Every fall, Orkin releases a list of the top 50 cities with the highest rat population in the United States. This year NY State lands 5 cities on that list.

First off, no New York City is not number one. That distinction goes to Chicago for the third consecutive year.

New York City is actually #2, and there are four more from NY.

Here they are along with their ranking:

  • 30. Buffalo
  • 36. Albany-Schenectady
  • 39. Rochester
  • 45. Syracuse

Orkin says fall is the beginning of rodent season and it's about the time that mice and rats start to look for food, shelter and warmth to get through the winter.

“Rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter, while mice can fit through a hole the size of a dime. Even if they can’t find an opening, they can often chew their way in.”

Yes it's a terrible thought, but Orkin has some useful tips to help people avoid the health and safety risks that come along with rodents.

  • 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 and seal cracks and holes if any are found. Think, “where would YOU hide or enter if you were a rodent?” It’ll be hidden, dark, probably warm, and difficult to reach!
  • Install weather strips around entryways, especially under doors, to help block rodents from sneaking inside.
  • Store food properly by keeping it sealed tightly in rodent-proof containers like plastic bins or metal canisters. Otherwise, rodents may smell food and break into weaker containers.
  • Clean up crumbs and spills as soon as they happen to avoid leaving food residue or sugary substances that can attract rodents.
  • Cut back trees and bushes to at least three feet away from homes to avoid giving rodents a “jumping off” point to access the gutters, roof or other hidden openings.

Orkin also says, "If there is ever a time when a rodent infestation is suspected, contact a local pest management expert as soon as possible."

You can find more information about preventing mice and rats from getting into your home at Orkin.com.