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Rats! Three cities in New York State make a list of rat-infected hotspots

Three cities in New York State are on America’s list of rat hotspots.

Syracuse, Buffalo and Albany were named among the Top 50 Ugliest Cities in the United States this year, according to pest control company Orkin. Albany jumped 10 places from 2019 to No. 38, while Buffalo and Syracuse fell slightly to 43rd and 44th, respectively.

Chicago was again named the city most infected with rats, followed by Los Angeles, New York, Washington and San Francisco.

Orkin says subway regions are ranked based on the number of new rodent treatments performed on residential and commercial sites from September 1

, 2019 to August 31, 2020.

The company says rodent visibility has increased due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced them to find new food sources when they close restaurants. Some have become aggressive, prompting the CDC to issue rodent control guidelines to avoid rats and mice outside homes and businesses, especially as the colder months approach.

“Rodents are experts at sniffing food and shelter and are resilient in their ways of getting both,” Orkin entomologist Ben Hottel said in a statement. “Residential properties offer the ideal habitat for rodents, and once settled, they can reproduce quickly and in large numbers.”

According to MLive.com, rodents can cause serious structural damage to homes by using their teeth to dig and gnaw and chew on things like electrical wiring, plumbing and gas. Rats can also contaminate food and potentially spread disease or cause food poisoning and leptospirosis.

Orkin recommends homeowners take the following actions:

  • Do not leave food. Small crumbs and garbage are popular food sources, as are dry goods such as grains and cereals. They should be stored in sealed metal or glass containers to prevent contamination.
  • Avoid crowded spaces. Cardboard objects are found to be attractive to rodents, as they tend to chew them to use in their nests.
  • Do not let the landscaping run wild. Tall grass and tree piles next to homes can be ideal habitats for rodents. Tree branches in contact with homes can also offer rodents easy access to the upper levels of homes.
  • Check inside and outside your home for rodent feces, holes and traces of friction on ledges and walls. The faster rodents are detected, the better.
  • Look for possible entry points outside your home and seal cracks and holes, if any. Install weather strips around the entrances, especially under the doors, to prevent rodents from entering.

The company has more information at orkin.com/rodents.

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