Beware Leaside’s critter litter

Leaside Litterati

Leaside has a lot of critters, both wild and domesticated, and they create a lot of unwanted litter!

Our house has an underground garage and amazingly enough there is actually room to park a car! As I was pulling out one day I noticed some insulation scattered on the garage floor. A simple fix, I thought – just sweep it up. A few days later there was even more insulation mixed with chicken bones and carrot tops, and upon closer inspection, rodent droppings. Worrisome to say the least! This time I swept it up and put out some snap traps.

We keep our green bin in the garage, and it has certainly had its share of chicken bones and carrot tops. Thinking this might be the attraction, I locked the lid shut. Then around midnight my son knocked on our bedroom door. “I hear some scratching and it sounds like it’s coming from the wall behind the cupboard.”

I bravely went down, opened the sliding glass door, then the cup-board door, hoping the critter was inside and would run out. Alas, no such luck.

After a few days of midnight scratching I decided this was not likely to resolve itself. Time to call in the professionals. Step one: go to the Leaside Community Facebook site and search for pest control. Yes, other Leasiders have had critters in their walls and their recommendations for a local company were helpful. Step two: make the call. “Ah yes” was the response. “There are a lot of rats in Leaside.” Rats? A mouse I could handle, but a rat?

Pat arrived within a few hours and with flashlight in hand we went about examining the nooks and crannies in the garage and laundry room as well as the size of the droppings. “Mouse? Rat? Chipmunk? Not sure what it is,” he said. He went on to explain that the construction of Metrolinx’s new Eglinton Crosstown light rail line is upsetting many of the established rat colonies, sending them out in the open to find new spots to build their nests. He added some larger snap traps – he brings his own peanut butter – and a locked bait trap. “Give it a week,” he said, “and I’ll be back.” The scratching in the wall continued for a few days and then stopped, the traps remained empty with no sign of insulation, and the only thing eating the peanut butter was a colony of ants. Problem solved.

What about the raccoon feces all over our back shed roof, which sits under a large evergreen tree where they love to nest? Not going near that! And the dead squirrel flattened in the middle of Rumsey Rd. Call 311.

And pet cats? An owner wondered, on the Leaside Community Facebook site, what people thought: “Should they be indoor or outdoor pets?” A number of residents chimed in. “Outdoor cats are indiscriminate wildlife killers and poopers, which means owners cause problems for others.” “If we don’t choose to have a cat (especially for allergy reasons) I don’t understand why I should have to have other people’s cats on my outdoor furniture. They have marked them, scratched them and left hair all over them. I hate finding cats on our deck or chairs. So rude!” People also responded to a survey: 52 voted “Indoor,” 10 for “Doesn’t matter,” 5 for “Just pick up after them,” 3 for “Outdoor” and 1 for “Outdoor if it’s safe, indoor if it’s not.” Even with this feedback the owner continued to insist that his cats seemed to enjoy their lives more if they were allowed to go outside.

Lastly, what about the ongoing issue of dog owners who don’t poop and scoop? You can reach Michelle Pappas on the Leaside Community Facebook site and request her customized sign. “Wanna get into yoga? Start by bending over and picking up after your dog (known as the ‘downward dog’ position). CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR DOG.”

Critter litter in Leaside…just one of our neighbourhood’s little aggravations!

About Cheryl Vanderburg 43 Articles
Cheryl Vanderburg writes the monthly column "Leaside Litterati." She is a local 'plogger' who combines her love of walking with picking up litter. She hopes to inspire all Leasiders to join this newest craze to stay fit and keep our neighborhood green and clean.