When it comes to warmth, rats and mice are like the rest of us — they’d prefer a cozy nest (however you define it) rather than the frosty conditions that mark a Canadian winter.  So they move indoors and become unwanted house guests for a few months, leading to a wealth of potential sanitary problems.

On the farm, rodents also cut into profits. In a superb new fact sheet on rodent control, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs says a rat colony (about 100 animals) can eat up to a tonne of grain in a year. With prices rising, those losses mount. I talk about this timely problem in today’s Urban Cowboy column in the Guelph Mercury.

The photo above of the Norway rat is from Markley’s Pest Elimination Services.