are concerned about an infestation, it is best to contact professionals.


Both indoor and outdoor plants can attract rats – especially ones that produce fruit. Plants provide shelter, soft soil, water and possibly food as well – a perfect nest for a rat to build its home. If you keep large or bushy plants in your home, it also is a good place for a rat to hide. As a bonus for a rat, because it is in your home it provides extra shelter and warmth. Check your plants often for any signs of rats.


A leaky pipe, hose, bird bath or outdoor water bowls for your pet can be attracting rats. A leaking hose outside in the garden may not seem like its causing harm, however, this constant source of clean water is attracting rats into your home. Rats will stick around areas where they can find food or water with ease. If your home is providing water for them, they will certainly begin to make themselves comfortable. Eventually, the rats may try and make their way into your home, where there is shelter, warmth and food. Keep rats away by ensuring you do not have any sources of clean water that they will find appealing to be near.

Comfort and Warmth

Your home is paradise for a rat. They crave warm and comfortable environments to sleep and to live in. Your home is likely an ideal environment for rats. Even if you follow this list thoroughly and ensure you keep all your food packed away, clean up after your pet, ensure that your home is not accessible, your waste is secure, etc. It may still be difficult to keep rats away, so it is important to be mindful and keep an eye out for any rats. If you are worried that your home may have rats, it is best to contact the professionals for rat removal services as soon as possible, to prevent the situation from escalating.

Taking the precautions to prevent rats is crucial in preventing a rat infestation. However, although you may be taking all the right steps and precautions, rats will still be attracted to your home. If they can make their way inside and make themselves at home, they certainly will. If you are concerned about a rat infestation, it is best to contact professionals before the situation escalates. Hire an experienced exterminator who has knowledge and experience in this field. SOS Wildlife Control cares about the health and safety of our customers. We provide long term benefits that prevent future infestations, all while keeping your health, your family’s health and/or the office’s health in mind – pets included! If you are concerned that you may have an infestation in your home or your office, contact us for safe elimination that does not jeopardize your health and safety.

If you find a rat on your property call us at (647) 994-9453 or 1-800-981-0330 or speak to a local pest technician immediately. If you’ve seen one there is probably many more.

7 Signs of Cockroaches in Your Home

Cockroaches are certainly unwelcome houseguests. They can quickly invade your home and infest your space. If they make their way into your home and get comfortable, they may reproduce quickly, increasing the problem. It is important to catch cockroaches early in order to prevent a large infestation from occurring. With our years of experience at SOS Wildlife Control, our experts have seen many tell-tale signs of cockroach infestations. We have created this list in order to help you identify your problem and seek professional help.

  • You See A Cockroach

Although not all signs may be obvious, this one definitely is. If you see a cockroach (or two) in your home, this may be a sign that you have cockroaches. Cockroaches are nocturnal, which means they typically come out at night. This means the best time to catch a cockroach is at night. If you are finding cockroaches during the day, this can be a sign of large infestation occurring in your home.

  • Skin Shedding

Cockroaches shed their skin around 5-8 times in their life cycle. If you often find what appears to be the shedding of insect casing, particularly in similar areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, or around the garbage, this may be a sign of cockroach infestation.

  • Cockroach eggs

Cockroaches reproduce quickly, meaning that it is likely that you may find their eggs, or the casing of the eggs called oothecae. The eggs and their casings are oblong in shape and brown in colour. It may be more difficult to find eggs with the unhatched cockroaches inside as often, they are hidden in areas that may be difficult to find. However, the casings that are left behind after a cockroach has hatched and left, are much easier to spot and are a good sign that there are cockroaches in your home, and they have made themselves comfortable. Places you may find oothecae are around pantries, in cracks, behind furniture, in books as well as other protected and sheltered areas.

  • Cockroach droppings

Cockroaches have a large appetite and a fast metabolism; this means that you are likely to find their droppings as they digest food quickly. These pests basically eat what they can find, such as human food, plant matter, feces and dead skin. Likely if it is accessible to them, they will eat it. These pests and their large appetites often lead to them leaving a lot of droppings behind.  Cockroach feces range in appearance such as appearing similar to coffee grounds, oval pellets, specks that resemble pepper and sometimes brown stains. If you are noticing there is a large amount of feces left behind, this is a good indicator of a large infestation. You may find these droppings in high traffic cockroach areas such as around sinks, in pantries and cupboards, behind the stove or refrigerator, as well as other areas where you may store food. Check these areas and remove any dirt, waste or food to prevent cockroaches from having access to food.

  • You Smell Them

As cockroaches defecate, they leave behind a musty order which sends signals to other cockroaches to congregate. Although one cockroach alone can leave an odour, the more cockroaches there are, the worse the smell. This apparent smell can indicate a large infestation. Also, as cockroaches die and their bodies decompose, this will also create a scent, indicating to you that you may have a cockroach infestation.

  • Smearing

Cockroaches that are attracted to water may leave behind smear marks. As they crawl through water, they may leave behind smear marks that appear brownish in colour. Check for smear marks around sinks, bathrooms, showers and tubs.

  • Signs of Damage

As cockroaches are not very polite houseguests and make themselves very comfortable in your home, they may leave behind signs of damage. Check areas where you keep food, food packaging, as well as books or leather. If you notice damage to these goods, this may be a sign of cockroaches.

Call the Professionals

Cockroaches are not pleasant houseguests and are likely causing damage or distress to your household, as well as pose risks to you and your families health. Although there are signs in order to determine if you have a cockroach infestation, it may not always be apparent. If you suspect that you may have an infestation, it is always wise to call the professionals in order to assess and deal with the pests. Here at SOS Wildlife Control we care about our customers and their satisfaction with our work. Our experts have the skill and experience to provide effective and efficient solutions for your pest problem. We pride ourselves on our work and the positive feedback we receive from our clients. If you suspect that you may have a cockroach infestation or require professional assistance in effectively removing an infestation call us at (647) 994-9453 or 1-800-981-0330 for all of your pest removal needs and we guarantee your satisfaction.