From coast to coast, it appears that rat populations are rising in Canada.

"I would say it's about a 200 per cent increase over last year,” veteran B.C. exterminator Tod Dugas told CTV News. In 13 years on the job, Dugas says he’s never had so many calls to homes for rats.

“It’s been building year after year for the last five years,” he said.

Rat sightings across the country seem to be soaring and exterminators are also reporting a rise in calls.

As for why there seems to be more rats than usual, the reasons vary.

In cities, construction projects may be driving rats out of derelict buildings and into residential areas. Milder than usual winters may also be allowing more rats to survive.

Canadian cities, however, are not alone.

In Chicago, the rat problem last year was so bad that the city resorted to filling rat holes with dry ice to try and suffocate them. In Paris, moreover, rats have infested some tourist areas, becoming so commonplace that they’ve actually been popping up aboveground in the daytime.

Back on Vancouver Island, it is believed that an extended summer last year gave rats more time to breed. At one Comox, B.C. hardware store, they say they can’t keep traps in stock.

"Well sell ‘em,” Norm Kennedy of Slegg Building Materials said. “No matter how many we get ,we'll sell them all."

With a report from CTV National News’ Toronto correspondent John Vennavally-Rao