Six cities in New York that have the biggest rat problem in America. Did your hometown make the list?

It look like New York's rat problem is getting worse because another city from the Empire State was added to Orkin's annual "Rattiest Cities" roundup.

Cities on the Rattiest Cities List are based on the number of new rodent services showcasing the demand and also indicates the efforts that residents and businesses of the top cities have taken to treat rodent issues.

This list was curated by counting the number of new rodent treatments, both commercial and residential, between September 2022 and August 2023.

Chicago is #1

While New York State has 6 cities on the list, at least we're not in Chicago because the Windy City has topped this nasty list for a ninth year in a row.

Orkin cheekily created a limited-edition tee to "celebrate" Chicago's rodent-infested glory.

Los Angeles came in second place in the updated list, bumping New York City down a notch.

Read More: "Squirrel-Sized" Rats Invading Homes in Upstate New York

Ben Hottel, an Orkin entomologist, warns NYC and other cities in the state could creep back up the rankings because of how difficult it is to control rat populations.

Rodents multiply swiftly and when an infestation is left unattended, they can cause extensive damage to homes and yards. Rats are capable of squeezing into spaces through holes as small as a quarter, which makes it especially important to seal cracks from the outside.

No one wants to deal with a rat infestation because of the many issues they bring, from health complications to structural damage.

Credit - Joshua j Cotten via Unsplash
Credit - Joshua j Cotten via Unsplash

Rats are capable of transmitting hantavirus, leptospirosis, Tularemia, and Salmonella. Aside from being disease taxis, their oversized front teeth can gnaw through just about any material, from electrical wires, gas lines, to water pipes.

Buffalo Crowned New York's 2nd "Rattiest" City

John Normile/Getty Images
John Normile/Getty Images

Although Buffalo fell five places from last year's roundup, it still managed to crack the top 40 cities with the biggest rodent problem.

Orkin ranked Buffalo in 38th place, which is an improvement from last year. Buffalo fell six places from 2022's rankings.

Each fall, mice and other rodents invade an estimated 21 million homes in the United States. They typically enter homes between October and February looking for food, water and shelter from the cold.

So while Buffalo's situation is improving, that still means the city is swarming with millions of rats.

But so are the next three cities in New York...

Albany, Rochester, Plattsburgh, and Syracuse In the Top 50

Those living in the Albany-Troy area should know the metro area placed 42nd overall in Orkin's latest roundup. The good news is the Capital Region was six spots lower the rankings last year, but the bad news is it's still among the rattiest cities in America.


Plattsburgh, listed as the Burlington-Plattsburgh region, was ranked the 44th "rattiest" city in the United States, jumping four places from last year's roundup.

Rochester is the newest city to be added to Orkin's roundup and made its debut in 46th place. The city actually jumped five places since 2022, which signals Rochester's rat population is starting to get out of hand.

The final city from the Empire State to make the roundup was Syracuse, which finished in 48th place. The Central NY city actually had one of the biggest improvements on this annual ranking with the number of places it fell from the previous year - if residents want a silver lining.

Syracuse dropped by nine places since 2022 and, should the trend continue, could actually fall off the list for the 2024 update.

Read More: If You See This Highly Invasive Insect in Central NY, Kill It Immediately

Orkin is urging residents to recognize the signs that rats might have moved into their homes and assures that there are many effective treatments that won't just chase them away - but prevent them from coming back.

Signs You May Have a Rat Problem

Per Orkin, a few common signs of a rodent infestation include:

  • Droppings: Rodent droppings are often left behind in places where food is stored, such as kitchen cabinets or pantries, under sinks, inside chewed cardboard boxes, along baseboards and on top of wall beams

  • Gnaw marks: Mice are known to bite through walls, wood and wires. The damage to wiring within walls can increase the risk of a house fire.

  • Nests: Rodents prefer to nest in dark, secluded areas where there is little chance of disturbance. Be on the lookout for shredded paper products, cotton, packing materials and other fabrics, as house mice like to build nests out of these materials.

  • Rub marks: Rats tend to leave dark grease or dirt marks along walls and floorboards as they follow a trail throughout the home between their nest and food.

  • Strange noises: Scurrying in the walls or in the attic could mean a rodent family is present. Rodents are especially fond of attics as it’s an insulated area for nest building.

As for keeping these critters at bay, Orkin suggests following these five steps:

  • Store away food. Small crumbs and garbage are popular food sources, as are dry goods such as grains and cereals. These should be kept in sealed metal or glass containers to prevent contamination.

  • Declutter. Cardboard objects prove attractive to rodents, as they tend to chew them up for use in their nests. Take advantage of your extra time at home to clean and organize crowded spaces around the house and facility.

  • Maintain your landscaping. Tall grass with adequate harborages, such as woodpiles next to the house, can be ideal habitats for rodents. Tree branches in contact with homes can also offer rodents easy access to the upper levels of your home where they may find a way into the attic.

  • Inspect both inside and outside your home. Keep an eye out for rodent droppings, burrows and rub marks along baseboards and walls. The sooner rodents are detected, the better.

  • Look for possible entry points. Seal any holes and cracks that are found around your home. Install weather strips around entryways, especially under doors, to help keep mice out of your home.

Considering several exterminators have raised the alarm that New York is heading for a "pest-pocalypse" into 2024, those living in New York's "rattiest" cities should be proactive and plan accordingly.

Read More: A "Pest-Pocalypse" Could Invade New York

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