The Region of Peel announces that they have voted to implement a 12-month pilot program pest control subsidy program and study.

The pilot program is being launched in response to resident concerns over an increase in rodent population across Peel. The program will provide a 50 per cent rebate of the incurred costs for the services of a professional pest control service to a maximum of $200 per year. Residents will have to submit invoices from licensed pest control vendors.

In conjunction with the pilot subsidy program, the Region will be developing an Integrated Pest Management plan which addresses the root causes of rodent populations, with education as a key component.

Mississauga residents who have been dealing with unprecedented rat infestations can now access a Region of Peel-wide rebate program that will help them cover some of the cost of pest control services. 

The move to implement the program came after Mississauga Ward 3 Councillor Chris Fonseca pleaded with the region to help residents handle the financial load brought about by an influx in rat infestations in several Mississauga neighbourhoods as a result of COVID.

Fonseca introduced a motion calling for financial support for impacted residents at a Sept. 10 regional council meeting. The motion, which notes that rats have the capacity to burrow underground and live in common public and private spaces, warns that the animals are prolific breeders that are difficult to eradicate.

According to the motion, rats have been spotted on private property, in public parks, around construction sites and on the streets, something Fonseca argues is a health and safety issue that should be addressed by Peel Public Health.

At Mississauga general committee meeting, Fonseca said that rats are behaving strangely, telling other council members that she’s received photos and videos of dozens of rats acting aggressively and eating each other. 

The region said it’s going to study the rat problem in conjunction with establishing the rebate program and will be developing an Integrated Pest Management plan that addresses the root causes of rodent populations, with education as a key component. 

“I am pleased that council supported this important step to address a common urban concern. I would like to thank Mississauga Ward 3 Councillor Chris Fonseca for the significant work on behalf of her residents to bring this motion to council,” said Nando Iannicca, Chair of the Regional Council, in a statement. 

The pilot program and study are currently being developed. The Region will announce when and how to apply for subsidy once the program has been established.