Would you believe that 2 of the top 25 cities with the worst rat problems in the United States are within just hours drive from the Tri-Cities? Orkin released their list for the cities in the USA with the worst rat problems, and two well known close cities are on their list.

The first, and highest on the list at #11, is Seattle. To me this is not surprising because it is easily the largest city in the northwest. It is also right on the ocean with lots of food and environment for the rats to thrive. Seattle also has a very large underground system that is hidden from the surface but is a perfect environment for rat colonies.

Portland is also in the top 25 cities with rat problems at #24. According to reports, Portland has seen a large increase in rat sightings during the pandemic. Some pest professionals are reporting a 300% increase in calls related to rats. They think the reasons for more sightings could be because more people were home during the pandmic to see them or there could actually be more rats. Those reports also point to more reports of rat infestations from homeless camps, which could also point to an increase in the rat population. The City of Portland released a great list of things to know about rats to help if your having problems with rats.

"Some facts about Rats:

  • Roof rats build nests in attics, trees, and overgrown shrubbery or vines. Roof rats rarely dig burrows for living quarters if off-the-ground sites exist.
  • Norway rats prefer to nest at or under ground level, and in the lower floors of buildings.
  • Rats can have several nest sites. They may spend a week in their primary nest site, and then move for a day or two into an alternate nest site.
  • Rats will eat anything humans or livestock will eat, plus many less palatable items including animal droppings, garbage, and other rats.
  • Rats living apart from human habitation are know to eat seeds, nuts, and insects, as well as young birds and bird eggs.
  • Rats generally live together in a group dominated by a large male that guards a harem of females and aggressively prevents other males from mating.
  • Old World rats breed year-round, but reproduction is concentrated in the warmer months.
  • A litter of six to ten young are born after a gestation period of about three weeks"

Next to spiders, rats are one of the biggest fears for my wife. I am probably not going to share this info with her because I like visiting these cities. If she knows about this, it will be nearly impossible to get her to go.

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