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B.C. ‘rattiest cities list’ says rodents moving into neighbourhoods because of coronavirus

Vancouver, Victoria and Burnaby were named as B.C.’s top three cities in Orkin Canada’s annual ‘rattiest cities’ list for 2020.
Vancouver, Victoria and Burnaby were named as B.C.’s top three cities in Orkin Canada’s annual ‘rattiest cities’ list for 2020. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Rats.

It’s not the most flattering list to be on.

And to add insult to injury, if coronavirus hasn’t been disheartening enough already, COVID-19 is now being blamed for rodents moving from downtown areas into residential neighbourhoods.

Read more: ‘Cannibal’ rats: CDC warns against hungry, aggressive city vermin

Vancouver topped the list as being the rattiest city in B.C. for a fourth straight year, and was followed by Victoria, Burnaby, Richmond and Surrey. Lower Mainland communities took eight of the top-10 spots.

Orkin Canada says the rankings are based on the number of commercial and residential rodent (rats and mice) treatments it carried out in B.C., from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020.

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Rounding out the top 20 were:

  • Kelowna
  • Langley
  • North Vancouver
  • Coquitlam
  • Abbotsford
  • Vernon
  • Delta
  • Port Coquitlam
  • Duncan
  • Chilliwack
  • Sidney
  • Nanaimo
  • Maple Ridge
  • Terrace
  • Powell River

While rodent problems are a fact of life in most North American cities, this year’s rankings noted an odd item.

According to Orkin Canada, there’s been a shift in the last six months where rodents are being spotted.

“As a result of the decrease in restaurant and overall business waste due to COVID-19, rodents have migrated to a greater degree to residential neighbourhoods with higher than usual waste from people working and studying from home,” said the company in a release.

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To help control rodents, Orkin Canada suggests the following:

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  • Seal cracks or holes with caulk or foam and install weather stripping around windows and doors.
  • Keep shrubbery at least a metre away from the home exterior.
  • Eliminate moisture sources, such as clogged gutters.
  • Keep food preparation areas clean inside the home and thoroughly clean spills and crumbs.
  • Clean trash cans regularly and ensure they are covered tightly.

For more about the list, click here.

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