The rats are scurrying into New York. Four cities are among Orkin's annual 50 rattiest in the country, and three are seeing more than last year.

So where are all the rats hanging out? Chicago....for the 8th year in a row. But since rat activity increases when it's cold, it's no surprise New York makes the list several times each year.

Credit - Mert Guller via Unsplash
Credit - Mert Guller via Unsplash

Big Rats in Big Apple

To no one's surprise, especially anyone who's been to the Big Apple, New York City is among the top places with rats. It jumped over L.A. for the second-highest city with a rat problem. Buffalo and Syracuse also saw an increase in rodents while Albany dropped a few spots on the list.

#2 New York City (+1)
#34 Albany (-3)
#39 Buffalo (+2)
#42 Syracuse (+4)

Rats at the Beaumont St Auckland waterfront take a
Getty Images

Winter Infestation

October to February is when you typically see rats in your home, looking for food, water, and someplace warm. And with more outdoor dining from the pandemic, rodents have found the perfect place to dine, live and multiply.

“Rodent infestations are among the top pest issues of the fall and winter seasons,” said Ben Hottel, an Orkin entomologist. “Not only are mice and rats a nuisance, but they are known to spread a variety of dangerous diseases, including Salmonella and Hantavirus.”

Credit - Slyfox photography via Unsplash
Credit - Slyfox photography via Unsplash

Rid the Rats

Orkin offers tips to get rid of rats and keep them away.

  • Inspect both inside and outside the home for rodent droppings, burrows, and rub marks along baseboards and walls. The more quickly rodents are detected, the better.
  • Look for possible entry points outside the home, seal all cracks larger than 1/4 of an inch and install weather strips at the bottom of exterior doors.
  • Trim overgrown branches, plants, and bushes to avoid giving them a “jumping off” point.
  • Keep your home clean, inside and out. Clean up crumbs and spills as soon as they happen to avoid leaving food residue or sugary substances that can attract rodents. Store all food (including pet food) in tightly sealed containers like plastic bins, and never leave food or dishes sitting out overnight.

See all 50 rattiest cities at

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