Rats were seen Monday night at Émilie Gamelin Park in downtown Montreal happily frolicking in the snow, indifferent to the dozens of passers-by.
In a video taken around 5:30 p.m. in the park on the corner of Berri and Sainte-Catherine streets, some rodents can be seen making their way through the powdery snow that fell over the weekend.
Animals can also be seen sneaking through crevices or tunnels dug beneath the park infrastructure.
The rat population has exploded downtown since the pandemic began, with rodents multiplying rapidly, thanks in large part to the ban on a pesticide on January 1, 2022.
- Listen to Richard Martineau’s interview with exterminator Nathaniel Leavey via QUB radio :
Exterminators surveyed by the Journal de Montréal last October expressed concern about the rapid spread of vermin.
“This summer, interventions for mice and rats accounted for 75% of our work. Normally it’s a maximum of 30 to 40% of our work in the same period,” explained Frank Pulcuni, owner of Centrale Extermination.
The city then defended its decision to ban 36 molecules used in the composition of anti-rat products, citing environmental concerns.
However, Mayor Valérie Plante’s administration was forced to back down last week and decided to authorize the use of diphacinone again, a rodenticide that causes rodent death by causing internal bleeding in the bodies of animals.