Toronto named Canada’s ‘rattiest’ city; Mississauga cracks top 5

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It’s probably not a list you want to top, but Toronto has been named the ‘rattiest’ city in Canada.

Orkin, the pest control company, released its annual list of Canadian cities with rodent issues (see rankings below) and deduced Ontario’s capital has a higher population of the pests than any other place in the country.

Mississauga was the only other Ontario city that cracked the top 10 but the GTA is well-represented in the top 25 with Brampton, Etobicoke, North York, Oshawa, and Scarborough all making the list. Ottawa and Sudbury were the other Ontario representatives.

The company says the rankings are based on the number of commercial and residential rodent calls that Orkin received from the start of August 2021 through to the end of July 2022. It includes calls for both rats and mice.

Canada's top rattiest cities

In a release, Orkin says rodent activity migrated to more residential areas during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns due to a lack of food availability in commercial areas. But the company warns that food has become abundant once again in urban centres with the return of regular business activity.

“With more available food, there will be exponential population growth,” says Alice Sinia, Ph.D. entomologist with Orkin Canada. “Food availability favours population growth since there will be less competition for food, which also will result in high reproductive potential, high survival and healthy thriving populations.”

“Some of the aggressive behaviours among rats and mice that were noted during the lockdowns, such as cannibalism, ‘street fights’ and territorialism, will likely lessen,” reads the release.

The top 10 rattiest cities in Canada in 2022:

  1. Toronto
  2. Vancouver
  3. Burnaby
  4. Kelowna
  5. Mississauga
  6. Calgary (mice only)
  7. Victoria
  8. Richmond
  9. Edmonton (mice only)
  10. St. John’s


Vancouver dropped to number two after topping the annual list for the last five years.

The full list from Orkin can be found here.

Tips to prevent rats, mice from entering your home as winter approaches

Orkins is also out with advice for anyone looking to take precautions to ensure the little creatures don’t try to enter their home as the weather turns cold.

“As the cooler weather approaches and rodents may be looking for warm shelter,” the company says.

Rodent-proofing tactics to keep rats, mice out of homes

  • Seal cracks or holes in your foundation, in walls, and in expansion joints
  • Install weather stripping around windows and doors
  • Screen open vents and repair worn out window screens
  • Where possible, keep shrubbery at least a metre away from exterior walls of your home
  • Remove moisture sources such as clogged gutters
  • Practice proper garbage storage, be diligent in keeping garbage and old food away from your house, use tight-fitting lid containers and do not overflow
  • Do not store objects near exterior walls, instead store them distanced away from the wall and about 18 inches off the ground
  • Rodent proof shed if present. Sheds can be major breeding and harbourage spots during the winter

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