09/12/2013 08:36 EDT | Updated 11/12/2013 05:12 EST

Warm weather spurs rat population boom

Some pest controllers in the Lower Mainland say they're seeing more rats than usual this time of year.

"We're getting a lot more phone calls than we usually would in terms of spotting rats outside in the garden," said Mike Londry, who runs Westside Pest Control in Vancouver.

Londry said a few neighbourhoods seem to be hot spots for the vermin.

"Point Grey and the West Side. Shaughnessy, a lot of calls there too," he said.

Randy Celinski, owner of AAA Wildlife Control in Burnaby, says he has also noticed a surge in rats.

"We just see more rat work, no matter if it's higher or lower season," he said.

A longer and sunnier summer could be to blame, according to Shelley Beaudet, a senior environmental health officer at Vancouver Coastal Health.

"The warmer you get, they can produce and survive a bit better," she said, adding that the best way to keep the rodents off your property is to make sure you keep food and garbage indoors and to cover up any holes where rats can come into your home.

Beaudet said there are clues that could help you identify a rat problem.

"What we like to have people do is integrated pest management," she said. "So you should be looking for rat burrows in an indoor area, you should be looking for droppings."