NYC Moves Up List, But Isn’t Top – NBC New York

If you think New York City’s rat problem is bad, don’t head to the midwest.

Pest control company Orkin released its list of the “rattiest” cities in the US, and while NYC did move up the list (not a list anyone wants to move up, mind you), another city has now captured the crown eight years in a row. That dubious distinction goes to Chicago, which has taken the top spot every year since 2015.

But that’s about where the good news for the Big Apple ends, as the city did move up to the second spot on the list, swapping spots with Los Angeles, which fell to No. 3.

There was a newcomer to the top 20 this year, and it’s a city not too far away. Hartford, Connecticut, came in at 19, while three other New York cities made the top 50: Albany (34), Buffalo (39) and Syracuse (42).

Orkin ranked metro regions by the number of new rodent treatments performed from September 1, 2021, to August 31, 2022. This ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.

“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.”

The high ranking for NYC shouldn’t come as a surprise to many. According to new government data, rat sightings across the city have increased by 71 percent since this time in 2020. By the end of September, there were more than 21,000 reports.

A hungry horde of rats overtook an upper Manhattan Chipotle last month, forcing the burrito chain to temporarily close the location after employees say they were forced to take matters into their own hands to try to beat back the infestation.

Rat complaints initially spiked in 2021, the New York Daily News reportedwith many blaming their population surge on the outdoor dining structures that had been built amid the pandemic. But even as some restaurants have reeled in their outdoor dining sheds, the problem with the vermin has not gone away.

Over the summer, New York City Council members presented a five-point “rat action plan” to solve the issue, which includes rat-proof trash bins. It’s expected to pass sometime in October.

The Department of Sanitation also pitched an idea in July: changing the times trash is hitting the curbs at night, so the waste is not out as long and giving rodents less time to smell and go after it.

Currently, garbage can go to the curb at 4 pm the day before it is scheduled for collection. But the DSNY wants New Yorkers to start putting out their trash later at night, around 8 pm

Their idea does come with an exception: If the refuse goes into a can or bin, it could be put out a little earlier, at 6 pm The department believes that by limiting the amount of time the garbage is out on the street, the rats will be seen less and have less access to food.

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