SUDBURY -- Each year, a well-known pest control company, Orkin Canada, releases a list of Ontario’s top 25 “rattiest” cities, and this year, Sudbury leads the way in the northeast.

In 2019, Sudbury placed 5th out of 25, and this year, it's three spots lower at No. 8.

Orkin Canada said cities are ranked by the number of rodent treatments the company preformed between July 1, 2019, and June 30 of this year. They said the overall numbers have increased, especially during COVID.

“It has increased quite a bit over the last seven or eight years substantially,” said Dale Kurt, regional manager of Orkin Canada. “Even when COVID started, it seemed to increase a bit at that point because a rat will stay in an area as long as it has food, water and shelter. So if you take any of those components out, it’s going to make them mobile and look for other areas with food.”

Most calls are from tenants

Officials with the health unit said so far this year, there have been 27 calls related to rodent infestations.

“In 2019 we had 65, so we’re on pace to have a little bit less than we did in 2019, but it’s still within the same ball park,” said Jon Groulx, environmental support officer with Public Health Sudbury & Districts. “The vast majority are tenants I would say call because they believe that there is a rodent infestation in their apartment building. We get a few from members of the public who observe activity in food premises and we would investigate those, as well, but the majority I would say are from tenants.”

Orkin Canada said one way to prevent rodents from entering a home is to close all openings.

“Anything the size of a quarter a rat will be able to get through, and for mice anything the size of a dime -- or even smaller -- a mouse will easily get through, so you want to (put) a good quality door seal on, fix any holes around pipes,” said Kurt.

Two other cities in the north are also on the list, including North Bay, which sits at 21, and Timmins, sitting at the bottom of the list at 25.