Here's why Seattle topped the list of most rat-infested cities

Here's why Seattle topped the list of most rat-infested cities

File photo: Rat in suburb of Vancouver. Photo via Wikimedia Commons user Earth's buddy. 

Seattle falls on the list of most-rat infested cities in the United States.

Based on the number of rodent treatments done in each location in the past year, Seattle ranks as no. 11 out of 50 on the list.

Pest-control company Orkin released the list, saying that fall is the start of "rodent season" with colder temperatures leading rats and mice inside more homes to seek warmth.

Content Continues Below

So, why are there so many rats in Seattle? KUOW asked that question after households in Seattle reported signs of rats twice than the national average.

Adam Truitt, owner of Pest Fighter, suggested to KUOW that more people living in cities means more trash and food waste.

%

INLINE

%

Truitt has walked around alleys in the University District with a pellet gun for weeks, shooting close to 50 rats near the University Book Store.

KUOW reported that when he visits homes he uses traps and poison; but with an infestation this bad, Truitt and the King County Health Department believe a pellet gun is the fastest and the most humane way to deal with the problem.

Truitt said it’s taken a few weeks to get this alley under control.

Seattle has two kinds of resident rats: both love parks and green spaces. Norway rats tend to be bigger and stick to the ground, and roof rats have bigger ears and longer tails that help them balance on trees and vines.

%

INLINE

%

Jason Munshi-South, an expert on rat genetics and urban rodents at Fordham University in New York told KUOW with old buildings torn down for new construction, there’s a rat exodus.

"It can be difficult because it only takes one property on a neighborhood scale to be the source or reservoir of rats," Munshi-South told KUOW.

KUOW reports that between climate change, construction, lots of green space, and more people and trash – Seattle may not be moving off the top of the most-infested cities list anytime soon.