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Here’s an occasion where New Yorkers are happy to let the Los Angelenos take a spot above them – the survey of the US’s rattiest cities! Winner of the dubious title is Chicago, Rat Kings for the six year in a row.

WNYC’s Pledge Rat taking the subway in 2015.

But where was NYC, we hear you ask? For the third time in succession, our pizza rats and their buddies earned the city third place in the survey by pest control experts Orkin, which ranks metro regions by the number of new rodent treatments performed from September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2020. The ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.

“The pandemic-driven closure of restaurants forced rodents to find new food sources. Without food waste to consume, these pests were seen scavenging new areas and exhibiting unusual or aggressive behavior,” the company said.

Speaking to the New York Post, a spokeswoman for the city said a strong effort is underway to kill off rodents in the Big Apple.

A rat having breakfast on the platform at Herald Square subway station. Photo: Gary Hershorn

“While it’s no surprise the largest city in the country has to deal with its fair share of rats, our efforts to reduce their numbers remain robust. We continue to do proactive inspections, respond to complaints, deploy exterminators and more to ensure these pests don’t give New Yorkers something else to complain about,” City Hall said in a statement.

City health officials say the number of reported rat sightings has actually fallen since last year, from 3,034 in September 2019 to 2,777 in September 2020.

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