Toronto is the most rat-infested city in Ontario and we can't say we're surprised.

According to new data from pest control company, Orkin, Toronto held the title for another year in a row. Second place, however, saw some big changes. Ottawa, which was second place in 2017, dropped to fourth while Mississauga jumped into the second slot.

Scarborough also moved up one ranking to secure the third spot. But let's just make this clear, this is one list we shouldn't want to be on top of.

To compile their list, Orkin tracks all rodent calls they receive each year. Calls tend to spike in the colder months as rodents (both mice and rats) try to escape the cold.

Though rats are one of the most beloved housepets, the ones you find wandering the city streets are quite dangerous and disease-ridden. Homeowners should be especially concerned about rats chewing on electrical wires, which can cause fires. Mice are also notorious chewers. Rodents will gnaw on just about anything in your home including drywall, insulation and, of course, containers holding food.

READ: Toronto Has A Bed Bug Problem. Here’s How To Keep Your Bed Clean.

Rodents not only eat these items, but they also use them to build nests. In a single year, rats can breed up to seven litters of up to 14 rats, while mice can breed 10 litters of six mice per year.

Cities and rats go hand in hand. In 2014, it was estimated that New York City was home to two million rats. While it is unknown how many rats reside in Toronto, the number is on the rise. Between 2013 and 2015, sales for rodent traps rose 60 per cent at a local Home Depot while calls to a local pest control company increased 26 per cent in the same period.

The GTA dominates Orkin's list with North York coming in eighth and Brampton rounding out the tenth spot.

READ: What To Do If Your Home Floods And How To Prevent Flooding In Your Basement

Of the 25 cities on the list, two new cities were added from the east end. Whitby entered the list in the 21st spot, while Pickering snuck in at 25. As these two cities entered the ranking, three dropped off. St. Catherines, Niagara Falls and Sault Ste. Marie were on the list in 2017 but did not have enough calls to make it onto the list again in 2018.

Prevention Tips

  • To protect your home from rodent infestation, Orkin recommends trimming back trees to eliminate jumping off points. Trees and shrubs should be at least one meter from the exterior of your home.
  • Clear clogged gutters and drain out all collected water sources to limit the rodent's chance of survival.
  • Seal all cracks and entry points with weather stripping and caulking to prevent pests from finding their way indoors.
  • Ensure food is properly stored in sealed containers. In the event of a spill, clean up areas immediately as sugary substances can attract rodents.

If you suspect your home has a rodent infestation problem, look out for telltale signs including scratching sounds, droppings, holes and rub marks around your walls and baseboards.

READ: Are You Covered? What You Need To Know About Renters’ Insurance

In the event your home is infested, it is the homeowner's responsibility to resolve the issue, however, the city can help.

Contact the city if you live in a building where rodent issues are not addressed by the landlord. You should also notify the city if you see an increase in rodents at nearby parks. The city may place bait in sewer systems near affected areas. Garbage pick up may also be increased in these areas.

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